1997, deployed to Prince Sultan Air Base to support Operation Deny Flight. We lived in a tent city. (My next deployment in '97 would be in newly completed dorms.) We did what we could to add a personal touch to our lives. I photographed some of the art on tent doors and other decorations of our humble dwellings. They often reflect the unique mindset you find in military life.
Boom operators live here - enlisted troops that 'fly' the refueling boom that 'passes gas' to other aircraft...often fighters. The letters NKAWTG means 'nobody kicks ass without tanker gas.' How true. When you are patrolling a big piece of sky like southern Iraq, fighters need to hit the tanker several times.
391st Fighter Squadron - F-15E Strike Eagles from Mountain Home, Idaho.
429th Electronic Combat Squadron, EF-111 'sparkvaarks'.
Everybody wanted electronic combat aircraft to support their operations, and this unit had aircraft in theater for over 2400 days in a row. This is a more politically correct sign. Previously it used to read 'days in captivity' instead of 'days in AOR'. AOR means area of responsibility.
The divorce rate in military life is high. When the deployment rate goes up...so goes the divorce rate. Detox? General Order 1 for deployment to Saudi Arabia says no alcohol, period.
4416th Intelligence Squadron - Provisional. These folks are (Arabic) linguists that fly in the 'back end' of the RC-135 and gather intelligence.
Some squadron patches, such as this one, date back generations, and are often WWII era cartoons.
The flag reads 'Tinker Yacht Club.' Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, is the home base for AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) aircraft.
You may be an AWACS geek, but you've got the Big Johnson! In other words, if AWACS can't fly and provide the 'big picture' to the fighters...your mission is an abort.
Rescue Alert Facility - It's good to have these folks on standby, ready to pick someone up if a plane goes down.