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New Jersey Guardsmen successfully complete their first Sentry Aloha

Aircraft maintainers prep aircraft for takeoff.

Staff Sgt. Thomas Moss, air refueling technician, 141st Air Refueling Squadron, Staff Sgt. Madaline Paternoster and Senior Airman Sergio Zurita-Sanchez, crew chiefs, 108th Aircraft Maintenence Squadron, pack up a KC-135R Stratotanker for an upcoming flight, Aug. 16, 2021, at Barber’s Point Aviation, Kapolei, Hawaii. Sentry Aloha '21 is a three-week exercise, hosted by the Hawaii Air National Guard's 154th Wing, that provides pilots, aircrew, and maintainers, from the Total Force, with realistic combat training through a series of flight missions. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Andrea A. S. Williamson)

Aircrew complete pre-flight coordination.

Lt. Col. Matthew Brito, pilot, 108th Operations Support Squadron, Capt. Robert Hutchinson, pilot, and Staff Sgt. Thomas Moss, inflight air refueling technician, 141st Air Refueling Squadron, prepare to fly the KC-135R Stratotanker in a simulated combat exercise, August 16, 2021, at Barber’s Point Aviation, Kapolei, Hawaii. Sentry Aloha '21 is a three-week exercise, hosted by the Hawaii Air National Guard's 154th Wing, that provides pilots, aircrew, and maintainers, from the Total Force, with realistic combat training through a series of flight missions. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Andrea A. S. Williamson)

F-16s in flight

Three F-15 Eagles fly in formation alongside the KC-135R Stratotanker, Aug. 14, 2021, above the Pacific ocean near Hawaii. The planes flew in a three-week exercise, known as Sentry Aloha, which provided active, reserve, and guard pilots, aircrew, and maintainers with realistic combat training through a series of flight missions. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Andrea A. S. Williamson)

Barber's Point Aviation workers stand outside

Barber’s Point Aviation Operations team smile for a group photo after assisting the 108th Wing with preparation for their upcoming flight, Aug. 16, 2021, at Barber’s Point Aviation, Kapolei, Hawaii. Sentry Aloha '21 is a three-week exercise, hosted by the Hawaii Air National Guard's 154th Wing, that provides pilots, aircrew, and maintainers, from the Total Force, with realistic combat training through a series of flight missions. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Andrea A. S. Williamson)

A KC-135 refuel an F-16

A Hawaii Air National Guard F-22 Raptor is refueled by a New Jersey Guard KC-135R Stratotanker during Sentry Aloha, August 16, 2021, above the Pacific ocean near Hawaii. Sentry Aloha '21 is a three-week exercise, hosted by the Hawaii Air National Guard's 154th Wing, that provides pilots, aircrew, and maintainers, from the Total Force, with realistic combat training through a series of flight missions. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Andrea A. S. Williamson)

KC-135 maintainers pose outside near aircraft.

Tech Sgt. James Kirchofer, Staff Sgt. Madaline Paternoster, and Senior Airman Sergio Zurita-Sanchez, crew chiefs, 108th Aircraft Maintenence Squadron, stand at parade rest for a photo after preparing the KC-135R Stratotanker for the upcoming flight, Aug. 14, 2021, at Barber’s Point Aviation, Kapolei, Hawaii. Sentry Aloha '21 is a three-week exercise, hosted by the Hawaii Air National Guard's 154th Wing, that provides pilots, aircrew, and maintainers, from the Total Force, with realistic combat training through a series of flight missions. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Andrea A. S. Williamson)

Aircrew outside of aircraft.

Lt. Col. Matthew Brito, pilot, 108th Operations Support Squadron, Capt. Robert Hutchinson, pilot, 141st Air Refueling Squadron, and Tech Sgt. James Kirchofer, crew chief, 108th Aircraft Maintenence Squadron, inspect the KC-135R Stratotanker before flying in a simulated combat exercise, Aug. 16, 2021, at Barber’s Point Aviation, Kapolei, Hawaii. Sentry Aloha '21 is a three-week exercise, hosted by the Hawaii Air National Guard's 154th Wing, that provides pilots, aircrew, and maintainers, from the Total Force, with realistic combat training through a series of flight missions. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Andrea A. S. Williamson)

Three KC-135 sitting in a line on flight line.

Three KC-135R Stratotankers sit at Barber’s Point Aviation airfield, Aug. 14, 2021, at Kapolei, Hawaii. The planes were used in a three-week exercise, known as Sentry Aloha, which provides active, reserve, and guard pilots, aircrew, and maintainers with realistic combat training through a series of flight missions. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Andrea A. S. Williamson)

HONOLULU --

Eighteen New Jersey Air National Guardsmen from the 108th Operations Group participated in their final day of a three-week exercise, called Sentry Aloha, at Barber’s Point Aviation airfield in Kapolei, Hawaii, August 27, 2021.

The training is an annual Total Force Initiative that provides active, reserve and Guard pilots, aircrew, and maintainers with realistic combat training through a series of flight missions. The event is hosted by Hawaii Air National Guard's 154th Wing and operated, this year, at both Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam and Barbers Point.

“I am loving it. It’s a great opportunity to bring a light ops and maintenance package to a different location and provide fuel to the fight,” said Lt. Col. Matthew Brito, commander of the 108th Operations Support Squadron.

Other wings that participated in the exercise included the 459th Air Refueling Wing, Joint Base Andrews, Md., 141st ARW, Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash., and 144th Fighter Wing, Fresno Air National Guard Base, Calif.

This year, however, marked the 108th Wing’s first appearance in Sentry Aloha and proved to be a success.

“Our job is to be at the right place, at the right time, to get the fuel to the receivers and ensure they get the training they need,” said Brito, a KC-135 Stratotanker pilot. “We accomplished that.”

The readiness of our force is critical to America’s defense. The 108th Wing continues to expand on efforts to advance agile combat capabilities and support their assigned mission at a moment’s notice.