Families gather to say good-bye as Ky. airmen deploy to Persian Gulf

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by News release

WHAS11.com

Posted on July 2, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 2 at 12:21 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The Kentucky Air National Guard's 123rd Airlift Wing deployed 70 Airmen and two C-130 aircraft to the Persian Gulf region on Monday in support of operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn.

The deployed Airmen include aircrew members, maintenance troops and support staff. They will operate from an undisclosed air base in Southwest Asia, flying troops and cargo missions across the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility as part of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing.

About half of the Airmen will remain overseas for four months. The other half will return home in two months, after being replaced by a second rotation of about 30 Kentucky Air Guardsmen. In all, approximately 100 members of the 123rd Airlift wing are expected to participate in the deployment.

This marks the wing's seventh major deployment to CENTCOM since 2003. Previous missions sent hundreds of Kentucky Air Guard forces to multiple locations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Since 9/11, more than 14,000 Kentucky National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have mobilized in support of the Global War on Terror. The Kentucky National Guard currently has about 400 troops deployed worldwide.

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