The final four of 15 Airmen from the Delaware Air National Guard returned home last Thursday, Nov. 8, after completing six-month-long tours of duty in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Southwest Asia, with tours staggered over the past year.
Yesterday those final four Airmen in-processed at Delaware ANG Headquarters in New Castle, then returned home to their loved ones for a few weeks of well-earned downtime before returning to their civilian lives or to military duty.
Fourteen of the 15 Airmen worked at two airbases in Afghanistan, with one Airman working at an additional, undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. Each worked at the airfield's aerial port, responsible for loading and unloading cargo, equipment and passengers on a variety of Air Force aircraft.
All 15 of the returning Airmen are members of the 166th Logistics Readiness Squadron, part of the 166th Airlift Wing, Delaware ANG. A few members of the same unit previously served in Afghanistan and many served before that at Balad Air Base, Iraq.
Eight of the 15 Airmen worked in Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, in the southeast portion of the nation, and five worked at Bagram Airfield, in the northeast portion of the nation.
The four Airmen who completed their mission this week are Senior Master Sgt. Mark Currier, a resident of Harrington, Del., Master Sgt. James Skilling, a resident of Newark, Del., Tech. Sgt. Steve Porell and Senior Airman Lacy Porell, a married couple who reside in Dover, Del. (Note to editors: Photos of these four Airmen are available at www.166aw.ang.af.mil
This marked the 10th overseas deployment for Tech. Sgt. Steve Porell. Master Sgt. James Skilling was deployed to Kandahar Airfield where nearly 100 people worked 24/7. "It was a very busy base, but it wasn't too bad because I was able to communicate with my family each week using Skype."
The eight Airmen deployed to the 451st Air Expeditionary Wing at Kandahar Airfield were Master Sgt. James Skilling, Tech. Sgt. Steve Porell, Senior Airman Lacy Porell, Tech. Sgt. Christopher Rosan, Staff Sgt. Henry Young, Staff Sgt. Ryan Atkinson, Staff Sgt. Scott Burris and Senior Airman Jacob Canfield.
The six Airmen deployed to the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing at Bagram Air Base were Tech. Sgt. Juan Mosqueda, Staff Sgt. Richard Donahue, Staff Sgt. Jessica Blignaut, Staff Sgt. Daniel Wright, Staff Sgt. Shennette Moore and Airman 1st Class Sunshine Parkes.
Senior Master Sgt. Mark Currier was deployed to the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia.
One of the 15 Airmen returned home early due to an injury.
"These Airmen did a great job at the two busiest aircraft hubs in Afghanistan," said Col. Mike Feeley, commander, 166th Airlift Wing. "The Airmen helped moved thousands of tons of cargo and thousands of passengers at the two airbases which provide vital support for U.S. and coalition combat operations."
The Delaware ANG has 1,100 members, and continually deploys personnel and subordinate units around the globe.
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Delaware Air National Guard:
Celebrating 66 years of Citizen-Airman service to our state and nation, 1946-2012
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