Sendoff on Wednesday Oct. 24 for 28 Airmen who depart for 6 months combat security duty in Southwest Asia -- Families invited

Release Number: 041007

Delaware Air National Guard
Headquarters, 166th Airlift Wing
2600 Spruance Drive
New Castle, DE 19720-1615 

News media have opportunity to interview troops and families Wednesday Oct. 24 from NOON to 3:00 p.m. at this sendoff; 75 to 100 people expected. 

Location: Delaware Air Guard, 2600 Spruance Drive, New Castle, DE 19720
Airmen leave via bus at 3:00 p.m. to BWI airport for an overseas flight.

Media: Your only contact for this sendoff is 1st Lt. Deborah Welch, Cell 302-598-9264. Do NOT contact Sgt. Matwey; he is out-of-state the entire week.

Hometowns of deploying Airmen (details below): DELAWARE: 18 people. PENNSYLVANIA: 4 people. MARYLAND: 3 people. NEW JERSEY: 1 person. VIRGINIA: 1 person. ILLINOIS: 1 person.

There are 26 male and 2 female security force Airmen deploying.

Contact: 1st Lt. Deborah Welch
Delaware National Guard Public Affairs
Cell 302-598-9264
Release No. 2007-10-004 [corrected Release No.]
Oct. 20, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW CASTLE, Delaware - There is a sendoff event Oct. 24 for 28 members of the Delaware Air National Guard's 166th Security Forces Squadron with their families just before they depart Delaware for six months of duty in Southwest Asia on the Arabian Gulf.

The sendoff event, organized by Delaware Air National Guard and unit family readiness groups, will have activities for families and children, food and drink.

Members of the USO, the non-profit organization Delaware Boots on the Ground, and the Diamond State Chapter of the VFW will attend and participate in send-off activities.

The USO will bring one of only three new national Mobile USO vehicles. The Mobile USO program is designed to bring a "home away from home. These vehicles offer a comfortable place where service men and women can relax, have a snack, watch a movie or connect online with family and friends during their downtime. Families, children and some departing troops will tour the vehicle. Details at: http://www.uso.org/whatwedo/specialprograms/mobileusoprogram/

This six month mission will be the largest and longest deployment of security forces Airmen overseas in unit history, including deployments to other combat zones.

The 28 Airmen will operate as part of the 379th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron. The squadron's overall mission is to provide and maintain continuous combat security for all Coalition Forces assigned and transient to the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing.

Early in the week of Oct. 22 the Airmen finish two-and-a-half weeks of combat training at Ft. Bliss, Texas. A main body of 26 Airmen departed Delaware Friday Oct. 5 for Ft. Bliss, and an advance team of two Airmen departed earlier. While at Ft. Bliss, the troops participated in live fire and qualification training at the Doña Ana range and base complex 20 miles northwest of Ft. Bliss, one of three ranges at the Ft. Bliss U.S. Army facility.

The 379th Air Expeditionary Wing is one of the largest, most diverse expeditionary wings in the Air Force, providing combat airpower and support for the Global War on Terrorism in Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and through support of the Joint Task Force Horn of Africa.

The Delaware Air National Guard's 166th Airlift Wing Family Readiness Manager, Tech. Sgt. Yolanda DiVirgilio, said, "Ready families make successful deployments." She said the unit strives to make contact with families when they join, not waiting until an Airman deploys. She added that the unit wants to assist people so there are "resilient and independent" Airmen and families, providing financial guidance to help for children. She stated that their goal is to provide "broad based and community based support" using various non-profit organizations. She said, "We utilize community resources to fill our needs, whatever it is."

A new family readiness leader assisting the 166th Security Forces Squadron is Jennifer Sager, whose husband is one of the Airmen deploying overseas.

Lt. Col. Donald Quinn, 166th Security Forces Commander, visited the Airmen during their two weeks' training at Ft. Bliss. Col. Quinn said, "The additional two weeks of training at Ft. Bliss has given the Airmen combat security and force protection skills geared for the overseas desert environment they will operate in during their mission to Southwest Asia."

166th Airlift Wing Commander Col. Jonathan Groff said, "The Delaware Air National Guard is again sending a group of well-trained Airmen overseas for an extended combat zone deployment to Southwest Asia. This means a separation from families and loved ones, and many Airmen will also be taking a leave from their civilian jobs. Our unit will do all we can to communicate with and help support the Airmen and their families before the Airmen leave, while they serve overseas, and when they return."

A 2002 deployment of 13 Delaware Air National Guard Security Forces Airmen to Tajikistan in Southwest Asia lasted three months, with the Airmen returning home just before Thanksgiving. Tajikistan is a country bordering Afghanistan to the north. The Airmen supported Operation Enduring Freedom.

About 75 security forces Airmen work in the 166th Security Forces Squadron, part of the nearly 1,100 member Delaware Air National Guard based at New Castle.

Hometowns (state and city) of the 28 security forces Airmen deploying:

DELAWARE: 18 people; Newark (5), New Castle (4), Wilmington (3), Bear (2), Newport (1), Yorklyn (1), Middletown (1), Odessa (1).

PENNSYLVANIA: 4 people; Nottingham (1), Cochranville (1), Philadelphia (1), Rosemont (1).

MARYLAND: 3 people; Rising Sun (1), North East (1), Galena (1)

NEW JERSEY: 1 person; Egg Harbor (1).

VIRGINIA: 1 person; Virginia Beach (1).

ILLINOIS: 1 person; Scott AFB (1).

This release is in the public domain, and any part may be used as written. 

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