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The Fifth Annual Base-2-Base 47-mile Ruck March from New Castle Air National Guard Base to Dover Air Force Base has begun!

NEW CASTLE, Delaware -- The Fifth Annual Base-2-Base 47-mile Ruck March from the New Castle Air National Guard Base, New Castle, Del. to Dover Air Force Base, Dover, Del. began as a total of 29 marchers left the New Castle ANG Base starting at 5:10 p.m. today, after standing for a group photo, receiving a safety briefing from 2012 march organizer Senior Airman Eian Andrew from the 512th Airlift Wing at Dover AFB, doing final equipment, clothing, snack and refreshment checks, and applying plenty of sunscreen.

They left with the temperature at 75 degrees Fahrenheit, 76 percent humidity and partly cloudy skies. There was a single episode of lightning and one loud thunder in the skies about 30 minutes after they departed the base.

The participants included Airmen from the 512th Airlift Wing, Air Force Reserve at Dover AFB, Del., Airmen from the 436th Airlift Wing active duty Air Force unit also at Dover AFB, eight Airmen from the 166th Airlift Wing, Delaware ANG, at New Castle ANG Base, four Soldiers from the Delaware Army National Guard (who led the way for all marchers as they left the New Castle ANGB), one Airman from the 514th Air Mobility Wing, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., and one Airman from Scott AFB, Ill., who is performing temporary duty at the 166th AW.

Two females, both from the 512th AW, one a captain and one a civilian employee, were part of the contingent.

The youngest marcher is an 18-year-old male Air Force airman 1st class, and the oldest is a 50-year-old male master sergeant from the Delaware ANG.

The highest ranking officer participating is a lieutenant colonel from the 166th AW.

All 29 marchers are participating to raise money for USO Delaware, whose center director, Joan Cote, was present as the marchers gathered and began their overnight journey.

LOOK FOR FRESH PHOTOS TO BE POSTED LATER TONIGHT on www.facebook.com/166thAirliftWing.