UPDATED: Call to Duty ceremony March 4 for 200 Airmen from Delaware Air National Guard before they deploy to Afghanistan and other locations in Southwest Asia

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UPDATED: Call to Duty ceremony March 4 for 200 Airmen from Delaware Air National Guard before they deploy to Afghanistan and other locations in Southwest Asia

Confirmed attendees will include Dr. Jill Biden, wife of U.S. Vice-President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., and U.S. Senator Chris Coons, D-Del.

Media should arrive by 1:30 p.m.; absolutely no later than 2:00 p.m. for the ceremony commencing at 2:30 p.m. sharp. Media should bring personal and media identification/affiliation. Simply drive to the main gate and stop for identification check by security forces and to receive further instructions for parking. Public Affairs personnel will meet you after you park.

(Special note to media: CLOSE HOLD/do not release r reference until ceremony is underway; one deploying Airman is the last serving Vietnam War veteran in the Delaware Air National Guard; he is going on his last mission to Afghanistan before retirement. The Airman will be pointed out during the ceremony)

Delaware National Guard and 166th Airlift Wing leadership will host a Call to Duty ceremony Friday March 4 for 200 Airmen of the Delaware Air National Guard before most of the Airmen deploy the following week to the combat zone Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Most of the Airmen will serve overseas for three months, with a smaller number serving longer than three months.

The Call to Duty ceremony is 2:30 p.m. Friday March 4. Along with the 200 deploying Airmen, about 250 family members plus civilian dignitaries and other invited guests will attend. However, the event is not open to the public. News media are invited, but are asked to call ahead, and to arrive no later than 1:30 p.m. Media must carry proper identification and will be credentialed at the main gate. The ceremony will be held inside the new aircraft maintenance hangar on base, 2600 Spruance Drive, New Castle, DE 19720. Media should enter the base from Commons Boulevard and follow the signs for "Delaware Air National Guard."

Number of deploying Airmen by unit: About 85 Airmen from the 166th Operations Group, about 75 Airmen from the 166th Maintenance Group, and about 40 Airmen from the 142nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron.

The 160 deploying Airmen, all from the operations and maintenance groups, will travel aboard six C-130H model transport aircraft of the Delaware Air National Guard, leaving from New Castle Airport three different days the week after the March 4 Call to Duty ceremony.

The 40 Airmen from the 142nd AES will deploy from Afghanistan to Germany and to several other nations, taking troops wounded on the front lines at forward operating bases back home to their loved ones in America and to receive further medical help. Airmen from this unit first served in Afghanistan in October, 2001, just weeks after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 1, 2001.

On average, deploying Airmen from these units have served three years cumulative time overseas in combat zones since 2003.

The 200 deploying Airmen are primarily residents of the four states of Del., Pa., Md. and N.J. A modest number of Airmen reside in several other states from N.Y. to Va.

For Delaware, Airmen who reside in New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties will deploy.

For Pennsylvania, Airmen who reside in Delaware County, Chester County, and other nearby counties will deploy.

For Maryland, Airmen who reside in Harford and Cecil Counties will deploy.

For New Jersey, Airmen who reside in Salem County and possibly other nearby South Jersey counties will deploy.

Additional details for the hometowns of the Airmen, by state and city, will be provided tomorrow, March 4, to this same media distribution list.

The Delaware ANG has 1,100 members, and continually deploys personnel and subordinate units around the globe. This release is in the public domain, and any part may be used as written.

Delaware Air National Guard: Celebrating 65 years of Citizen-Airman service to our state and nation, 1946-2011

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