Delaware Air Guard sends 60 Airmen aboard two C-130 aircraft to Germany for one month to support U.N. Balkans operations

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

Contact: Tech. Sgt. Benjamin Matwey
Public Affairs Specialist, 166th Airlift Wing
Cell 302-593-2126, or office 302-323-3369
Release No. 2007-04-003
April 16, 2007


NEW CASTLE - This morning 62 Airmen aboard two Delaware Air National Guard C-130 aircraft left New Castle Airport destined for Ramstein Air Base, Germany and the start of a month-long mission to support Operation Joint Forge, a contingency operation serving United Nations peacekeeping efforts in the Balkans, a region of southeastern Europe that includes Bosnia and Herzegovina.

High winds with gusts did not impede two C-130 aircraft takeoffs at 9:11 a.m. and 9:29 a.m.

The departing Airmen included 22 aircrew plus 40 maintenance and support personnel from the 166th Airlift Wing and the 142nd Airlift Squadron.

The mission is a scheduled deployment to relieve personnel currently serving as part of Operation Joint Forge. The Airmen serve under the U.S. European Command, or EUCOM.

The last mission began Feb. 5 of this year and ended five weeks later in March, but with just one aircraft and five aircrew involved. The Delaware ANG began supporting Operation Joint Forge in 1994, followed by deployments in 1997, 2000 and 2001.

As directed, aircraft in Operation Joint Forge fly from Ramstein Air Base on various missions to bases in Europe and the Balkan countries in support of American and NATO forces, transporting personnel, equipment, and supplies. Joint Forge aircraft have also been used to support humanitarian operations throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa due to natural disasters.

The Delaware ANG has 990 members, and continually deploys personnel and subordinate units around the globe. There are currently nearly 60 Airmen from various units deployed overseas in combat zones in Southwest Asia and at other locations around the world supporting Operations Iraq Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Today's departure of 62 Airmen will bring the number serving on overseas military operations to about 120 total Airmen from the Delaware ANG.

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

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