Delaware Air Guard sends C-130 aircraft and aircrew to Germany for five weeks to support U.N. operations in the Balkans; more aircraft and Airmen to go overseas in April

  • Published
  • By 010207
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. 2007-02-001
February 6, 2007


NEW CASTLE - Yesterday, Feb. 5, a Delaware Air National Guard C-130 aircraft with a five-person aircrew left New Castle Airport destined for Ramstein Air Base, Germany and the start of a five week 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.

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

In mid-April to mid-May 2007 the unit will send two more aircraft plus three aircrews and about 10 additional Airmen, for a total of about 25 people, for a second month supporting Joint Forge. Airmen departing in April are comprised of aircrew plus maintenance and support personnel from the 166th Airlift Wing and the 142nd Airlift Squadron.

The Delaware Air National Guard began supporting Operation Joint Forge in 1994, followed by deployments in 1997 and 2000. The most recent mission was from March to June 2001.

Aircraft fly from Ramstein Air Base to all the Balkan countries in support of American and NATO forces as well as flying throughout Europe, depending on mission requirements, transporting personnel, equipment, and supplies to any location as needed. In addition to supporting operations in the Balkans, Joint Forge aircraft have been used to support humanitarian operations throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa due to natural disasters. From time to time, aircraft from Joint Forge have also supported NASA space shuttle recovery operations.

The Delaware Air Guard continually deploys personnel and units around the globe, and has about 50 Airmen from various units deployed overseas in combat zones in Southwest Asia supporting Operations Iraq Freedom and Enduring Freedom.

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

-- 30 --