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27 more Airmen from Delaware Air Guard leave Dec. 30 and Jan. 1 to start four-month missions to Southwest Asia; part of 71 Airmen leaving over next 2-month span, raising total deployed forces to 175 Airmen

Release Number: 041207

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, Delaware Air National Guard
Cell 302-593-2126, or Office 302-323-3369
E-mail: Benjamin.Matwey@denewc.ang.af.mil
Release No. 2007-12-004 [corrected Release No.]
December 28, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW CASTLE - 27 Airmen from the Delaware Air National Guard's 166th Civil Engineer Squadron leave for Southwest Asia from Dec. 30 to Jan. 1 to support Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Airmen are spending part of the holidays with their families before they leave, but start the New Year in foreign lands.

On Sunday Dec. 30, 11 Airmen depart the air base in New Castle. News media wishing to cover this departure must be on base between NOON and 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 30.

On Tuesday, Jan. 1, another 16 Airmen leave New Castle on New Year's Day. News media wishing to cover this departure must be on base between 7:00-8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 1.

The Dec. 30 and Jan. 1 departures are open to news media, but not to the general public. Photographs and interviews with Airmen and a modest number of family members are permitted where possible. Media must present driver's license, and proof of vehicle registration. CALL AHEAD TO PUBLIC AFFAIRS IF ATTENDING at cell number 302-593-2126. Address: 2600 Spruance Drive, New Castle, DE 19720.

The large majority of the 27 Airmen will perform air base support activities in Kuwait using the core skill sets of the civil engineers, along with two CE firefighters.

Three explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) specialists, who neutralize unexploded ordinance and improvised explosive devices, will deploy to Kandahar, Afghanistan later in January.

From Jan. 5 to mid-Jan., another 16 Airmen from the 166th Civil Engineer Squadron will deploy to Southwest Asia, for a total of 43 Airmen leaving from that unit. Return dates for 40 of those Airmen is May 2008, and the three Airmen who are EOD specialists return home June 2008.

From Jan. 5 to Feb. 27, an additional group of 28 Airmen from the 166th Communications Flight, the 166th Aerial Port Flight, the 166th Services Flight, and the 166th Logistics Readiness Squadron will deploy overseas to blend into Expeditionary Air Force units to perform their specialty skills.

Airmen depart New Castle, Delaware via ground transportation and take commercial flights under military contract to their final destinations overseas.

"There is an ongoing need for a variety of our skilled civil engineers and Airmen from several other support units to help sustain combat operations overseas," said Col. Jonathan Groff, 166th Airlift Wing Commander. "For 15 years our civil engineers have conducted short training periods in Southwest Asia, and recently have served closer to home along the U.S. Southwest Border. The Airmen are prepared and ready to go on these new, longer missions that are part of the Air Force Aerospace Expeditionary Force deployments that active duty, reserve and guard units support on a rotational basis every 20 months."

60 additional Delaware Air Guard Airmen, a combination of aircrew and maintenance personnel, departed New Castle aboard unit C-130 aircraft on Dec. 26 and again today, Dec. 28, and are currently en route to Bagram, Afghanistan to begin a four-month long mission.

The unit also has about 30 additional Airmen from the 166th Security Forces Squadron deployed to another combat region in Southwest Asia performing a six-month mission that began Oct., 2007.

These deployments will bring the total number of Airmen from the Delaware Air National Guard deployed overseas to Southwest Asia for the first few months of 2008 to about 175 Airmen out of the 1,100 member unit when combined with smaller numbers of Airmen currently overseas, or soon to depart.

Directions: From Wilmington take I-95 South to Exit 5A for New Castle, the exit immediately after Exit 5B for Newport. At this point you are only a couple of minutes from the base entrance. You will merge onto Basin Road; at second traffic light turn Right on Commons Boulevard; move into Left lane (just past FedEx building) and take first Left, crossing over Commons Boulevard at the sign for U.S. Air Force, Delaware Air National Guard. IMPORTANT: There is a NEW entrance. You must now do a U-turn on Commons Boulevard, and drive about 200 yards heading back towards Basin Road, and then make the first right onto the new road to the air base security gate (this new road is unmarked, but it still 2600 Spruance Drive, New Castle, DE 19720).

The Delaware Air National Guard is a reserve component of the U.S. Air Force with 1,100 positions under Command of the Governor of Delaware, or the President of the United States when mobilized. The Delaware ANG has been serving Delaware and the United States of America since 1946.

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

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