Nine firefighters from Delaware Air National Guard arrive at New Castle air base this morning May 20 to out-process after four-month mission in Kuwait

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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, Delaware Air National Guard
Cell 302-593-2126, or Office 302-323-3369
Release No. 2008-05-004
May 20, 2008


NEW CASTLE - This morning at 9:00 a.m. nine firefighters from the Delaware Air National Guard's 166th Civil Engineer Squadron will arrive on base at New Castle County Airport for out-processing after a four-month mission operating at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

The nine Airmen arrived home before sunrise Monday morning May 19 at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, and were transported overland to the New Castle air base to meet families and loved ones at 7:00 a.m. Getting a ride home via commercial airlift from Kuwait was not confirmed until Saturday May 17, making a media announcement difficult.

Interested media are invited to this morning's simple out-processing at 9:00 a.m., which should take no more than two hours. Airmen have already reunited with their families and loved ones. The Airmen get a couple weeks of well-earned leave.

The return of these nine Airmen means that 40 of the civil engineer squadron's 43 Airmen deployed overseas this year will have completed their tour of duty.

"We are very proud of the service of these Airmen," said Lt. Col. Michael Castaldi, 166th Civil Engineer Squadron Commander. "The Airmen will reunite with their families and loved ones, and reintegrate back into the local community. It is also fitting that the troops will arrive home shortly before Memorial Day on May 26."

On May 13 there were 9 other unit Airmen who came home, and on May 6, another 22 Airmen from the unit came home.

In late July the final three squadron members, all explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) specialists who neutralize unexploded ordinance and improvised explosive devices, return home from Kandahar, Afghanistan a six month tour.

All of these missions are part of the Delaware Air National Guard's support of Air Force Aerospace Expeditionary Force deployments of at least 120-days that active duty, reserve and guard units support on a rotational basis every 20 months.

The homecomings 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.

Directions: From Wilmington take I-95 South to Exit 5A for New Castle, immediately after Exit 5B for Newport. At this point you are only minutes from the base. 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. Follow signs for U.S. Air Force, Delaware Air National Guard. Address: 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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