One overseas departure and ongoing homecomings for Delaware Air Guard Airmen

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A small group of Delaware Air National Guard Airmen has departed for a unique military mission to Afghanistan, and several homecomings are nearly complete for other Airmen who served in various locations in Southwest Asia and elsewhere in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

On February 6 a team of five Airmen from the 166th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Delaware Air Guard departed home to serve for six months in the 438th Air Expeditionary Wing at Kabul International Airport, Afghanistan. They will work alongside members of the Afghanistan Air Force to train our coalition partners how to maintain C-130 Hercules transport aircraft, the same aircraft operated by the Delaware Air Guard.

Late tonight and again on Sunday, the final few Airmen out of a total of 15 Airmen of the 142nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron return home after about six months' duty in Southwest Asia, Germany, and in the U.S.

A small group of 142nd AES Airmen will in-process at the New Castle ANG Base tomorrow morning, and then a final Airman will in-process Tuesday. Their fellow squadron members started returning home in January.

In late January, the largest and final group of two dozen Airmen of the 166th Civil Engineer Squadron returned home after serving for six months in the 386th Expeditionary Civil Engineer Squadron in Southwest Asia. They had left home in July, and performed skilled trades work at air base facilities to support contingency operations.

The 142nd AES Airmen left home last September and October to serve for four months overseas and stateside. They served at three overseas locations; Afghanistan, Germany and at an undisclosed location in Southwest Asia. The two U.S. locations were Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and Kelly AFB, San Antonio, Texas. The 142nd AES nurses, medical technicians and ground support personnel operate throughout the aeromedical evacuation system in Southwest Asia, Europe and here in the United States to bring home America's wounded troops aboard various aircraft and fulfill the unit's motto to provide "The Best Care in the Air."

"We are thrilled, as always, to see our Airmen return home safely," said Air Force Col. Mike Feeley, commander, 166th Airlift Wing. "They served with dedication and competency, whether maintaining infrastructure or taking care of those injured in combat operations. Their fellow unit members, their families and their community should be proud of their service.

"We are very proud to have five Airmen of our aircraft maintenance squadron undertake the unique and important mission to help train our Afghan allies to maintain their C-130 Hercules aircraft. They stepped up to the challenge in a combat zone, sharing their knowledge and practices to improve the Afghanistan Air Force."

438th Air Expeditionary Wing website:

438th AEW Mission: To train, advise, and assist our Afghan partners to develop a professional, capable, and sustainable Air Force.

A high-resolution photo of the 166th CES Airmen at their deployed location last month is available for download on, the public website of the 166th Airlift Wing, Delaware Air National Guard. Direct link to photo:

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

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