Kentucky Air Guard deploys and welcomes home troops from Afghanistan

VHV

Story by Capt. Stephen Martin, Photos by Master Sgt. Phil Speck

Children of deployed Airmen from the 123rd Airlift Wing await their loved ones returning from Afghanistan Jan. 12, 2011

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Jan. 12, 2011) –The Kentucky Air National Guard deployed the 123rd Civil Engineers and brought home part of the 123rd Airlift Wing at the Kentucky  Air National Guard Base today.

After weather delayed the unit’s departure a day, 21 Airmen from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd CES departed Louisville on board a C-130 to join the rest of their unit deployed in Afghanistan. While in country, the civil engineers will conduct firefighting operations, emergency management and explosive ordnance disposal.

“I’m looking forward to the deployment,” said Staff Sgt. Josh Thompson, 123rd CES , “though I hate to be apart from my Family, it’s important what we’re doing over there.

Col. Greg Nelson, 123rd AW commander addressed the CES before it departed,

“I know you will represent us well. You all are trained and ready to accomplish this mission,” said Nelson. “Fight hard, fight as Kentuckians.”

Just after the civil engineers departed Louisville, 27 Airmen from the 123rd AW flew in on board C-130s. They were deployed nearly two months in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The Kentucky National Guard currently has more than 500 troops deployed worldwide. Nearly 14,000 troops have mobilized for the War on Terror since 2001.

For additional photos of the event, please visit: www.flickr.com/photos/kyngpao/

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