Kentucky Air National Guard Special Tactics Squadron returns home from Afghanistan

Staff report

Photos by 1st Lt. Mark Slaughter and Sr. Airman Maxwell Rechel, Kentucky National Guard

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Members of the Kentucky Air National Guard, 123rd Special Tactics Squadron, return home in Louisville, Ky., on May 5, 2012. The 123rd STS returned home to family members and loved ones after being gone for six months in Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Maxwell Rechel)

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A dozen members of Kentucky’s 123rd Special Tactics Squadron returned from their six month mission to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Monday.

Special Tactics Squadron team members are elite USAF special operations Airmen who operate on the ground, often alongside other Special Operation Forces such as Rangers, Special Forces and Navy SEALs. These teams may call in air strikes, marshal special ops aircraft, recover downed operators or collect mission critical weather data.

“My primary job was to provide air-to-ground support as a liaison for special operations Troops there on the ground,” said Tech. Sgt. Harley Bobay, 123rd Special Tactics Squadron. “We train constantly to do our missions. We’ll start training again in about a month.”

STS personnel are part of the Air Force Special Forces Command and have played a role in the majority of US special operations in recent times.

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Members of the Kentucky Air National Guard, 123rd Special Tactics Squadron, return home in Louisville, Ky., on May 5, 2012. The 123rd STS returned home to family members and loved ones after being gone for six months in Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Maxwell Rechel)

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Tech. Sgt. Harley Bobay with the Kentucky Air National Guard, 123rd Special Tactics Squadron, returns home in Louisville, Ky., on May 5, 2012. The 123rd STS returned home to family members and loved ones after being gone for six months in Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Maxwell Rechel)

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