Kentucky Guard aviation unit home from Afghanistan, Middle East

Story by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs

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Soldiers of Detachment 11, Operational Airlift Support Command are greeted by friends and family members during a welcome home ceremony at Capital City Airport in Frankfort, Ky., July 24, 2013. The unit deployed to the Middle East in October, 2012 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Family and friends honored the members of the Kentucky National Guard’s Detachment 11, Operational Support Airlift Command in a welcome home ceremony July 24 at Capital City Airport in Frankfort, Ky.

“I want everyone to know how successful these troops were, how well they represented the Kentucky National Guard and the great state of Kentucky,” said deputy adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Lonnie Culver, who was on hand to greet the unit as they stepped off the plane.

“These amazing Soldiers did some extraordinary things, the kinds of things the general public doesn’t know goes on behind the scenes in wartime,” said Culver.

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Chief Warrant Officer Justin Frye is greeted by friends and family members during a welcome home ceremony for Soldiers of Detachment 11, Operational Support Airlift Command in Frankfort, Ky., July 24, 2013. The six-man-unit flew more than 2,000 flight hours in the Middle East region in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott Raymond)

During its nine month deployment Detachment 11 flew the C-12 Huron fixed wing aircraft, moving thousands of personnel and a half million pounds of cargo around the Middle East. They also conducted more than 50 combat sorties in support of the coalition forces in Afghanistan.

To see more photos from the ceremony, click here.

Det. 11’s commander, Chief Warrant Officer Stephen Hunnicutt said he’s not a man of few words, but did not know what to say upon their return.

“This unit is small, but they did the job of many,” said Hunnicutt. “They actually doubled performance of any other group before them. They are a true testament of this organization.”

“The Kentucky Guard, no matter where you go, always stands out, above everyone else,” he said.  “And I am just thankful to be part of this organization.”

The unit mobilized in support of Operation Enduring Freedom on October 31, 2012 and operated with Army Guardsmen from Michigan and South Dakota during their mission.

Since 9/11, more than 16,000 Kentucky National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have mobilized in support of the Global War on Terror.

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