On Saturday, August 29 the Delaware Air National Guard will see off about 30 Airmen from the 166th Airlift Wing in New Castle as they depart on one of the unit’s C-130 aircraft to Afghanistan. Saturday marks the first of what will be multiple deployments, as the unit provides an aircraft and 65 crew and support staff to the theater over six months.


On Saturday, August 29 the Delaware Air National Guard will see off about 30 Airmen from the 166th Airlift Wing in New Castle as they depart on one of the unit’s C-130 aircraft to Afghanistan. Saturday marks the first of what will be multiple deployments, as the unit provides an aircraft and 65 crew and support staff to the theater over six months. In all, a few hundred Delaware Citizen-Airmen will rotate through.  

"This is not the first deployment by far for most, if not all, of these Airmen and women," said Maj. Gen. Frank Vavala, Adjutant General of the Delaware National Guard, in a press release Friday. “We know it is a sacrifice for them and for their families, and for their employers, while they’re away. It’s this sacrifice that keeps America safe. It’s important that we are all here to support them and show our gratitude each and every time they leave.”
 
This is the 22nd rotation of deployments for the 166th in support of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom since 2003.
 
The C-130 is an important aircraft in the war effort in the theater, said Brig. Gen. Hugh Broomall, Deputy Adjutant General. It provides airlift capability, moving people and equipment.  “Quite frankly, they can’t do it without the C-130. And the Air Force can’t do it without the expert men and women and the aircraft from the Air National Guard.”

He says there is no one that can do the job better. “The pilots, crew, and maintainers –the folks who keep the plane running—from the 166th have flown tens of thousands of hours without accident. I may be biased, but I think they are the best in the business.”