Approximately 100 members of the Ohio Air National Guard’s 179th Airlift Wing (AW) departed today for a near four-month deployment to the Middle East in support of Operation New Dawn.
A majority of the members are from the 164th Airlift Squadron and will be flying C-130H aircraft as part of intra-theater operations.
The Ohio unit is joining with active duty troops and members of the Alaska National Guard. This deployment is particularly significant for the participating units in the fact that Alaska Air National Guard will be the lead unit in a combined group and that the mission completed by predominantly traditional guardsmen.
The primary mission for the 179th AW will be to assist with the transferring equipment, supplies and personnel throughout the area.
“It’s a tactical airlift and airdrop mission,” 179th AW Commander, Col. Gary McCue said. “We will be assisting with the movement of cargo and personnel throughout the region. We’re prepared to support the fight wherever it takes
The members of the 179th AW spent the last several years working to change from C-27J to the C-130H aircraft and recently exited the conversion process to be able to deploy.
“We’re very proud to be back in the fight,”McCue said. “We’ve worked hard during our conversion period and now that we’re past that, our folks are ready.”
The members of the 179th AW accomplished major milestones to be ready to deploy and accomplished training requirements necessary to successfully complete this mission. Before leaving, attitudes were enthusiastic and
members were excited to serve.