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Sixty Kentucky Air National Guardsmen return home safely after deployment to Persian Gulf

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

It was an especially happy Fourth of July 4 for the families of more than 60 Kentucky Air National Guard members who returned from their four-month Persian Gulf deployment on Wednesday.

Photos from Kentucky National Guard

The Airmen, who arrived aboard Kentucky Air Guard C-130 Hercules aircraft, had been working from an undisclosed air base, flying troops and cargo across the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility, which includes Afghanistan and the Middle East, where they have been supporting Operation Inherent Resolve.
The Louisville-based 123rd Airlift Wing began deploying its aircraft and Airmen to Southwest Asia last fall, activating roughly one-third of the wing’s troops to serve on tours ranging from two to six months.
Besides Wednesday’s returning Airmen, more than 100 members of the wing remain deployed worldwide, supporting a full spectrum of missions such as logistics, maintenance, human resources, security forces, public affairs, and finance. They are expected to return later this summer.

The Welcome Home Ceremony took place Wednesday afternoon at the Kentucky Air National Guard base located at 1101 Grade Lane, adjacent to Louisville International Airport.  
According to the Kentucky Air National Guard, the deployment marks the seventh time in the past 13 years that the Kentucky Air Guard has sent its aircraft, aircrews and maintenance personnel to support U.S. military operations in the U.S. Central Command Area of Responsibility.
The wing deployed aviation assets there in 2003, 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2012, operating from multiple undisclosed locations and Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan.
Since Sept. 11, 2001, the Kentucky Air National Guard has deployed Airmen to more than 40 countries worldwide, logging more than 400,000 days of service.

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