Leader Blues

Sunday, December 17, 2006

TOP STORY >>Our airmen will be home for holidays

By HEATHER HARTSELL
Leader staff writer

More than 130 airmen will return home Sunday from deployment in support of the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Returning airmen are from the 463rd Airlift Group and the 314th Airlift Wing. About 700 Little Rock airmen are deployed around the world. In January, 600 more airmen will deploy.

“We’re excited to have more than 130 airmen return home safely from deployment for the holiday season,” said Brig. Gen. Kip Self, 314 Airlift Wing commander.

“They’ve completed their mission with distinction and provided an invaluable service for their country. They are a reminder that Little Rock airmen are still serving in harm’s way over the holidays in support of the global war on terror and we ask the public to keep those airmen and their families in their thoughts and prayers,” Gen. Self added.

Many of the deployed airmen from the 463rd Airlift Group were involved in the C-130 mission, keeping dangerous convoys off the roads in Iraq and Afghanistan.

As of Tuesday, 4,455 trucks and buses were kept off the roads by Little Rock C-130 airlifters.

“The 463rd AG is extremely pleased to have our airmen return home and be able to spend the holiday season with their families,” said Col. John Gomez, 463rd Airlift Group commander.

“We also remember the thousands of men and women from every branch of service who remain in harm’s way,” Gomez added.