Family, friends send off Air National Guard fighters in deployment ceremonyJun 26th, 2012 | By Terri Sercovich | Category: top story
The Louisiana Air National Guard’s 159th Fighter Wing was sent off by family, friends and government officials in a deployment ceremony June 21 at NAS-JRB in Belle Chasse.
The Air National Guard has not given a concrete figure on how long the troops will be gone, or a specific destination the troops will be patrolling, but a press release stated that “approximately 250 Airmen from the 159th FW, based in New Orleans, will deploy to Southwest Asia in support of Overseas Contingency Operations.”
This is the second time since the War on Terror began over a decade ago in which the Bayou Militia will send its F-15 Eagle fighters overseas for a mission.
Brigadier General Glenn H. Curtis, Adjutant General for the Louisiana, led the ceremony and assured family members that although it is hard to see their troops leave, there is a solid on-base support system ready to assist them.
“I want the family members to know that why your airmen are deployed, if you need anything let us know and we’ll certainly try to take care of it.”
Family members of troops are encouraged to take advantage of the resources provided by the Fleet & Family Support Center on base, which offers pre-deployment, Combat Deployment Readiness, Mid-Deployment, Return & Reunion, and Reintegration briefs to single, married military personnel and family members in a one-on-one, walk-in basis, or as a command brief.
Curtis assured family and friends in the crowd that their airmen were under the supervision of the “best leadership command team, I look forward to us having quite a party when they come home.”
Governor Bobby Jindal was on hand to wish the troops a safe journey and thanked them for their dedication to the safety and of freedom of the U.S.
“You are heros because only extraordinary men and women will sacrifice time with their friends and family to fight for the security of a nation and the freedom of the world,” Jindal stated.
Lt. Col. Jimmy Worley, Senior Officer in charge of the deploying personnel, concluded the ceremony with a rousing speech about pride and honor, reminded the troops that they are hegemons, or “someone or something that can control the actions of others just by existing.”
“In the bigger picture this trip is to exploit our status as hegemons,” Worley explained. “By our mere presence, hopefully we will not have to provide air superiority for America and it’s allies. Should that situation change however, we are ready.”
“There’s no doubt all over the world that when the U.S. puts a squadder in F-15′s, they’re making a statement and we mean business,” Worley stated proudly.