Members Support OEF and AEF Deployment
By Tech. Sgt Annete Kornasiewicz, 180th FW Public Affairs
/ Published October 08, 2008
November 2008 -- On October 5, 2008, the 180th Fighter Winger honored nearly 250 men and women for their upcoming service to this great nation in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Air Force Aerospace Expeditionary Forces deployment in a send-off ceremony here attended by nearly 500 of their friends and family.
The OEF mobilization will involve approximately 30 personnel from the 180th Security Forces Squadron that will deploy as the lead headquarters element in November, 2008 to the 64th Air Expeditionary Group in Saudi Arabia.
Approximately 220 180th FW personnel will provide aerial support to military operations in the Global War on Terrorism for the AEF rotation. These members will deploy to the Balad Air Base, 40 miles north of Baghdad, in the last weeks of October.
Several state and elected officials spoke at the send-off, including U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, U.S. Rep. Bob Latta and well as Ohio Senators Theresa Fedor and Mark Wagoner, and state Reps Peter Ujvagi and Barbara Sears. Maj. Gen. Harry W. Feucht Jr., Assistant Adjutant General for Air of the Ohio National Guard, and Col. Mark E. Bartman, Commander of the 180th FW, also honored our deploying servicemembers.
"For many of you, this is not your first, or even second deployment overseas," said Bartman. "It is that dedication to your country that makes me proud to be your commander."
Deploying members and their families were treated to lunch provided by Family Programs, and miniature golf provided by the USO of Northern Ohio. Master Sgt. Jeff Axe, Phase Maintenance Dock Chief, was grateful for the family activities following the ceremony, as he enjoyed time with his two young children.
"This has been great to have the kids have some fun," said Axe. "When they will be talking about the ceremony, they will be talking about how much fun they had here."