AZ Aviation Guardsmen leave home for deployment to Kuwait

AZ Aviation Guardsmen leave home for deployment to Kuwait

The commander of F Company, 1st Battalion, 168th ATS delivers her remarks during their deployment ceremony Oct. 2 at Papago Park Military Reservation. The company will provide tactical air traffic control and ground control approach radar services in support of Operation Inherent Resolve for their year long deployment.

PHOENIX – Arizona National Guardsmen said goodbye to family and friends at farewell ceremonies in Marana Air Park and Papago Park Military Reservation Oct. 1 and 2 as they leave home for a deployments to the Middle East.

The 640th Aviation Support Battalion ceremony on Oct. 1 was held at the Army Aviation Support Facility #2 in Marana, Arizona, and the 168th Air Traffic Services Heavy sendoff was Oct. 2 at the Army Aviation Support Facility #1 in Phoenix.

 

The Soldiers trained for months to get to this point. Families and friends attending the 640th’s emotional ceremony watched on as balloons decorated the hangar and Patriot Guard Riders stood vigilantly holding American flags.

“We are really proud of him for serving his country,” said Laura Duncan, wife of Sgt. Benjamin Duncan, a member of the 640th, who is already planning how to stay in touch. “We’ve practiced our Skyping, just in case we have internet over there,” Sergeant Duncan said.

Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire, the Adjutant General of the Arizona National Guard, presided over the 168th’s ceremony, which featured remarks by Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and views of Camelback Mountain through open hangar doors.

“No single deployment is any less or more significant than another,” the governor said. “Each time a Guardsman is sent away, the impact on the mission, on his or her family, on our communities and on Arizona is just as great.”

The 168th is providing tactical air traffic control and ground control approach radar services in support of Operation Inherent Resolve for their yearlong deployment.

Both the 168th and the 640th continue the ongoing mission of the Arizona National Guard to Serve the citizens of Arizona and defend the country abroad when called upon, and the deployments illustrate the Arizona National Guard lives up to its motto:  always ready, always there.

Over 11,000 Arizona National Guardsmen have been called to federal active service since Sept. 11, 2001.