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Back Letter to the Editor Largest group of Guam Air National Guard airmen deploying

Largest group of Guam Air National Guard airmen deploying

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RECENTLY, we said our goodbyes and wished God-speed to more than 100 of our Guam Air National Guard airmen, as they were preparing to leave for combat skills training, and eventually deploy to Afghanistan and other locations in the Southwest area of operations.

They were scheduled to depart on March 28 from Ft. Bliss, Texas, where they were conducting valuable combat skills training over the last few weeks.

This is the largest number of airmen assembled to deploy into a combat zone in the Guam Air National Guard’s history. A few of these airmen are veterans, having deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn and Operation Enduring Freedom at least once. Most are deploying for the first time.

A majority of the airmen belong to the 254th RED HORSE Squadron, several are from the 254th Force Support Squadron, and a few come from the newly established 254th Comptroller Flight.

On Valentine’s Day, we conducted a formal send-off ceremony, a tradition we hold dear for all of our units deploying into harm’s way. It was well-attended by many of our families, employers and other members of the island community. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for attending and showing your continued support for our airmen.

Moreover, I’d also like to extend our gratitude to our governor, all elected leaders, various employers of our airmen, senior commanders from our sister services, our Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve volunteers, the staff of the USO, and the Army Air Force Exchange Service for their invaluable assistance and encouragement to our deploying airmen and their families.

Certainly, deployments are very difficult. But this is a part of military life that we train for and prepare. More so, we also recognize that it is an even greater sacrifice for our families.

I want to assure the spouses, significant others, children, parents, and other family members of our deploying airmen, that should they need assistance, we have a robust rear detachment and Family Readiness Group structure that is prepared to respond to all requests for information and support.

As a significant part of our Guard family is away, protecting our liberties and our democratic way of life, we do continue to seek your valuable and veritable support, especially for our deployed airmen’s beloved families.

And here at home, we, your Guam National Guard, continue to work, train and prepare, as a ready, relevant and responsive force ... a great value for the island, and for the nation.

Maj. Gen. Benny M. Paulino,
Adjutant General,
Guam National Guard

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