F-16 fighters from the 169th Fighter Wing based at McEntire Joint AFB (image courtesy 169th fighter wing)
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. (AP) - About 100 members of the South Carolina Air National Guard's 169th Fighter Wing are on their way to Afghanistan.
Guard spokesman Maj. Jim Roth says the group left Thursday night from the McEntire Joint National Guard Base near Eastover.
Wing commander Col. Mike Hudson said, "Deployments of this size and duration aren't possible without the support of our families, our civilian employers and the community in general. Their support allows our deployed Swamp Foxes to focus confidently on the mission at hand. We're proud to represent South Carolina on the front lines of the ongoing war against terror."
It's the second wave of personnel from the wing to be deployed on the current Afghan mission, joining the 400 pilots, maintenance specialists and other support staff who left McEntire in April.
The men and women in the unit and its dozen F-16 fighter jets are providing air support for ground units in Afghanistan.
The mission marks the wing's largest deployment since Operation Desert Storm and its fourth major deployment since 2002.