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Some members of the 167th Airlift Wing to be deployed to Iraq

July 24, 2008|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- More than two dozen members of the 167th Airlift Wing's security forces squadron of the West Virginia Air National Guard will be deployed to Iraq within the coming weeks, the wing's public information officer said Wednesday.

A contingent of 28 members is expected to depart Saturday about 3 a.m. from the wing's base south of Martinsburg for training at Eglin Air Force Base on the western coast of Florida, Capt. Melissa Shade said.

Some members then will go straight to Iraq while others will return home for a short period of time before deploying to the Middle East, Shade said.

"They'll be gone until March," Shade said.

Major Gen. Allen E. Tackett, the adjutant general of the West Virginia National Guard, along with Brigadier Gen. James Hoyer, director of the joint staff for the state's national guard, are scheduled to take part in a send-off luncheon today about 11 a.m., Shade said.

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Operation Mountaineer Pride, a support group that formed recently to assist the deployed personnel, also will be recognized, Shade said.

The support group is being sponsored by Charles Town, W.Va.-based Prudential Schultz Realty, and fundraisers and other events have been held to help the soon-to-be deployed Guard members, Shade said.

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