133rd AW launches C-130s and Airmen to Afghanistan

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Mark Moss
  • 133rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
During the previous week, the Minnesota National Guard's St. Paul-based 133rd Airlift Wing launched three C-130 H3 "Hercules" cargo aircraft carrying 98 airmen and cargo headed for Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan.

"Your citizen-airmen are ready to deploy at a moment's notice and I couldn't be prouder of them or more confident they will be successful during their deployments," said Col. Greg A. Haase, 133rd Airlift Wing Commander.

Currently, the Wing has a total of 157 airmen deployed throughout the world in support of contingency operations, said Maj. Ann M. Todd, 133rd Airlift Wing Executive Officer. The Wing is scheduled to deploy a total of 380 airmen during 2012 with the remaining airmen to deploy in waves throughout the rest of the year.

The 380 deployed and deploying Airmen include aircrew members, maintenance personnel, firefighters, engineers, communication, aeromedical and services specialists in addition to many others, said Todd.

The length of the deployments will range from two to six months, depending on the assignment and location, said Todd. This is the fifth, sixth or even seventh deployment to Southwest Asia for many 133rd Airlift Wing personnel.

The Wing's C-130 "Hercules" transport aircraft supports many military missions, including airdrop and airland delivery of critical supplies, equipment and personnel to remote airfields and to areas not easily reached by ground travel, said Todd. C-130s also provide aeromedical evacuation of wounded service members, where trained medical personnel provide timely, life-saving medical care while patients are transported to a medical facility.

In 2011, the St. Paul-based 133rd Airlift Wing deployed 528 airmen to 16 countries in support of U.S. operations worldwide, said Todd. Since 9/11 the 133rd Airlift Wing has deployed more than 5,700 airmen to 36 countries around the world in support of the Global War on Terror.

The 133rd Airlift Wing is comprised of approximately 1,200 men and women who serve in support of state and national needs, said Todd. "They are your "Citizens Serving America ~ Airmen Defending Freedom."