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Airmen return from Afghanistan

A crowd of friends and family on the Minnesota Air National Guard base watches a C-130 "Hercules" perform a fly-by and then land at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport on July 11, 2010 after returning from a tour in Afghanistan. The military cargo aircraft and about twenty Airmen are the first in a series of returns during July for the 133rd Airlift Wing in 2010. USAF official photo by Senior Master Sgt. Mark Moss

A crowd of friends and family on the Minnesota Air National Guard base watches a C-130 "Hercules" perform a fly-by and then land at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport on July 11, 2010 after returning from a tour in Afghanistan. The military cargo aircraft and about twenty Airmen are the first in a series of returns during July for the 133rd Airlift Wing in 2010. USAF official photo by Senior Master Sgt. Mark Moss

At a few hundred feet above ground, a C-130 "Hercules" banks over a tree and a crowd of friends and family on the Minnesota Air National Guard base on July 11, 2010 in a fly-by after returning from a tour in Afghanistan. The military cargo aircraft and about twenty Airmen are the first in a series of returns during July for the 133rd Airlift Wing in 2010. USAF official photo by Senior Master Sgt. Mark Moss

At a few hundred feet above ground, a C-130 "Hercules" banks over a tree and a crowd of friends and family on the Minnesota Air National Guard base on July 11, 2010 in a fly-by after returning from a tour in Afghanistan. The military cargo aircraft and about twenty Airmen are the first in a series of returns during July for the 133rd Airlift Wing in 2010. USAF official photo by Senior Master Sgt. Mark Moss

A  C-130 "Hercules" taxis into position for recovery at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport on July 11, 2010 after returning from a tour in Afghanistan. The military cargo aircraft and about twenty Airmen are the first in a series of returns during July for the 133rd Airlift Wing in 2010. USAF official photo by Senior Master Sgt. Mark Moss

A C-130 "Hercules" taxis into position for recovery at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport on July 11, 2010 after returning from a tour in Afghanistan. The military cargo aircraft and about twenty Airmen are the first in a series of returns during July for the 133rd Airlift Wing in 2010. USAF official photo by Senior Master Sgt. Mark Moss

Friends and family wait for their returning Airmen to come out of a C-130 "Hercules" at the Minnesota Air National Guard base on July 11, 2010 as the members redeploy from Afghanistan. The military cargo aircraft and about twenty Airmen are the first in a series of returns during July for the 133rd Airlift Wing in 2010. USAF official photo by Senior Master Sgt. Mark Moss

Friends and family wait for their returning Airmen to come out of a C-130 "Hercules" at the Minnesota Air National Guard base on July 11, 2010 as the members redeploy from Afghanistan. The military cargo aircraft and about twenty Airmen are the first in a series of returns during July for the 133rd Airlift Wing in 2010. USAF official photo by Senior Master Sgt. Mark Moss

Friends and family excitedly greet Airmen disembarking from a C-130 "Hercules" at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport on July 11, 2010. The military cargo aircraft and about twenty Airmen are the first in a series of returns from Afghanistan during July for the 133rd Airlift Wing in 2010. USAF official photo by Senior Master Sgt. Mark Moss

Friends and family excitedly greet Airmen disembarking from a C-130 "Hercules" at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport on July 11, 2010. The military cargo aircraft and about twenty Airmen are the first in a series of returns from Afghanistan during July for the 133rd Airlift Wing in 2010. USAF official photo by Senior Master Sgt. Mark Moss

Friends and family excitedly greet Airmen disembarking from a C-130 "Hercules" at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport on July 11, 2010. The military cargo aircraft and about twenty Airmen are the first in a series of returns from Afghanistan during July for the 133rd Airlift Wing in 2010. USAF official photo by Senior Master Sgt. Mark Moss

Friends and family excitedly greet Airmen disembarking from a C-130 "Hercules" at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport on July 11, 2010. The military cargo aircraft and about twenty Airmen are the first in a series of returns from Afghanistan during July for the 133rd Airlift Wing in 2010. USAF official photo by Senior Master Sgt. Mark Moss

Friends and family excitedly greet Airmen disembarking from a C-130 "Hercules" at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport on July 11, 2010. The military cargo aircraft and about twenty Airmen are the first in a series of returns from Afghanistan during July for the 133rd Airlift Wing in 2010. USAF official photo by Senior Master Sgt. Mark Moss

Friends and family excitedly greet Airmen disembarking from a C-130 "Hercules" at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport on July 11, 2010. The military cargo aircraft and about twenty Airmen are the first in a series of returns from Afghanistan during July for the 133rd Airlift Wing in 2010. USAF official photo by Senior Master Sgt. Mark Moss

Friends and family excitedly greet Airmen disembarking from a C-130 "Hercules" at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport on July 11, 2010. The military cargo aircraft and about twenty Airmen are the first in a series of returns from Afghanistan during July for the 133rd Airlift Wing in 2010. USAF official photo by Senior Master Sgt. Mark Moss

Friends and family excitedly greet Airmen disembarking from a C-130 "Hercules" at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport on July 11, 2010. The military cargo aircraft and about twenty Airmen are the first in a series of returns from Afghanistan during July for the 133rd Airlift Wing in 2010. USAF official photo by Senior Master Sgt. Mark Moss

Friends and family excitedly greet Airmen disembarking from a C-130 "Hercules" at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport on July 11, 2010. The military cargo aircraft and about twenty Airmen are the first in a series of returns from Afghanistan during July for the 133rd Airlift Wing in 2010. USAF official photo by Senior Master Sgt. Mark Moss

Friends and family excitedly greet Airmen disembarking from a C-130 "Hercules" at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International airport on July 11, 2010. The military cargo aircraft and about twenty Airmen are the first in a series of returns from Afghanistan during July for the 133rd Airlift Wing in 2010. USAF official photo by Senior Master Sgt. Mark Moss

An Airman gets his blood drawn after returning from a combat zone as his family watches on July 11, 2010 at the St. Paul Air National Guard base. The military cargo aircraft and about twenty Airmen are the first in a series of returns from Afghanistan during July for the 133rd Airlift Wing in 2010. USAF official photo by Senior Master Sgt. Mark Moss
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An Airman gets his blood drawn after returning from a combat zone as his family watches on July 11, 2010 at the St. Paul Air National Guard base. The military cargo aircraft and about twenty Airmen are the first in a series of returns from Afghanistan during July for the 133rd Airlift Wing in 2010. USAF official photo by Senior Master Sgt. Mark Moss

St. Paul -- Twenty Airmen from the Minnesota Air National Guard's 133rd Airlift Wing returned to Minnesota Sunday, July 11, 2010 following a two-month deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

In addition, early Friday, July 9, 2010 the 133rd Airlift Wing deployed 30 members of their Security Forces Squadron to Iraq where they will be supporting Operation New Dawn for six months. On Wednesday, July 7, 2010 the Wing also launched a C-130 H3 "Hercules" cargo aircraft from the Minneapolis, St. Paul International Airport headed to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. This is the beginning of the second wave of deployments of Airmen and aircraft to Afghanistan this year.

Throughout the month of July, the 133rd Airlift Wing will deploy over 130 Airmen and four C-130 aircraft overseas while approximately 75 Airmen complete their missions and return home to their family and friends.

The over 350 Airmen deploying from the 133rd Airlift Wing during 2010 include aircrew members, maintenance personnel, security forces, chaplain staff and many others.

The C-130 "Hercules" supports many facets of the military mission, including airdrop and airland delivery of critical supplies, equipment and personnel to remote airfields and to areas not easily reached by ground travel. Another mission of the C-130 is aeromedical evacuation of wounded service members, where trained medical personnel provide timely, life-saving medical care while patients are transported via C-130 to a medical facility.

In 2009, 133rd Airlift Wing deployed more than 700 Airmen to 16 countries in support of U.S. operations worldwide. Since September 11, 2001, the Wing has deployed over 4,600 Airmen to locations around the world in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

The Twin Cities-based 133rd Airlift Wing is comprised of approximately 1,250 men and women who serve in support of state and national needs.