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AIRMEN FROM THE 133RD AIRLIFT WING RETURN FROM AFGHANISTAN

Captain Tom Hoffer, a C-130 navigator with the 109th Airlift Squadron, gets a big hug from his dad as he steps off the aircraft returning from Afghanistan on Oct. 22, 2008.

Captain Tom Hoffer, a C-130 navigator with the 109th Airlift Squadron, gets a big hug from his dad as he steps off the aircraft returning from Afghanistan on Oct. 22, 2008.

10/22/2008 - St. Paul, Minn -- About twenty-five air crew members, aircraft maintenance specialists, and others from the 133rd Airlift Wing returned from duty in Afghanistan, flying a C-130H "Hercules" cargo aircraft, on October 22, 2008 at the Air National Guard base at the Minneapolis, St. Paul International Airport. It was the second aircraft to rotate back from Afghanistan recently; another C-130 with about 30 Airmen returned on October 17.
Since late summer and continuing into early 2009, the Minnesota Air National Guard unit is deploying over three hundred men and women into the Middle East, mostly to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. Airmen are on tours ranging up to six months with the C-130s flying tactical air support missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Throughout this deployment period, the Wing is sending personnel and aircraft on a rotational basis in order to maintain cargo and troop movement capabilities within the combat zone.
While the majority of deployed Wing personnel are in Afghanistan, others in professions such as security forces, fire fighting, aeromedical evacuation, logistics and more are serving in several other countries within the U. S. military's Central Command area of responsibility.
Many of these men and women are serving on second, third and even more deployments. Since the Global War on Terrorism began in 2001, the 133rd Airlift Wing has deployed over 4,000 personnel to over eighteen countries.