NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (11/06/2013)-- More than 30 members of the New York Air National Guard return from service with the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing in Southwest Asia this week. The Airmen from the 107th Airlift Wing, based at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, return from their support missions transporting passengers and cargo across the U.S. Central Command area of operations.
WHO: More than 30 members of the New York Air National Guard's 107th Airlift Wing.
WHAT: Redeployment from overseas service.
WHEN: The return is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013. Members of the press must be at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station no later than 10:30 a.m. for access to the event.
WHERE: Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, Niagara Falls, New York, Lockport Road Gate
Interviews with Airmen redeployed from overseas and their family members. Imagery of family reunions.
The 107th Airlift Wing deployed a total of 130 personnel to Southwest Asia over two rotations the past four months.
The first aircraft to return, scheduled to arrive Thursday, will redeploy about 33 members to the wing and their families. More than 40 of the wing deployment's remaining members will return home this weekend.
A spotlight on three wing family members who served together overseas may be found on the 386th AEW website, http://www.386aew.afcent.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123368291
The 107th Airlift Wing
The New York Air National Guard's 107th Airlift Wing operates the C-130H2 Hercules cargo plane in partnership with the Air Force Reserve's 914th Airlift Wing. Since transition to the C-130 the men and women of the 107th have flown relief supplies to Haiti and dropped cargo by parachute to United States troops in Afghanistan.
The New York Air National Guard has had a presence at Niagara Falls Air Reserve station since 1946 when it was organized as the 107th Fighter Group flying P-47 Thunderbolt fighter-bombers like those used in World War II.
The 107th Fighter Group flew a number of different and more complex aircraft until 1994 as an integral part of the defense of American air space and then as a tactical fighter wing, ready to deploy overseas. During the Vietnam War part of the unit served in Vietnam in 1968-69. Captain Joseph L'Hullier of the 136th Tactical Fighter Squadron was killed in action. He was the first Air Guardsman to die in combat since World War II.
In 1994 the 107th took on the mission of flying KC-135 refueling aircraft, a mission it conducted-- deploying Airmen to the Middle East regularly. In 2008 the unit took on the new mission of tactical airlift.
As members of the Air National Guard, the Airmen of the 107th also respond regularly to emergencies and disasters here at home. During New York's response to Hurricane Sandy, 107th Airmen provided assistance to residents in New York City and flew vitally needed relief supplies.