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Air Guard deploying for Operation Enduring Freedom

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- More than 70 Wyoming Air National Guard personnel were addressed by Gov. Dave Freudenthal and command staff Aug. 25, prior to the 153rd Airlift Wing's multiple departures for Operation Enduring Freedom in September.

In total, more than 200 Airmen will deploy in small groups and as individuals for 60-day deployments to Afghanistan and other locations. The Airmen will leave Wyoming in September and most will return to the state by December 1.

"Air Guard command decided to consolidate command's well wishes to our Airmen at one time to ensure the individuals deploying could hear my hopes for a safe and successful deployment, as well as hear from Gov. Freudenthal," said Maj. Gen. Ed Wright, Wyoming's adjutant general.

Wright also added, "Gov. Freudenthal has made attending military deployments and homecomings a priority in his eight years as commander-in-chief of the Wyoming National Guard, and his words of encouragement are important to our service members and their families. While the governor will continue to attend scheduled deployment ceremonies, the Aug. 25 consolidated ceremony was an attempt to make sure not even one Airman would deploy without having received the well-wishes of the governor and command staff."