About 100 members of the 911th Airlift Wing began the first phase of their four-month deployment Thursday.
Family and friends gathered at the wing in Coraopolis Thursday morning to say goodbye to the local troops preparing to head overseas.
“I’m a little bit nervous, but we’re well prepared for this,” Capt. Bill Fedorka said. “It’s nice to have my family here, but it’s always a challenge to be gone and deployed.”
The deployment supports an Air Expeditionary Force rotation consisting primarily of operations and maintenance personnel as well as several of the unit's C-130 aircraft.
“My wife dropped me off this morning. It’s easier that way, but I know I have a lot of support,” Capt. David Kunca said.
The unit will support operations within the U.S. Central Command area of operations and are expected to deliver supplies and equipment, as well as U.S. and coalition forces, in and out of areas such as the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa.
Lt. Col. Chuck Sergeant, who has a wife and two boys, said it’s nice to be able to talk to family members while he’s away.
“Seeing them on Skype is a huge advantage that we didn’t have in the past. We can constantly be in contact,” Sergeant said.
The deployment process will take several days and ends Tuesday.