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JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska — Bringing an appropriate end to Veterans’ Day here, thirty-two men and women of the Alaska Air National Guard’s 176th Wing returned to their homes after a month-long deployment to Europe, Nov. 11-12.
The Guardsmen from the Wing’s 144th Airlift Squadron, along with support personnel from the Wing’s Maintenance Group and its Operations Support Squadron, were away from home supporting training operations at NATO’s Joint Multinational Training Center in Grafenwoehr, Germany. They also provided airdrop support to the U.S. Army’s 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team out of Aviano Air Base, Italy, as part of the 173rd ABCT’s Multinational Jumpmaster University and night qualification jumps.
“I couldn’t be more pleased,” said Maj. Michael Jordan, the mission’s commander of the deployed Guardsmen. “The weather didn’t always cooperate with what we wanted to do, but it was still a good training opportunity for our young crews — especially learning to fly in a foreign airspace and work with their liaison, and operate over a foreign drop zone with its different set of rules.”
The exercise culminated approximately eight months of planning on the part of the Alaska Air National Guard.
With more than 1,400 members, the Alaska Air National Guard’s 176th Wing is one of the nation’s largest and busiest Air Guard wings.