Maryland National Guard's 175th Wing Deploys
Posted: 9:47 am EDT March 30, 2012
Updated: 7:37 pm EDT March 30, 2012
BALTIMORE -- About 300 men and women in the Maryland National Guard's 175th Wing for operations and maintenance packed up overnight for a deployment to Afghanistan.
The group left from Warfield Air National Guard Base in Middle River early Friday morning and will arrive at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, where it will serve as ground support staff for the A-10 aircraft conducting combat operations there.
"I'm a little pumped up and a little afraid at the same time," said Staff Sgt. Ashley McFaul.
Deployment is never a routine, the guard members said. Master Sgt. Charles Bock is heading to his ninth deployment, leaving his four-legged pal, Katie, once again.
"She's been through all of them with me -- 12 years' worth. She's good. She's a trooper. She knows what to do, and somebody is going to take good care of her," he said.
McFaul's family said saying goodbye is never an easy task. She's heading out on her second deployment and as a third-generation staff sergeant.
"I'm still proud of her. She's trained for this moment. Now it's her time to go serve," Wayne McFaul said.
"I think everybody is familiar with what's going on and the events over there, and I think we're at a very critical juncture in the fight against al-Qaida. I think what you're going to see from this deployment is crucial in the ultimate success in the fight that's ongoing over there," said group Cmdr. Kevin Campbell.
The guard members will be deployed anywhere from 90 to 180 days.