by Airman 1st Class Jarrod Grammel
23d Wing Public Affairs
5/1/2012 - MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- On April 22, couples embraced and parents played with their children one last time while waiting to board an aircraft bound for Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea.
Approximately 250 pilots, maintenance and other support personnel deployed to support A-10C Thunderbolt IIs. The 75th Fighter Squadron trains to provide close air support, forward air control and personnel recovery capabilities, enabling the U.S. Pacific Command commander to carry out his mission in a time of war. The team of Airmen is deployed as an expeditionary force for approximately six months.
However, for the Airmen on the flightline waiting to leave, many had mixed feelings. The excitement of seeing a new part of the world was balanced with leaving their loved ones behind.
"I'm excited to travel and get the opportunity to experience other cultures," said Staff Sgt. Brandon Hill, 23d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron electrical and environmental craftsman. "It hurts to be leaving my home. I know it will be hard at first but I will be looking forward to getting back home."
Airman 1st Class Kody Fields, 23d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron A-10 crew chief, had similar feelings. This will be his first deployment, and he will be leaving behind his wife, Amy, and son, Titus.
"It is bittersweet," said Fields. "I'm glad to get out there to complete the mission and do my family name proud. But it's going to be hard not coming home to my family at night. "It is exciting to go out there and do what I'm trained to do," he added. "This is what I joined for. It is an excellent opportunity to get out there and get some real experience."
For these professionals, the mission of providing air power stays the same, only the place has changed.
As the hours passed and the sun went down, the Airmen said their final goodbyes and as they boarded a plane, they took their last step on Moody until their return in six months.