Images: 169th FW deploys to Afghanistan [Image 3 of 5]
Family and friends say goodbye to South Carolina Air National Guardsmen and active duty personnel from the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C., April 8, 2012. On this Easter Sunday, personnel are departing from McEntire for an air expeditionary force deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. More than a dozen South Carolina Air National Guard F-16 fighter jets and nearly 500 personnel (pilots, maintenance specialists and support staff) will deploy for about four months. Their mission will be to conduct close air support for coalition troops on the ground in Afghanistan.