138th Fighter Wing Headed To Iraq

Wednesday, June 27th 2007, 10:28 am
By: News On 6

More than 200 members of Tulsa's 138th Fighter Wing are headed to Iraq. The Airmen and their families met for a big farewell Wednesday morning on base. This deployment is going to be a bit different for one Tulsa couple. The News On 6’s Heather Lewin reports instead of saying goodbye, they're going to Iraq together.

“The big thing about this mission is it's the first time we'll actually be operating in theatre, in Iraq,” said Col Brewster Butters.

As the Air Guard did the final check on bags and supplies, family members gathered to send them off. While this two-month deployment is relatively short for this unit, they know this time there's even more danger.

“The increased threat and the hostility, it's the first time they're going to be involved in that type of situation,” Butters said.

And also for the first time Sergeants Johnna and Steve Troglin will be facing it together. Married in the military for 10 years, this is their first joint deployment.

“It's kinda nice. We'll be in the same country instead of being in two different countries and not knowing what's going on,” said Johnna Troglin.

“I think it's kind of a trade off, I mean, I worry about her more that we're gonna be over there because she's in danger now too, but I worry about her less because it's just as dangerous on 169 as it is over there,” said Steve Troglin.

The unit's mission is to fly air combat in support of Army troops on the ground. Twelve of Tulsa's F16s are already in place.

The Troglins don't have their final orders yet, but they will be in the same general area.

“At least I can see her, hopefully have dinner or something like that once in awhile, maybe we'll be on the same shift and get to see each other,” Steve Troglin said.

Something they're grateful for, seeing the tears, hugs and kisses of other loved ones forced to separate.

“It's hard to leave family as always, but it's nice to not have to say goodbye this time to each other,” Johnna Troglin said.

The 138th will relieve a unit from Toledo, Ohio. The group's been training for this mission for six months, but now they'll be doing it in 119 degree heat.

Watch the video: Local Air Guard Leaves For Iraq
Related stories:

6/20/2007 - Oklahoma National Guard Jet Crashes In Iraq

5/31/2007 - Lack Of Funding Causing Problems For Local Air National Guard