LOCAL Air National Guard unit participating in Operation 'Southern Watch'

Saturday, August 11th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Members of the Oklahoma Air National Guard 138th Fighter wing are preparing to leave for the Middle East. A small group called the ‘advanced party’ left Friday and a larger group will leave on Tuesday.

The 138th will be in Kuwait for about 30 days protecting the "no fly" zone in the southern part of Iraq. This is the unit's 5th deployment; the last 4 have been to the northern "no fly" zone.

Wing Commander Bud Wyatt says even though his unit has been there before; they can never become complacent about this type of mission. “It's nothing that they haven't trained for before. They're well prepared so there is a risk evolved but we're trained to meet that risk." Nearly 200 men and women will head out on Tuesday.

The first group isn't expected to return until mid-September.