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Utah Fighter Wing Departs For Gulf

Utah Fighter Wing Departs For Gulf

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News Specialist Sandra Yi reporting More than 100 reservists from the 419th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base left for Iraq this afternoon. It was an emotional day for them and their families.

This isn't the first time these reservists have been deployed. In fact, many have served missions in the Middle East before. But their families say they're more nervous this time because of the threat of war.

We want to point out that military policy does not allow us to give last names for the protection of family members.

Reservists from the 419th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base will patrol the no-fly zone over southern Iraq.

One F-16 pilot says war is in the back of his mind.

"Yes, it could get quite dangerous. It could get a little sporty, as we say, but we're hoping for the diplomatic solution and maybe that won't happen," Jake says.

Still, this woman had an emotional farewell with her husband earlier today. He's an F-16 engine specialist. She says it's harder to say goodbye when war is imminent.

"I love him very much and it gets lonely. It's hard having him gone, but I know what he's doing is right," Diane says.

Wing members say they've been training hard for this mission for a couple of years. They say they're just doing their jobs. But family members call them heroes.

"These men and women are gone and they're up to sacrifice, if needed, their lives for the cause of freedom, not just for the U.S. but for everyone in the world," says Rachael, whose father is a member of the 419th Fighter Wing.

"I'm nervous about it, but it's for a good cause. Freedom is always a good cause," she says.

Reservists from the 419th Fighter Wing will be gone for about 30 days. But they're prepared to stay longer if war breaks out.

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