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January 19, 2013 06:41 PM

Ellsworth Airmen Deploying To Southwest Asia

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, sd

Some 350 airmen off walked off buses at the deployment center at South Dakota's Ellsworth Air Force Base Saturday as they prepared to board planes headed to Southwest Asia.

Air Force officials say the base also will be sending several B-1 bombers, equipment and supplies from the 28th Bomb Wing, 34th squadron, to provide ground troop air support, reconnaissance and fly weapons missions.

Lt. Col. Joseph Sheffield says his first deployment was in 2002 after 9/11 and he says the overall mission has evolved over time into maintaining stability.

Senior Airman Nery Bolano says it's her first time deploying and she's very excited and a little nervous.

Since 2007, the wing that flies B-1 bombers has had an average of 560 airmen deployed at any one time.

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