PEORIA, IL (01/23/2012)(readMedia)-- Members of the Illinois Air National Guard's 182nd Airlift Wing in Peoria are scheduled to return home Monday after serving in Operation Enduring Freedom since early November 2011. Approximately 90 members of the 182nd Airlift Wing were activated in early November and deployed with three C-130 aircraft to Afghanistan. Around 20 of the members will be returning Monday evening to the Airlift Wing. Most of the returning members are aircrew who have been flying C-130 missions within the Afghanistan Theater of Operations. Approximately 70 members and three C-130's still remain deployed and are scheduled to return in the spring.
The 182nd Airlift Wing flies the C-130 aircraft which is primarily used to transport cargo, personnel and aeromedical evacuees. Since Sept. 11, 2001 the 182nd Airlift Wing has deployed more than 1,500 members to support operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. Many of the wing's members have deployed numerous times. The wing has flown more than 12,500 hours in direct support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom and tactical air controllers have controlled over 15,000 close air support sorties, many in support of "Troops in Contact." Additionally, the wing houses various mission support units that have provided base operating support, supply chain logistics, combat air support control and combat communications while deployed. This deployment cycle is one of many in the wing's history of supporting Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.The members are expected to return at between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m., Monday, January 23, to the 182nd Airlift Wing located in Peoria.