F-16 fighters from the 169th Fighter Wing based at McEntire Joint AFB (image courtesy 169th fighter wing)
McEntire Joint AFB (AP) -- Members of the South Carolina Air National Guard are preparing for a deployment to Afghanistan.
Guard spokesman Maj. Jim Roth said Thursday about 500 members of the 169th Fighter Wing are deploying in the coming days. Roth says the exact time and date of the deployment is not being released for security reasons.
Roth says about a dozen of the F-16 fighter jets from the "Swamp Fox" unit at McEntire Joint National Guard Base near Eastover are deploying on the mission.
The unit expects to spend four months on duty. They provide air support for ground forces in Afghanistan.
Roth says the deployment is the largest since Operation Desert Storm in Iraq and is the fourth major deployment for its F-16 pilots since 2002.