Nearly 300 airmen in the Louisiana National Guard are deploying to Europe, and a farewell ceremony is being held in their honor on Saturday in New Orleans. Maj. Jesse Hasenkampf says they’re sending 270 airmen and 12 F-15 fighter jets to the European Command.
“We’re deploying there as what’s called a theater security package as part of the operation Atlantic Resolve, where the United States is really being there to demonstrate our commitment to our NATO allies and the commitment to peace and security in Europe,” Hasenkampf said.
Hasenkampf says demonstrating the United States’ commitment to NATO is a national priority. He says for LANG to be able to participate is an honor and a privilege. He says the airmen will participate in critical training missions during the 90 day deployment.
“When we arrive in theater, we will be participating in multinational air combat exercises where we will be building the partnership capability of our NATO allies,” Hasenkampf said.
Hasenkampf says the deployment ceremony will take place at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in New Orleans at 2pm. He says this is a chance for the airmen to bid farewell to their families and for LANG to honor their service.
“All the families and the deployers are going to come out, and it’s basically our way of honoring the sacrifice of the deployers, as well as the deployer’s family and let them know that we appreciate the work and the sacrifice that they’re doing in support of this mission,” Hasenkampf said.
Also Saturday, more than a dozen Airmen with the Louisiana National Guard will bid farewell to their families and friends at the Camp Beauregard Post Theater in Pineville at 8am.