SALT LAKE CITY — About 120 Utah Air National guard airmen are deploying this week in support of Operations Inherent Resolve, Freedom's Sentinel and Spartan Shield.
The airmen are members of the 151st Air Refueling Wing and they'll "support aerial-refueling missions, which extends global reach and power, and significantly increases the lethality and sustainment of air power," a news release from the Utah National Guard states.
"Our Airmen are prepared to deploy and execute a mission of national, regional and global significance," said Col. Kurt Davis, commander of the 151st Air Refueling Wing, in the news release. "The year 2020 presented us with some unique and challenging circumstances to navigate through and prepare; however, our Airmen are ready to serve, and we are incredibly proud of their commitment."
Senior Airman Nathan Narra spoke with FOX 13 about what he's feeling as he prepares for the deployment.
“I have a five-year-old son, it’s just me and him, and that was the hardest part is letting him know that papa is going to be away for 60 days," Narra said. “I think the biggest thing is being positive going into this mission. It can be hard being separated by your family and loved ones, but overall I think everyone has a positive attitude and looking forward to taking care of business."
The Utah National Guard has also been helping the State of Utah in its COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts since January.