148th Civil Engineers Depart for Afghanistan

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Mike Cole holds his daughter before saying goodbye as the first wave of Civil Engineers from the 148th Fighter Wing departs Duluth, Minn. Dec. 17th, 2009.  A large number of 148th Civil Engineers will deploy to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan for approximately six months in late 2009 and early 2010.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Mike Cole holds his daughter before saying goodbye as the first wave of Civil Engineers from the 148th Fighter Wing departs Duluth, Minn. Dec. 17th, 2009. A large number of 148th Civil Engineers will deploy to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan for approximately six months in late 2009 and early 2010.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Christa Wood hugs her son goodbye as the first wave of Civil Engineers from the 148th Fighter Wing departs Duluth, Minn.  Dec. 17th, 2009.  A large number of 148th Civil Engineers will deploy to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan for approximately six months in late 2009 and early 2010.

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Christa Wood hugs her son goodbye as the first wave of Civil Engineers from the 148th Fighter Wing departs Duluth, Minn. Dec. 17th, 2009. A large number of 148th Civil Engineers will deploy to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan for approximately six months in late 2009 and early 2010.

Members of the 148th Fighter Wing Air National Guard load a C-130 Hercules as part of the first wave of Civil Engineers from the wing to depart Duluth, Minn. Dec. 17th, 2009.  A large number of 148th Civil Engineers will deploy to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan for approximately six months in late 2009 and early 2010.

Members of the 148th Fighter Wing Air National Guard load a C-130 Hercules as part of the first wave of Civil Engineers from the wing to depart Duluth, Minn. Dec. 17th, 2009. A large number of 148th Civil Engineers will deploy to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan for approximately six months in late 2009 and early 2010.

A St. Paul based C-130 Hercules from the 133rd Air Wing awaits the arrival of members of the 148th Fighter Wing Air National Guard as they prepare to depart Duluth, Minn. Dec. 17th, 2009.  A large number of 148th Civil Engineers will deploy to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan for approximately six months in late 2009 and early 2010.

A St. Paul based C-130 Hercules from the 133rd Air Wing awaits the arrival of members of the 148th Fighter Wing Air National Guard as they prepare to depart Duluth, Minn. Dec. 17th, 2009. A large number of 148th Civil Engineers will deploy to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan for approximately six months in late 2009 and early 2010.

Members of the 148th Fighter Wing Air National Guard load a C-130 Hercules as part of the first wave of Civil Engineers from the wing to depart Duluth, Minn. Dec. 17th, 2009.  A large number of 148th Civil Engineers will deploy to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan for approximately six months in late 2009 and early 2010.

Members of the 148th Fighter Wing Air National Guard load a C-130 Hercules as part of the first wave of Civil Engineers from the wing to depart Duluth, Minn. Dec. 17th, 2009. A large number of 148th Civil Engineers will deploy to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan for approximately six months in late 2009 and early 2010.

DULUTH, Minn. -- Family and friends gathered on a chilly Duluth morning to say good-bye to the first wave of civil engineers who are departing for the 455th Air Expedition Wing at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan. The civil engineers will be deployed for approximately 6-months. They plan to build and repair roads and airfield surfaces as well as maintain buildings and provide utilities at Bagram Airfield.

Civil Engineering Squadron Commander, Lt. Col. Scott Chambers who will deploy within a few weeks said "It's been a tough morning. Exciting. Nerve-wracking. Emotionally draining; after a lot of planning and preparation we just launched a good portion of our Civil Engineering troops".

The 455th Air Expeditionary Wing at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan provides close air support, combat search rescue, aerial intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and airlift capabilities to U.S. and coalition forces supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. In conjunction with Combined Joint Task Force-82, the 455th AEW is working to secure the future of Afghanistan for the Afghan people. Bagram is located in the Parwan Province southeast of the city of Charikar and north of Kabul.