Vermont Air National Guard Deploys Overseas to Fight ISIS

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - It's a story Local 22 & Local 44 first broke. On Wednesday, several hundred Vermont Air National Guard members deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

While deployed, the airmen will fly combat missions to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIS.

“Due to evolving mission requirements in Iraq and Syria, and as forces rotate throughout the AOR, this squadron will provide precision air-to-ground attack capabilities to support operations against Da'esh in Iraq and Syria,” a news release stated on Thursday.

"Helping other countries fight for their freedom and they are going to play an important role in that and that is what the Vermont Air National Guard does and they will do their mission," explained Adjunct General Steven Cray on Wednesday.

Tara Maloney is an intelligence analyst, and learned of her deployment just a few weeks ago.

"Numerous phone calls back and forth, lots of email and 12 hour days, but it’s been enjoyable and that is what we signed up for so it is always positive," said Maloney.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger was on hand along with Vermont Governor-Elect Phil Scott, wishing the men and women well. Weinberger presented the unit with Burlington's flag.

"When you and the group return safely, we look forward to flying this in front of City Hall, along with the flag of the United States of America," said Weinberger, as he spoke before the unit.

Maloney says deployment is always tough, especially around the holidays.

"I have my Mom here and my family. They are disappointed that I am going, but they understand why as well as I talked to numerous others around the unit many of them have children and a lot of them are excited and their children understand and are like 'this is cool my mom or dad is going to support the country," said Maloney.

Maloney likes to look at it as spending the holiday with her extended family.

"Wherever you go the Vermont Air National Guard is known for going above and beyond the call of duty and our people are just wonderful, we really are a family," said Maloney.

The deployment is expected to last at least three months.

(This story was updated at 3:30 p.m. on December 8, 2016. It includes additional information about the Air Guard's mission, and where the group will go).


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