Earlier this month, the Vermont Air National Guard announced that it would be deploying members of the 158th Fighter Wing to Europe to support NATO.

The deployment is now scheduled for early May The Guard says this is a temporary deployment to “enhance NATO’s collective defense and support the NATO Air Policing mission.”

It is not clear how many Guard members will be deployed. These airmen operate the F-35-A Lightning 2 and the Guard says specific missioning and employment of those aircraft will be determined by NATO command and U.S.-Europe command.

Senator Patrick Leahy issued a statement earlier saying he and his wife Marcelle extend their prayers and well wishes to the members and their families.