The Seventh Bomb Wing at Dyess Air Force Base is deploying a portion of its B-1 bomber fleet and around 350 airmen to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar.
The mission is in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the official name for the war in Afghanistan.
The deployment is part of a rotational program the base shares with Ellsworth AFB’s B-1s in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Deployments never get easier, especially for those leaving their families.
“I am going to miss her first steps, so I am kind of sad about that,” said Staff Sgt. Lamarcus Brown. His daughter, Aaliyah, is 10 months old.
Major Brandon Miller of the 7th Bomb Wing and Director of Operations for the 9th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron knows how tough it will be to leave his family.
“I have a 7-year-old and a 10-year-old; this is the first deployment they are going to remember,” said Miller. “Yesterday and today were pretty tough. You want to just rip the band-aid off and get going, get to what we have been training for.”
Miller knows his family will be in good hands while he is serving overseas.
“Team Dyess does a really good job taking care of our families while we are deployed,” Miller said. “We have got a great key spouse network at Dyess that takes care of our families while were gone. There are great programs for the kids to get involved in while we are gone. I think it is just good to keep them involved and we also have current technology like Skype and Facetime.”
Lt. Krystle Duckett is deploying for the second time, but this deployment has a different meaning.
“My husband is actually going with me, so I am extremely lucky. It is a really good experience for me, so it obviously makes it easier,” Duckett said.
Duckett said she is trying to be supportive to her B-1 family, which she calls her “other family.”
“It’s difficult seeing the guys being away from their families and children, but I try to just be there for them, you know, give them support when they are having rough days,” Duckett said.
Duckett said she is so thankful for the city of Abilene and said the community does so much for Dyess AFB.
The airmen will be gone for approximately six months.