Maine airmen depart for Middle East

Posted Nov. 09, 2011, at 6:24 p.m.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — A group of Maine airmen left the Pine Tree State for the Middle East on Wednesday afternoon, and Maine Adjutant Gen. John W. Libby was on hand to wish them well.

Meeting briefly with the airmen and their families at the South Portland Air National Guard Station before they departed from the Portland International Jetport, Libby stressed the importance of family support to the fight.

“Those airmen who are deploying have the easy job,” Libby said. “They will get up every day knowing exactly what is expected of them and they know they are trained and prepared to do it. It is the families they leave behind that have the hardest job … filling in for their missing airman.”

The airmen are members of the 243rd Engineering Installation Squadron, which has seen numerous deployments in the past month, with more than 41 total airmen deploying to countries including Kuwait, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.