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Base, community bids farewell to deployers

Dobbins Air Reserve Base leadership salute a U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules as it takes off for a deployment from Dobbins ARB, Ga., Jan. 8, 2015, Ga. More than 150 members from the 94th Airlift Wing deployed to support the Central Command Area of Responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

Dobbins Air Reserve Base leadership salute a U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules as it takes off for a deployment from Dobbins ARB, Ga., Jan. 8, 2015, Ga. More than 150 members from the 94th Airlift Wing deployed to support the Central Command Area of Responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

Team Dobbins members wait for lunch to be served during a deployment ceremony Jan. 8, 2015 at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. More than 150 members from the 94th Airlift Wing deployed to support the Central Command Area of Responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

Team Dobbins members wait for lunch to be served during a deployment ceremony Jan. 8, 2015 at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. More than 150 members from the 94th Airlift Wing deployed to support the Central Command Area of Responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

After all four engines have started Stan Eval Loadmaster, Senior Master Sgt. Bill Hutchinson says goodbye to his family, observing from the fence line, as the 94th Airlift Wing Hercules is nearly ready to deploy to Southwest Asia, Jan. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

After all four engines have started Stan Eval Loadmaster, Senior Master Sgt. Bill Hutchinson says goodbye to his family, observing from the fence line, as the 94th Airlift Wing Hercules is nearly ready to deploy to Southwest Asia, Jan. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

A U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules takes off from Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. for a deployment Jan. 8, 2015. More than 150 members from the 94th Airlift Wing deployed to support the Central Command Area of Responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

A U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules takes off from Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. for a deployment Jan. 8, 2015. More than 150 members from the 94th Airlift Wing deployed to support the Central Command Area of Responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

Stan Eval Loadmaster, Senior Master Sgt. Bill Hutchinson, monitors engines start of the 94th Airlift Wing Hercules for deployment to Southwest Asia, Jan. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

Stan Eval Loadmaster, Senior Master Sgt. Bill Hutchinson, monitors engines start of the 94th Airlift Wing Hercules for deployment to Southwest Asia, Jan. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

C-130H crew chief Senior Airman David Yancey stands by prior to engines start of the 94th Airlift Wing Hercules as it is being prepared for deployment to Southwest Asia, Jan. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

C-130H crew chief Senior Airman David Yancey stands by prior to engines start of the 94th Airlift Wing Hercules as it is being prepared for deployment to Southwest Asia, Jan. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

Deploying members of the 94th Airlift Wing bring their personal bags to the back of the C-130H for loading prior to takeoff for their Southwest Asia deployment, Jan. 5, 2015 at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

Deploying members of the 94th Airlift Wing bring their personal bags to the back of the C-130H for loading prior to takeoff for their Southwest Asia deployment, Jan. 5, 2015 at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

Deploying members of the 94th Airlift Wing make adjustments to the final cargo pallet's location on the loading ramp in preparation for their Southwest Asia deployment, Jan. 5, 2015 at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

Deploying members of the 94th Airlift Wing make adjustments to the final cargo pallet's location on the loading ramp in preparation for their Southwest Asia deployment, Jan. 5, 2015 at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

The 94th Airlift Wing C-130H3 beats the moisture out of the air as it accelerates down the Dobbins runway on its way to Southwest Asia; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

The 94th Airlift Wing C-130H3 beats the moisture out of the air as it accelerates down the Dobbins runway on its way to Southwest Asia; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

The view Don Peek, 94th Airlift Wing photographer, captures as crew chief, Senior Airman David Yancey salutes the aircrew as they take his aircraft to Southwest Asia; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Don Peek)
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The view Don Peek, 94th Airlift Wing photographer, captures as crew chief, Senior Airman David Yancey salutes the aircrew as they take his aircraft to Southwest Asia; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Don Peek)

C-130H Crew Chief Senior Airman David Yancey ensures the forward doorway is closed as the 94th Airlift Wing Hercules is nearly ready to deploy to Southwest Asia, Jan. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)
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C-130H Crew Chief Senior Airman David Yancey ensures the forward doorway is closed as the 94th Airlift Wing Hercules is nearly ready to deploy to Southwest Asia, Jan. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

Don Peek, 94th Airlift Wing photographer, captures crew chief, Senior Airman David Yancey saluting the aircrew as they take his aircraft to Southwest Asia; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)
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Don Peek, 94th Airlift Wing photographer, captures crew chief, Senior Airman David Yancey saluting the aircrew as they take his aircraft to Southwest Asia; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

Dobbins Air Reserve Base leadership salutes the aircrew as the 94th Airlift Wing Hercules begins to taxi out for takeoff to Southwest Asia, Jan. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)
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Dobbins Air Reserve Base leadership salutes the aircrew as the 94th Airlift Wing Hercules begins to taxi out for takeoff to Southwest Asia, Jan. 5, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

94th Maintenance Group personnel receive an early morning briefing in preparation for their up-coming Southwest Asia deployment, Jan. 2, 2015 at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)
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94th Maintenance Group personnel receive an early morning briefing in preparation for their up-coming Southwest Asia deployment, Jan. 2, 2015 at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

Master Sgt. Francis Hill adds his mobility bags to the growing line-up of deployment baggage being gathered from members of the 94th Airlift Wing in preparation for their up-coming Southwest Asia deployment, Jan. 2, 2015 at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)
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Master Sgt. Francis Hill adds his mobility bags to the growing line-up of deployment baggage being gathered from members of the 94th Airlift Wing in preparation for their up-coming Southwest Asia deployment, Jan. 2, 2015 at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

Lt. Col. Michele Fletcher briefs 94th Maintenance Group personnel at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., on medical issues they may encounter while deployed to Southwest Asia, Jan. 2, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)
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Lt. Col. Michele Fletcher briefs 94th Maintenance Group personnel at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., on medical issues they may encounter while deployed to Southwest Asia, Jan. 2, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

Col. Brett Clark, commander 94th Airlift Wing, addresses members of the wing prior to their deployment to Southwest Asia; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 2, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)
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Col. Brett Clark, commander 94th Airlift Wing, addresses members of the wing prior to their deployment to Southwest Asia; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 2, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

Maj. Sylena Hill reviews immunization records of deploying personnel to ensure all information is correct and shots are up to date for their deployment to Southwest Asia; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 2, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)
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Maj. Sylena Hill reviews immunization records of deploying personnel to ensure all information is correct and shots are up to date for their deployment to Southwest Asia; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 2, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

Maj. Sylena Hill "brings the pain" to a deploying 94th Airlift Wing member to ensure they have all required immunizations for their deployment to Southwest Asia; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 2, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)
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Maj. Sylena Hill "brings the pain" to a deploying 94th Airlift Wing member to ensure they have all required immunizations for their deployment to Southwest Asia; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 2, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

Staff Sgt. Andretti Willis reviews his mobility folder with Tech. Sgt. Alan McKibben, to ensure all information is correct and up to date for his deployment to Southwest Asia; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 2, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)
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Staff Sgt. Andretti Willis reviews his mobility folder with Tech. Sgt. Alan McKibben, to ensure all information is correct and up to date for his deployment to Southwest Asia; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 2, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

Master Sgt. Jonathon Sadler reviews his mobility folder with Tech. Sgt. Alan McKibben, to ensure all information is correct and up to date for his deployment to Southwest Asia; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 2, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)
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Master Sgt. Jonathon Sadler reviews his mobility folder with Tech. Sgt. Alan McKibben, to ensure all information is correct and up to date for his deployment to Southwest Asia; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 2, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

Senior Airman Marvelly Fuentes poses with family as her mom snaps a photo of them at the deployment send-off, Jan. 8, 2015 at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)
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Senior Airman Marvelly Fuentes poses with family as her mom snaps a photo of them at the deployment send-off, Jan. 8, 2015 at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

The 94th Airlift Wing C-130H departs the Dobbins runway on its way to Southwest Asia; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 8, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)
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The 94th Airlift Wing C-130H departs the Dobbins runway on its way to Southwest Asia; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 8, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

The 94th Airlift Wing C-130H3 beats the moisture out of the air as it accelerates down the Dobbins runway on its way to Southwest Asia; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 8, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)
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The 94th Airlift Wing C-130H3 beats the moisture out of the air as it accelerates down the Dobbins runway on its way to Southwest Asia; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 8, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

The 94th Airlift Wing C-130H3 beats the moisture out of the air as it accelerates down the Dobbins runway on its way to Southwest Asia; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 8, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)
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The 94th Airlift Wing C-130H3 beats the moisture out of the air as it accelerates down the Dobbins runway on its way to Southwest Asia; Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 8, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

Dobbins Air Reserve Base leadership salutes the second aircrew as the 94th Airlift Wing Hercules begins to taxi out for takeoff to Southwest Asia, at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 8, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)
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Dobbins Air Reserve Base leadership salutes the second aircrew as the 94th Airlift Wing Hercules begins to taxi out for takeoff to Southwest Asia, at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 8, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

A 700th Airlift Squadron loadmaster monitors engines start for the C-130H aircraft. The aircraft and crew are leaving for deployment to Southwest Asia, Jan. 8, 2015 at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)
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A 700th Airlift Squadron loadmaster monitors engines start for the C-130H aircraft. The aircraft and crew are leaving for deployment to Southwest Asia, Jan. 8, 2015 at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

94th Airlift Wing maintenance personnel stand by to monitor the last engine start for the C-130H aircraft. The aircraft and crew are leaving for deployment to Southwest Asia, Jan. 8, 2015 at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)
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94th Airlift Wing maintenance personnel stand by to monitor the last engine start for the C-130H aircraft. The aircraft and crew are leaving for deployment to Southwest Asia, Jan. 8, 2015 at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

The 700th Airlift Squadron loadmaster prepares to board the 94th Airlift Wing C-130H3 after all engines are running at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 8, 2015. The aircraft and crew are leaving for deployment to Southwest Asia.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)
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The 700th Airlift Squadron loadmaster prepares to board the 94th Airlift Wing C-130H3 after all engines are running at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 8, 2015. The aircraft and crew are leaving for deployment to Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

The starboard side engines are turning on the 94th Airlift Wing C-130H3 as it is being readied for deployment to Southwest Asia, Jan. 8, 2015 at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)
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The starboard side engines are turning on the 94th Airlift Wing C-130H3 as it is being readied for deployment to Southwest Asia, Jan. 8, 2015 at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

Dobbins Air Reserve Base leadership salutes the aircrew as the 94th Airlift Wing Hercules begins to taxi out for takeoff to Southwest Asia, at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 8, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)
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Dobbins Air Reserve Base leadership salutes the aircrew as the 94th Airlift Wing Hercules begins to taxi out for takeoff to Southwest Asia, at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 8, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

94th Airlift Wing maintenance personnel stand by to monitor engines start for the C-130H aircraft. The aircraft is being readied for deployment to Southwest Asia, Jan. 8, 2015 at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)
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94th Airlift Wing maintenance personnel stand by to monitor engines start for the C-130H aircraft. The aircraft is being readied for deployment to Southwest Asia, Jan. 8, 2015 at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

Family and friends assemble to watch 94th Airlift Wing personnel depart on their deployment to Southwest Asia, at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 8, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)
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Family and friends assemble to watch 94th Airlift Wing personnel depart on their deployment to Southwest Asia, at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., Jan. 8, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo/Brad Fallin)

DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. -- Tears were shed and hugs were given as more than 150 Airmen from the 94th Airlift Wing prepared to depart from Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga. this week for a deployment to Southwest Asia.

Before they departed, members of the unit held a ceremony to honor the Airmen and their families for their sacrifices.

Maj. Gen. Stayce Harris, 22nd Air Force commander; Pam Younkers, Chief of Staff of the Air Force civic leader advisor; Col. Brett Clark, 94th Airlift Wing commander; and David Connell, president and chief executive officer of the Cobb Chamber of Commerce; shared words of gratitude with the deployers and families.

"It will be a challenge being away from your families," acknowledged Harris. "But, remember you're only a Skype or e-mail away. Families - thank you for your support and remember your Air Force family is here for you."

Younkers echoed the general's sentiments.

"It is our privilege and honor to pray for you," she said. "Remember, we are only a phone call away."

1st Lt. Josh Rower, 700th Airlift Squadron aircrew member, and his wife Katie held their 8-month-old boy and expressed mixed emotions as he got ready to leave for his first deployment.

"This is really bittersweet," said Katie. "I'm really excited for him, but sad to not see him for so long."

Senior Airman James Bonilla, of the 94th Maintenance Squadron, said he was anxious about the deployment.

"I'm a little nervous," he said. "I'm leaving my family behind and we're expecting a child soon. But, I know my wife is strong. Fortunately, with today's technology we can still keep in touch every day."

The team from the 94th AW will be providing airlift and/or airdrop personnel and supplies within the Central Command area of responsibility, said Col. James DeVere, 94th Operations Group commander.

"Our U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules' will operate throughout the Middle East to include Iraq and Afghanistan," DeVere added.

Though combat missions have ended in Afghanistan, this has no effect on the 94th AW's deployment, Devere stated. The deployment is a scheduled Aerospace Expeditionary Force mission.

"Our aircrews and ground support personnel have been training for specific airdrop missions to meet CENTCOM requirements and prepared to execute the mission," DeVere said.

"They have trained and prepared for this for a long time," echoed Clark.

This is the second AEF deployment for the 94th AW since converting from a C-130 training mission to a combat coded wing in 2011.