Local Airmen Return from Operation Dawn
Family members greet airmen from the 171st Air Refueling Wing on their return from Operation Dawn.
Family and friends greeted airmen from the 171st Air Refueling Wing on Friday after members returned from service in Libya.
The airmen were deployed in late March in support of the United Nations effort to enforce a no-fly zone over the African nation of Libya.
As the airplane arrived, a reception line assembled to greet the returning airmen. The first airman to walk off the plane was Maj. Gen. Stephen M. Sischo, Deputy Adjutant General of the Pennsylvania National Guard.
Tracey Fabus didn't have the chance to say goodbye to her son, Senior Airman Keith Fabus, before he was deployed last month.
“My daughter called and said she couldn’t get a hold of Keith,” Fabus said. “He was already gone. They had called him at 10 a.m., and he left at 1 p.m. I didn’t get to say goodbye other than over the phone.”
Fabus and her husband, Bill, also have a daughter in the Air Force who is deployed overseas.
“She’s been deployed worldwide,” Bill Fabus said. “This was Keith’s first deployment. He was a little apprehensive because he didn’t know what to expect.”
During the deployment, the 171st airmen integrated into the 313th Air Expeditionary Wing, which included Army National Guard and active-duty components. Under the command of Brig. Gen. Roy Uptegraff, its primary mission was the refueling of U.S. and coalition planes.
First Lt. Brian Radford was one of the pilots flying the refueling missions. Greeting him were his parents, Gary and Patty Radford, and his wife, Sarah, and daughters Brooke and Shey.
“Prior to joining the Air Force, [Brian] was an Army Ranger and served in the infantry in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Gary Radford of his son. “This is his second deployment as an Air Force pilot.”