Delaware Army National Guard Members Deploy to Afghanistan - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Army National Guard Members Deploy to Afghanistan


DOVER, Del. - Hundreds of Delaware Air National Guard members are heading to Afghanistan. Members gathered at Dover Air Force Base on Friday for a final farewell.

For some of these 324 troops, like specialist Tiana Blackstone, this will be their first deployment. They all say they're ready.

"I'm just looking forward to the experience," said Blackstone.

Military officials say this will be the busiest year for the Delaware National Guard as 30 percent of troops will be deployed around the world.

The Obama administration is working on bringing U.S. forces home by the end of 2014, but still leaving enough to ensure Afghanistan can take control of their own military.

"Right now that's not what we're actually seeing as far as our rotations are concerned. As the governor (Jack Markell) said we'll have more troops deployed this year than since the beginning of the current conflicts," said Major General Frank Vavala, Delaware National Guard.

Blackstone says she's ready for duty. She's also eager to return.

"I have a fiance. We were just about to get married and now we're deploying so I'm kind of sad to leave him behind," said Blackstone.

For some troops like Sgt. Danielle Borowski, her military family is what gives her strength.

"Sometimes you don't always have your family. There are times when you can't really have that communication, so you have your fellow soldiers around you and if you have a good bond, a good relationship with them that means everything," said Borowski.

Members of Delaware's Army National Guard are heading to Fort Bliss, Texas for four to six weeks before heading to Afghanistan.

This year, about 700 Delaware National Guard members have been deployed overseas and officials say more deployments are expected.

Officials say there are about 2600 members in the Delaware National Guard.

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