EASTOVER, S.C. (AP) - Family members of th e about 500 troops in the 169th Fighter Wing attended the ceremony on Sunday at McEntire Joint National Guard Base in Eastover.
Col. Mike Hudson said he wished the deployment of his unit hadn't fallen on Easter, but there was no choice about that.
The airmen were told last week to expect deployment any day.
The airmen will be gone about four months. The dozen F-16 fighter jets from McEntire will provide support for troops in Afghanistan. This is the wing's largest deployment since Operation Desert Storm.
It's the wing's fourth major deployment since 2002.