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Homeland Security

Hurricane-affected Airmen to redeploy

9/3/2005 - SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN)  -- More than 300 active-duty and Reserve Airmen deployed from Keesler Air Force Base, Miss., will return early from their deployments to attend to their families’ needs and aid in base recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Nearly 100 Airmen who were scheduled to deploy from Keesler will remain behind to recover from the storm. Their positions fighting the Global War on Terror will be filled by others throughout the Air Force not affected by the massive storm.

Many of the 300, serving at multiple bases throughout the Middle East, have already served for nearly four months and will return home as part of the Air Force’s normal air and space expeditionary force rotation. Others, even those who just arrived, are going home, with replacements being provided from other units.

“While our focus remains on fighting the war on terrorism, taking care of people is a top priority -- they can’t effectively perform the mission if their heads and hearts are focused on the safety and welfare of their loved ones,” said Brig. Gen. Allen G. Peck, Combined Forces Air Component deputy commander.

“We are facilitating the effort to expeditiously replace Airmen directly affected by this catastrophe with other Air Force personnel,” he said.

Airmen with families living in the hurricane-ravaged areas who are not assigned to Keesler have been instructed to request emergency leave through normal Air Force channels. Emergency leave will be granted by commanders on a case-by-case basis.

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