Twenty people from McChord Air Force Base’s air mobility command are headed for the Persian Gulf region to help prepare for possible air strikes against Iraq.
The McChord contingent boarded a C-141 Saturday night after Defense Secretary William Cohen had signed the formal deployment orders for nearly 50 U.S. combat and support aircraft to the gulf.
The 20 operations and support personnel from McChord will load and unload aircraft and pick up cargo and troops, said Capt. Adriane Craig-Wood, a McChord spokeswoman.
“When someone needs to move something quickly and safely, we’re the ones they call,” said Col. Ron Ladnier, who oversaw many of those deployed late Saturday.
The group will join about 125 other men and women from McChord already stationed in the gulf region.