FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - Friends and families gathered to honor the members of the Kentucky National Guard's fixed wing unit.
The Detachment 11 Operational Support Airlift Command, will travel to Afghanistan and parts of Asia to support Operation Enduring Freedom.
"This never gets easier," explains Commander Stephen Hunnicutt, " but this is what we do, we we're here to serve and protect our country."
The unit, which consists of six people, will be on mission for over a year. "We're going to be gone for 400 days, that mission can go longer or it can be cut short but that's what we are planning on."
Emotions were high at the ceremony which took place at the Boone National Guard Center in Frankfort.
Since September 11th, 2001 more than 15,000 Kentucky National Guard Soldiers and Airmen have deployed in support of the Global War on Terror. Currently, there are nearly 600 Kentucky National Guard troops in Afghanistan, Africa and around the globe.