'BAMA GUARDSMEN ROLL TIDE AGAINST TERROR

An F-16 Fighting Falcon taxis at Balad Air Base, Iraq, after an Operation Iraqi Freedom mission on Monday, June 12. The F-16 is deployed from the Alabama Air National Guard's 187th Fighter Wing in Montgomery. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Tony R. Tolley)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon from the Alabama Air National Guard's 187th Fighter Wing in Montgomery taxis at Balad Air Base, Iraq, after an Operation Iraqi Freedom mission. The 187th has recently deployed fighters in support of Operation NOBLE EAGLE. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Tony R. Tolley)

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, FLA. --

     An Alabama Air National Guard fighter squadron out of Montgomery has deployed in support of Operation NOBLE EAGLE. 

     The 187th Fighter Wing sent F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft, pilots and aircraft maintainers to the northeast United States to conduct alert operations. They relieved the Vermont Air National Guard's 158th Fighter Wing, who had stood alert there. 

     "Our Air Force and Air National Guard has the best fighters in the world and it's a part of our day-to-day mission to ensure the safety of America's skies through alert missions such as these," said Lt. Col. Len Borowski, 187th Fighter Wing's Chief of Standards and Evaluation. "The 187th Fighter Wing was ready to deploy when called." 

     The 187th FW has been flying F-16's since 1988 and has deployed overseas for several contingency operations to include operations enforcing United Nations sanctions against Iraq. Within hours after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the 187th FW had jets in the air flying Combat Air Patrol missions over the southeastern United States, and continued that mission for more than a year. 

     "Operation NOBLE EAGLE was put in place after the tragic events of Sept. 11, and the 187th Fighter Wing is proud to conduct alert missions dedicated to the defense of our American soil," said Lt. Col. Borowski. 

     Operation NOBLE EAGLE is the military response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Those attacks prompted a greater emphasis on the surveillance and control of airspace over Canada and the United States. 

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