Nevada Army Guard Aviation Unit Set for Deployment

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RENO, NV - Twelve soldiers with the Nevada Army Guard's Detachment 45 will be going overseas later this week. On Wednesday they held a deployment ceremony at the Army Aviation Support Center in Stead. The unit is made up of pilots and aerial electronic sensor operators. They'll be flying missions over Afghanistan.

"The mission over there is an serial sensor mission, they call it ISR which is intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance," said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Glen Spadin, the unit commander. "We will be sent to locations of interest to the command there running the troops and we will circle overhead and search for certain things to help the commanders on the ground."

The unit is made up of soldiers from all over the state.

"We went through more than 200 applicants and we picked the best we could to have the best crew and provide the best support for the commanders on the ground," Spadin said.

The team has been training extensively for this mission.

"I just got back from Ft. Hood, Texas, where we went through an aerial sensor operator course," Staff Sergeant Luther Thompson said. "We were up flying almost every day, doing the same things we'll be doing on our mission."

Wednesday's ceremony was a chance for the families to say goodbye. It's a close-knit group.

"It's such a small group, the ladies get together and we really support each other," Teri Thompson said. "We reach out to each other all the time so we have a very good support group."

This is the first time her husband has been deployed since they've been married.

"I'm anxious," Thompson said. "It'll be a long time without him but it could be worse. Other have gone longer so we'll get through it."

SSgt. Thompson has been deployed several times over more than a decade in the Marine Corps.

"I think there are certain people who are made for the military and I think I'm one of those people," Thompson said. "To me, it's not just a job; it's a way of life."

Detachment 45 is set to return next April.