Vt. National Guard members poised for European deployment

Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 6:46 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 29, 2022 at 6:43 AM EDT
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SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The Vermont National Guard is getting ready to send troops off to Europe to help NATO. On Thursday, the Guard held a deployment ceremony for members.

“The military service is rarely convenient, still you stepped up and said I will go,” said Vermont National Guard Major General Gregory Knight.

Members of Vermont Air National Guard’s 158th Fighter Wing are answering the call to service using F-35s to help NATO troops with their air policing mission in Europe.

“I know the group of people I’m going with will make it a lot easier. I know we have a great support system here in Vermont. I know my family will take care of my wife, and we’re all going to take care of each other over there,” said Master Sgt. Joshua Thomas.

During the ceremony, prominent Vermonters expressed gratitude for the airmen’s commitment and the sacrifices being made by their families.

“While you’re 4,000 miles away protecting freedom across the globe, we’ll be here doing our part to look out for your families here at home while you’re away,” said Governor Phil Scott.

“Thank you for your willingness to leave your families and leave this beautiful state to do what needs to be done in the name of democracy and freedom,” Senator Bernie Sanders said.

While the airmen have a duty to their country, they also have a duty to each other.

“Take care of each other, be safe, and do what you always do -- perform your duties with excellence and professionalism,” said General Knight.

The airmen are set to go out in groups over the next week. We don’t know exactly how many are going but it will include pilots along with F-35 support crews and the rotation is expected to last a few months.

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Vermont Guard deploying to Europe

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