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Homestead Air Base Sends 50 To South Korea

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F-16 Fighting Falcon 'Mako' from the 93rd Fighter Squadron takes off from the flightline at Homestead ARB.

F-16 Fighting Falcon ‘Mako’ from the 93rd Fighter Squadron takes off from the flightline at Homestead ARB.

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More than 50 airmen departed from Homestead Air Reserve Base to South Korea for Air Force training.

The airmen from the 482nd Fighter Wing will join more than 200 airmen who are already training there.

Tech Sgt. John Hatfield is one of the airmen on the way to South Korea. His family watched as he boarded the plane. Children Jade and Julyana comforted each other as daddy boarded the plane.

More than 50 airmen departed from Homestead Air Reserve Base to South Korea for Air Force training.

The airmen from the 482nd Fighter Wing will join more than 200 airmen who are already training there.

Tech Sgt. John Hatfield is one of the airmen on the way to South Korea. His family watched as he boarded the plane. Children Jade and Julyana comforted each other as daddy boarded the plane.

“I don’t want him to go,” said his son, Jade.

“He’s coming back so there’s nothing really to worry about,” his daughter, Julyana said.

Mother, Yaney Hatfield has mixed emotions over her husband’s departure.

“It’s always sad to see them go, but it’s pride, so much pride,” she said.

Col. Donald Roy Lindberg says this training mission in South Korea has been scheduled for months. But this mission comes at a tense time as South Korea and the U.S. have launched war games in a joint show of force after North Korea attacked a South Korean island last week.

“This is just a normal deployment for these folks … at an interesting time,” said Lindberg.

While officials say the Air Force does is not poised to send these men and women into combat, they are ready for anything.

The airmen are expected to return after January 1, which means they won’t be home for the holidays.

“After 15 years of marriage, it’s the first time he’s going to be away for Christmas,” said Waleska Ramos, who is married to Master Sergeant Framis Ramos.

Their daughter, Shalimer, said she’s proud of her dad.

“Because I want to be in the Air Force when I grow up,” she said.

So the men and women of the 482nd Fighter Wing begin their journey to South Korea to join the airmen already training there.

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