Master Sgt. William Liggett and his son, Airman 1st Class Sean Liggett, maintainers who deployed together to the 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron in Afghanistan, stand in front of a U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, Oct. 3, 2012. The father and son team began their journey home this week after successfully completing a three-month deployment which was MSgt Liggett’s last and his son’s first. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Capt. Raymond Geoffroy)
by Capt. Raymond Geoffroy
455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
10/10/2012 - BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (AFNS) -- Arkansas Air National Guard A-10 Thunderbolt II aircrews and maintainers began their journey home this week after successfully completing a three-month deployment with the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing where they provided close air support to coalition forces in Afghanistan.
Due to the close knit nature of state Air National Guard units, homecomings often include family members who deploy together, making redeployments an emotional experience, a time for reflection and adjustment.
During their deployment, Arkansas ANG Airmen ensured the 184th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron's A-10 "Warthogs" flew daily combat missions to support NATO and Afghan ground forces operating in Afghanistan.
The 184 EFS leadership said the Air National Guardsmen can return home knowing their hard work resulted in positive effects on the battlefield.
"In our support to the air tasking order, we've flown over 7,500 hours with the aircraft here. With a comparable number of aircraft back home, in a training scenario, we would fly only half that," said Lt. Col. Brian Burger, 184th EFS commander.
In three months, Arkansas ANG A-10s delivered more than 60,000 30mm cannon rounds and more than 250 precision munitions on enemy targets.
"The operations tempo has been extremely high for us. The maintainers have done a superb job keeping these airplanes flying," Burger said.
Part of this superb performance included a father-son team.
Airman 1st Class Sean Liggett deployed to the 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron with his father, Master Sgt. William Liggett. Liggett said he was very proud of his son's hard work during the deployment.
"It's something I've always wanted to do," said the younger Liggett, "I've always looked up to my dad."
For Liggett's father, who recently received his retirement paperwork, this deployment is his last hurrah while his son's Air Force career has just begun and was christened with a deployment shortly after completing his technical training.
"I wanted to follow in his footsteps and I'm glad I finally took that step and got to go on his last deployment and my first. It's been a real blessing," said Liggett.
The father and son team said they are ready to return to their awaiting family in Mulberry, Ark.