SC Air National Guard F-16s heading to Iraq

McENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. (AP) - Pilots and F-16 fighter jets of the South Carolina Air National Guard's 169th Fighter Wing are slated to head to Iraq.

Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Les Carroll said the aircraft and pilots were to leave this weekend to join the 300 airmen from the unit who arrived in Iraq last week. They are to be deployed for four months. Carroll wouldn't say exactly how many jets were deploying for security purposes.

Carroll says the move marks the first time the unit has deployed on a major combat mission since 2003, when its members flew more than 400 combat missions over Iraq.

F-16 squadrons fly missions that usually support ground operations of the Army, Navy or Marine Corps.

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