104th Fighter Wing returns home from overseas training mission - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

104th Fighter Wing returns home from overseas training mission

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Members of the 104th Fighter Wing at the Barnes Air National Guard in Westfield flew back into base on Friday night after being deployed in Malaysia for nearly a month for a training deployment.

"It feels great. There's beautiful weather. It was a great flight in and an awesome exercise," Maj. Benjamin Gilluly said.  

During the training mission, dubbed Cope Taufan, guard members conducted exercise operations alongside active duty F-22 Raptors aircraft and multinational Mig-29 and Su-27 aircraft.

This is the first time the 104th participated in the excursion.

"It went really well. It was a long trip, but everyone is glad to be back," Col. James Keefe said.  

"It was neat. They have some really advanced planes we got to fight against. The team did really well. It  was a great experience for everyone," Gilluly said.

The trip was part of a strategy plan to familiarize the base with the area if the air wing were to ever be deployed to the country.

 "Our current exercise is keeping with the Department of Defense and the president's focus towards the Pacific area," Keefe explained.  

Family and friends were on hand to welcome the crew home.

"It's just great to be home. It really is,"Gilluly said.

And after training in a foreign land and taking the roughly 10,000 mile trip back, family is all he wants to think about.

"I'm going to load up the car. Go home, see the kids and just enjoy being home," Gilluly said.

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