Airmen, airwomen return to Travis AFB


There was also late word that a suicide bomb has killed 40 people at a wedding party in a Taliban stronghold.

>> More on that story here: Suicide attack kills 40 at Afghan wedding party

Already this week, there've been at least 20 coalition deaths including an attack on a NATO armored vehicle in Jalalabad on Sunday.

At Travis friends and family celebrated their troops' safe return.

The 615 Contingency Response Wing is always on alert. Within 12 hours of notification, they can be headed toward hostile territory ready, to land, taxi and unload a stream of incoming troop and supply planes.

Their mobility is becoming more crucial as the surge moves further and further into Southern Afghanistan.

"We were part of the surge moving life saving equipment and vehicles for the army. We did over 500 missions," said Sgt. Christopher Valdes.

This element of the Air Force wing is back for two weeks, but if needed they can be activated right after that.

"I have to admit I get stressed and freak out, like, 'Oh no, not again,'" says military wife Amber Valdes who said military spouses deserve a medal too. "If you show positive attitude, than the outcome of the situation is positive. You have to show as much support as you can because they're just as stressed out as the spouses and the children are."

About 94,000 U.S. troops are in Afghanistan, but that number will top 100,000 by the end of the summer.

The grim milestone of 1,000 American deaths in Afghanistan was reached in late May. There were no casualties for this group, but they often times become targets.

"You always have to be mindful that there are snipers and there are possibilities of other threats," said Sgt. Annette Marie Doolin.

The command staff says word is getting out about their success, so the 615 Contingency Response Wing may be back at it sooner than later.

Copyright © 2024 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.