Two dozen members of the Delaware Air Guard will start aeromedical evacuation missions to help transport wounded warriors back home.

The first group of six airmen will leave their New Castle base on Friday and head to Germany, Afghanistan, and other locations in Southwest Asia.  Over the length of their six month mission, the members of the Delaware Air National Guard's 142nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron will join the effort to bring home injured soldiers, mainly from Afghanistan.

The group is made up of flight nurses, medical technicians and other personnel who help coordinate the flow of patients from the war zone to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, and eventually back to Andrews Air Force Base.  They'll work to monitor the wounded troops, dispense medicine, and keep them comfortable in the air while en route home.

"The dedication and expertise of these skilled Airmen is remarkable," says Col. Mike Feely who commands the 166th Airlift Wing.  "Their skills are a tremendous and necessary asset needed by our wounded troops of all service branches when they are injured in overseas combat zones."

The AES mission is to provide the "best care in the air."  Members carry the equipment needed to transfer any cargo aircraft in the Air Force into a flying ambulance.  Crews consist of five people, two nurses and three EMTs.  In addition to work in the war zone, the squadron is also able to respond to medical transport needs due to natural disasters and even more routine transport situations. 

There are about 75 airmen in the AES, and members first started serving in Afghanistan in October 2001.  Many have been on multiple deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq over the past 11 years.