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Air Guard units dispatched

By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Sept. 12, 2001
Flight crews with the 186th Air Refueling Wing of the Mississippi Air National Guard received their first orders Tuesday night to dispatch to the southeast air defense sector in support of fighter aircraft on patrol.
Lt. Col. Randy Pope, public affairs officer, said the air refueling wing received its first order to begin providing refueling support at 7:35 p.m. The first KC-135 air refueling plane launched at 8:14 p.m. A second flight launched at 1 a.m.
The southeast defense sector is located in Texas and surrounding air space.
Both of Tuesday's flights returned to the base at Key Field after completing their mission, Pope said.
A third flight was airborne today after being launched at 6:48 a.m., he said.
Pope said officials do not know how long the mission will last.
Meanwhile, security measures at the Key Field base have been heightened to its highest level, known as "Threat Con Delta."
All cars entering the base must undergo a manual search. Pope said the Meridian Police Department is assisting the base's security forces.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for the Meridian Star. Call her at 693-1551, ext. 3236, or e-mail her at