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Operation: Clear Skies

By: Rachel Withers
By: Rachel Withers
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The United States remains at a heightened terror alert, following the revelation of a foiled terror plot last week. Now, it's that same concern calling members of Ohio's National Guard into action.

184 members of Ohio's 2-174th Air Defense Artillery are headed to the nation's capitol for a mission of Homeland Security.

The community in Morgan County held a farewell ceremony for the soldiers Monday afternoon.

Spirits were high, as hundreds of family, friends, and even State Senator Joy Padgett gathered at Morgan High School to bid these soldiers farewell.

The guardsmen represent the only active air defense unit in the world. The mission is called Operation: Clear Skies, and it's designed to just that...keep air space over the nation's capital terrorism free.

Captain Damon Brown said, "We're gonna be protecting the Capitol. You think of everything, our whole government right there...just as it was a prime target before. What we're gonna be protecting there, it's one of the most critical assets that we have."

The soldiers, from all across the state of Ohio, have spent the last two years training for this mission. Most were sad to say goodbye to loved ones, but all of the soldiers expressed excitement about the mission ahead.

The guards will spend the next three months in Fort Bliss, Texas, training. After that, it's on to the nation's capital for one year of active duty.


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