The Nebraska National Guard will pay tribute Saturday to 336 airmen from the Lincoln-based 155th Air Refueling Wing who are home from their largest overseas deployment in more than a decade.

The ceremony will take place at 1:30 p.m. at the Nebraska Air National Guard’s parade field, near the Lincoln Airport. It will immediately follow a 1 p.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony commemorating the reopening of the wing’s newly refurbished headquarters building.

The events are open to Air National Guard members, their families and invited guests, but not to the general public.

The airmen were deployed to various sites in Iraq and Afghanistan, and in other parts of the world on six-month tours late last year and up to this summer.

The wing’s KC-135 tankers operated out of Kandahar Air Base in southeastern Afghanistan along with tankers from Iowa, Kansas and five other states. Until 2017, the Air Force had been operating tankers for the Afghanistan and Iraq missions out of Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, several hours’ flying time away.

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“They spend a lot less time transiting to and from the area of operations,” Col. John Williams, the 155th Wing’s operations chief, said last year.

Members of the 155th Wing’s security forces were deployed to Bagram Air Base near Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul. Administrative and medical personnel and military chaplains also were deployed to the region.

Maj. Gen. Daryl Bohac, the Nebraska National Guard’s adjutant general, will speak at Saturday’s ceremony. Three members of the 155th Civil Engineer Squadron will be awarded the Bronze Star medal.

Steve is the military affairs reporter for The World-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @SteveLiewer. Phone: 402-444-1186.

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