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New Year brings heavy deployments at Westover

Master Sgt. Kara B. Stackpole, a medical specialist with the 439th Aeromedical Staging Squadron, gives her daughter Samantha a final hug and kiss before leaving for Iraq. The nearly 50 deploying Airmen are expected to return home sometime in May. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Michael Lanza)

Master Sgt. Kara B. Stackpole, a medical specialist with the 439th Aeromedical Staging Squadron, gives her daughter Samantha a final hug and kiss before leaving for Iraq. The nearly 50 deploying Airmen are expected to return home sometime in May. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Michael Lanza)

Family and friends gathered for their final farewells as nearly 50 members of the 439th Aeromedical Staging Squadron departed for Iraq from Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Michael Lanza)

Family and friends gathered for their final farewells as nearly 50 members of the 439th Aeromedical Staging Squadron departed for Iraq from Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Michael Lanza)

Maj. Deborah C. McCabe,  a 439th Aeromedical Staging Squadron physician?s assistant, holds back a well of tears after saying goodbye to family members before departing for Iraq. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Michael Lanza)

Maj. Deborah C. McCabe, a 439th Aeromedical Staging Squadron physician's assistant, holds back a well of tears after saying goodbye to family members before departing for Iraq. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Michael Lanza)

A group of family members wave as a commercial jet carrying Airmen from the 439th Aeromedical Staging Sqaudron bound for Iraq takes-off from the runway at Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Tom Allocco)

A group of family members wave as a commercial jet carrying Airmen from the 439th Aeromedical Staging Sqaudron bound for Iraq takes-off from the runway at Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Tom Allocco)

WESTOVER AIR RESERVE BASE, Mass. -- About 200 reservists of the 439th Airlift Wing began deploying this month to the Middle East in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

The deploying Airmen are scheduled to serve four-to-six month tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan. They represent about 10 percent of the 439th Airlift Wing reservists and will be the largest group of Wing members to serve overseas in the Global War on Terrorism.

Security specialists recently departed for several weeks of specialized training in Texas in preparation for overseas deployment.