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Attack Squadron 134 returns from Afghanistan

After six months of combat operations, 182 sailors of the Electronic Attack Squadron 134 "Garudas" are returning from Afghanistan, where they were deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The airlift carrying support and maintenance personnel arrives at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station at noon, Thursday, Sept. 18, followed next week by the squadron’s four EA-6B Prowlers on Sept. 26.

The Garudas flew 614 combat missions to provide support for ground forces engaged in direct combat.

“We saved lives by efficiently delivering the right force at the right time to the Ground Commander,” said Lt. Cmdr. Chad Mirt, Garuda Operations Officer. Overall, the squadron flew 2,200 hours.

This feat was facilitated by the squadron’s maintenance team, which worked 24 hours a day, logging 23,200 maintenance hours to keep the aging Prowlers at the ready.

During deployment, the Garudas were visited by Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Joe Campa, First Lady Laura Bush, presidential candidate Sen. Barrack Obama, country singer Toby Keith and Milo Ventimiglia of the television show “Heroes.”

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