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Utah Air Guard Tankers Support Libya Mission

SALT LAKE CITY -- As part of Operation Odyssey Dawn, refueling aircraft and a small group of Airmen from the Utah Air National Guard were dispatched March 20 to support international Coalition enforcement of the no-fly zone over Libya.

KC-135 aircraft departed the Utah Air National Guard Base early that morning. ANG crews from several states are supporting refueling operations from a location outside of Africa, but not disclosed for security reasons.

The KC-135 is capable of dispensing 200,000 pounds of aviation fuel in mid-air to extend the flight times of military aircraft.

In a statement released last weekend, the Department of Defense said the following:

"On March 19, 2011, the international Coalition took measures to begin enforcement of UNSCR 1973, to include the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya. As a preliminary step to establishing a no-fly zone, Coalition forces launched strikes against Libyan military sites and air-defense systems. These measures were taken in order to prevent further attacks against Libyan civilians in accordance with UNCSR 1973."

The duration of this mission is not known at this time.