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Just home from Iraq, air traffic controllers answer call from state

June 19, 2018

Off the Hawaii Adjutant General’s Facebook page

When the Kilauea volcano erupted on Hawaii’s Big Island, members of the 297th Air Traffic Control Squadron, Hawaii Air National Guard, were just getting home from a seven-month deployment that sent them to Al Asad Airbase, Al Anbar Province, Iraq.

On the day before he was supposed to return to work Air National Guard Maj. Irving Bicoy, 297th Air Traffic Control Squadron commander, received a call that he was to put a team of air traffic controllers together for a deployment to Hilo, Hawaii to support Operation Ho’opalekana. In less than 24 hours, Bicoy was able to gather a team of five people to deploy to Hawaii’s Big Island to support the mission.

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