Hundreds of Area Air Force Members Prepare for Deployment

Hundreds of Air Force personnel from Eglin Air Force Base and neighboring Hurlburt Field in Okaloosa County are getting ready for deployment to Middle East nations that may include Iraq and Afghanistan.

Some already have left the Florida Panhandle and more soon will join them for an upcoming four-month Air Expeditionary Force rotation.

Nearly 2,000 troops from the 96th Air Base Wing are on notice, but unit commanders don't expect that many to be deployed.

So far, 550 troops from the wing have received deployment orders. Figures of those being deployed at Hurlburt Field are not public. Air Force Special Operations never releases numbers for deployment.

They will serve under the U.S. Central Command in Tampa.