DOTHAN, Ala. An Alabama Air National Guard unit has a new name to fit its role supporting the military's special forces troops.
About 200 people gathered for a re-designation ceremony Sunday for the 280th Special Operations Communications Squadron. National Guard commanders added the words "Special Operations" to the squadron's name to reflect its mission of setting up and maintaining communications networks for special forces units in the field.
Maj. Gen. Perry Smith, commander of the Alabama National Guard, told the crowd gathered at the Dothan Regional Airport Air National Guard Station that U.S. special operations troops "cannot do their job without this unit right here."
The squadron's commanders say about three-fourths of its members have deployed overseas to countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.