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Pentagon Calls Up Seymour Johnson's 916th Air Refueling Wing

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GOLDSBORO, N.C. — In Goldsboro, the home of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and dozens of F-15E Strike Eagles, the patriotism flies high and the jets fly low.

With the Bush administration deploying more than 100 combat planes, Seymour Johnson's "standby" status is really more than standby. Late Thursday afternoon, the Pentagon called up Seymour Johnson's 916th Air Refueling Wing, an Air Force Reserve unit.

"It's been a tremendous period of sadness for the past week, but now I think people are beginning to roll up their sleeves and realize that it's something that we've got to answer," says retired Air Force navigator Louis Pate.

"I think that the families are somewhat apprehensive, but they know that's their business up there [in the sky]," he says.

In town, Kimberly Davis nervously awaits any change in her husband's status. He is with the 4th Air Wing at Seymour Johnson and the couple has been married just 10 months.

"It's everyday wondering if he has to go anywhere, it's just a lot to deal with," she says.

The 916th Air Refueling Wing has reservists from New York to Georgia. Officers will not say how long it will take for the unit to mobilize.


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