A convoy of National Guardsmen left the Air National Guard Base in Gulfport Friday morning headed for a mission in Texas.
About 50 members of the 255th Air Control Squadron have been called out to support homeland defense.
Flag waving friends and family members said good bye to the troops. General Harold Cross says the squadron will help "protect the skies of America."
The troops are specially trained in air traffic control and radar operations. Their mission is expected to last about two months.