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Utah Air Guard supporting no-fly zone over Libya

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SALT LAKE CITY — Refueling aircraft and a small group of airmen from the Utah Air National Guard are supporting the international coalition enforcement of the no-fly zone over Libya.

KC-135 air-to-air refueling aircraft and crews are working from an undisclosed base outside Africa as part of Operation Odyssey Dawn. The duration of their mission is not yet known.

The KC-135 is capable of dispensing 200,000 pounds of aviation fuel in mid-air to extend the flight times of military aircraft.

The Defense Department issued a statement last week that says: "On March 19, 2011, the international coalition took measures to begin enforcement of UNSCR 1973, to include the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya. As a preliminary step to establishing a no-fly zone, coalition forces launched strikes against Libyan military sites and air-defense systems. These measures were taken in order to prevent further attacks against Libyan civilians in accordance with UNCSR 1973."