An Alabama Air National Guard Official tells WSFA 12 News approximately 300 of its personnel along with equipment are leaving for the Middle East Thursday morning. The 187th Fighter Wing will deploy to Operation Iraqi Freedom's regional hot spots to help current troops accomplish their missions, and keep other forces ready for action. A Montgomery native says he will focus on all the good he can during the long plane ride to war. Staff Sergent Derrick Jackson adds, "You try to stay away from negative thoughts as much as possible because your going to a place that's unfamiliar to you. So you want to think of all the good things you could possibly muster up." Guard official, Major Paul Griggs, says the deployment will last about 50 days.