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Airmen of the 405th Air Expeditionary Group are playing a critical role in the US and allied drawdown in Afghanistan, according to an Air Forces Central Command release. The group's 800-some airmen, operating out of an undisclosed location in the Arabian Gulf, are supporting US Central Command's Deployment and Distribution Operation Center, a strategically located air, land, and sea logistics hub. C-17s loaded with gear from Afghanistan are arriving at the group's airfield, states the Jan. 12 release. The airmen then move the equipment on trucks that carry the gear to a nearby port for transfer to ships for the journey to the United States or other points of origin. The group has increased flow through the hub, moving about 400 pieces of equipment a month, up from 150 this past summer, said Col. Keith Thibodeaux, 405th AEG commander. "While we continue to move more and more cargo, we are doing it cost-efficiently and are saving taxpayer dollars," he said. (405th AEG report by SSgt. Stephany Richards)