SOUTH PORTLAND — Maine’s Adjutant General, Major General John W. Libby, said farewell today to 19 Maine Air National Guard airmen and women, who will be deployed to remotely located air bases in Afghanistan.

The airmen will be expected to serve nine months at the bases, which may often require that they be airlifted in by helicopter.

Libby met with the group and their families at the South Portland Air National Guard station before they departed from the Portland International Jetport.

Libby praised family members for their support.

“Those airmen who are deploying have the easy job,” Libby said, in a prepared statement. “They will get up every day knowing exactly what is expected of them and they know they are trained and prepared to do it. It is the families they leave behind that have the hardest job.”

The airmen are members of the 243rd Engineering Installation Squadron, a squadron that has seen numerous deployments in the past month.