Security Forces, families welcome wingmen home

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Aaron J. Jenne
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Members of the 436th Security Forces Squadron and their families gathered early in the morning Jan. 21, 2018, to welcome home 12 Airmen from a six-month deployment to the Middle East.

The returning defenders stepped off the bus shortly after 1 a.m. where they were met by Col. Randy Boswell, 436th Mission Support Group commander, and Lt. Col. Michael Morales, 436th SFS commander, along with other group and squadron leadership, wingmen and family members eager to see them.

“It seems like yesterday they were leaving on this deployment, but it feels like they’ve been gone forever,” said the father of one of the returning Airmen.

The Airmen deployed in July 2017 and provided flightline security, entry control, law and order and vehicle searches at their deployed location. Some of them also performed off-base escort missions for American personnel travelling to and from the international airport. Three members forward deployed for 90 days as well.

Additionally, during the deployment four members were selected to attend the U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Training Seminar, a professional development course, where they learned more about the sister service’s capabilities and structure.

“They all proved themselves to be true ambassadors to not only Dover but to the Air Force as well,” Morales said. “I personally received thanks from the deployed commander on the outstanding job they did.”

It isn’t uncommon to deploy as a security forces member, Morales said. While it isn’t always possible, security forces Airmen typically stay at their home stations at least a year before they are tasked with another deployment.

“Security forces is an extremely high ops tempo career field,” Morales said. “We need to make sure we are not only prepared to do the law enforcement and security mission while in garrison, but we need to be ready for any contingency around the world. We devote countless hours to make sure our defenders are an enhanced fighting force ready for any confrontation in any environment.”

The job is demanding at home and abroad, and it’s up to the squadron to not only make sure the Airmen are ready to do their job, but also make sure the families are prepared for the difficulties of deployments.

“Equally important [to training our Airmen], we need to make sure we are taking exceptionally good care of the family members left behind,” Morales said. “We are fortunate to have one of the best Key Spouse programs on Dover AFB whose members go above and beyond in making sure all our deployed family members are taken care of.”

The unit is glad to have 12 of their Airmen return safely, but at this point, there are still families waiting for the return of 18 more serving at deployed locations around the world.

“One of the best things about being a commander is welcoming home our returning deployers and seeing the reunion with their families,” Morales said. “I cannot be more proud of our Dover Defenders in everything they have done and all the sacrifices they have made to carry out this mission.”