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KIRKUK AIR BASE, Iraq -- Maj. Raymond Schierhoff, 446th Security Forces Squadron commander, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., braves a fierce sandstorm while recently deployed here in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Twenty-three Airmen deployed from the squadron, making this the largest contingent of 446th SFS Reservists deployed at one time. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Master Sgt. Don Souron)
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446th Airlift Wing welcomes returning security forces troops

Posted 2/7/2010   Updated 2/8/2010 Email story   Print story

    


by Staff Sgt. Grant Saylor
446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


2/7/2010 - JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Twenty-three Reservists from the 446th Security Forces Squadron here recently returned safely from a six-month deployment to Kirkuk Air Base, Iraq. The deployment marked the largest number of 446th SFS troops to ever deploy at one time.

Members of the squadron were responsible for perimeter security of the air base in northern Iraqi , to include detecting and stopping any hostile threats from enemy combatants.

"We're extremely proud of our troops," said Capt. Nate Foster, 446th SFS operations officer. "Once downrange, they got nothing but atta-boys from the deployed commanders there."

The deployment involved an extensive amount of logistical coordination to safely and successfully deploy such a large percentage of the squadron's Airmen, and the 446th SFS was clearly up to the challenge.

"Our unit deployment managers performed amazingly," said Captain Foster. "They got our troops off on the right foot so once there, our deployed Reservists were able to stay safe, continue the mission and pave the road for our next rotation of security specialists."

Since the Reservists were deployed over the holidays, their fellow troops back home at McChord Field went to great lengths to support them.

"Our number one focus was to stay in regular contact with them and their families," said Master Sgt. Elizabeth Riser, 446th SFS first sergeant.

Sergeant Riser helped coordinate the production of Christmas stockings, which were stuffed with goodies donated by local businesses, including Tacoma Boys and Oboy Oberto, then mailed to the troops in Kirkuk.

"Morale was high and our deployed members stayed active through correspondence courses and regular fitness," said Sergeant Riser. "A couple of our troops lost a lot of weight and came back to us in incredible shape."

The next group of 446th SFS Reservists are already in place at Kirkuk AB and will continue the mission motto established by their returning counterparts: detect, warn, delay and defeat.



tabComments
2/13/2010 12:25:04 AM ET
Thank God they are home and safe. My brother is one of the reservists who just got back. Thank you all for been there for our country. God Bless all of you. Brother we love you. Big hug goes your way from PR.
Sara Ramirez, Puerto Rico
 
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