A ceremony was held for the deploying members of the 157th Security Forces Squadron and their families here, June 25, 2017.
The ceremony recognized the nearly 30 deploying members of the SFS, and honored the more than 280 Airmen who have deployed from the 157th Air Refueling Wing during the 2017 deployment cycle so far.
“We are able to recognize our Airmen who have volunteered to defend the state and nation,” said Capt. Aaron C. McCarthy, the operations officer of the 157th SFS.
McCarthy acknowledged it takes the support of the entire Wing and the state to deploy such a large number of people.
Chris T. Sununu, Gov. of New Hampshire, Maj. Gen. William N. Reddel III, Adjutant General of the New Hampshire National Guard, Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire senator, Annnie Kuster, New Hampshire Representative, and Col. James P. Ryan, 157th ARW commander attended the ceremony along with family and friends of the deploying Airmen.
“Whether you talk to veterans, active duty or guardsmen, there is a real sense of pride in this state in terms of what military service truly means,” said Sununu. “To all of the members of the 157th ARW, we want you to know that you are supported and we as a community cannot thank you enough for your service and your sacrifice.”
The SFS Airmen are scheduled to deploy midsummer. They will be deployed for six or more months overseas.
The Airmen will deploy to three locations within Southwest Asia.
They have conducted Combat Skills Training at Fort Bliss, Texas, and completed additional training locally to prepare them.
“The men and women of the 157th SFS have had a tremendously successful year,” said McCarthy. “While being certified as the NHANG's first National Guard Reaction Force in the state, both squads that are deploying won Top Squad honors at pre-deployment training and one member earned Top Shot honors.”
McCarthy added this is the first major deployment, with this many Airmen, since the 2008 deployment to Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan.
Currently, the 157th ARW has more than 65 Airmen deployed in eight locations around the globe within Central Command, European Command, Pacific Command and Southern Command.
The deployments are in support of the ongoing operations in the Middle East.
“I know that you will do great work over there,” said Brig. Gen. Paul Hutchinson, Assistant Adjutant General of the New Hampshire Air National Guard. “Everywhere you go you make things better. So thank you for what you do and thank you to your families for the continuous support.”