192nd Security Forces return from UAE and Afghanistan

Virginia National Guard Airmen assigned to the 192nd Security Forces Squadron pose for a group photo while serving in the United Arab Emrites in November 2015. (Contributed photo)

Virginia National Guard Airmen assigned to the 192nd Security Forces Squadron pose for a group photo while serving in the United Arab Emirates in November 2015. (Contributed photo)

JOINT BASE LANGLEY EUSTIS, Va. – More than 35 Virginia National Guard Airmen assigned to the 192nd Security Forces Squadron at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia, returned in October 2015 from two simultaneous deployments to Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates after serving on federal active duty since April.

The 192nd SFS deployed 24 defenders to Al Dhafra Air Base, UAE, and 13 defenders to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan.

“Our SFS team deployed and served with the 380th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron, Al Dhafra where we performed base security duties and protected $7.2 billion worth of Air Force assets,” said Master Sgt. Scottie D. Gordon, the unit security and deployment manager of the SFS and flight sergeant while deployed. “We also performed law enforcement duties and were responsible for entry control points ensuring zero threats entered the installation.”

In preparation for the deployment, the 192nd SFS participated in “Desert Defender” Combat Readiness Training at the Regional Training Center, Fort Bliss, Texas. This training provided Airmen the opportunity to prepare for potential threats in a simulated combat environment.

During the training, the 192nd SFS received the “Top Squad” team award out of 22 Security Forces Squadrons, while Master Sgt. Ryan T. Hooper, flight sergeant, received the SSgt John T. Self Award for displaying leadership, motivation and unparalleled teamwork to the top squad throughout the training.

Airmen in Afghanistan were assigned to the 455th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and Resolute Support for a NATO mission.

“Their main responsibilities were to lockdown and protect the Airfield, aircraft assets and military personnel,” said Maj. Luis Rivera, 192nd SFS commander and operations officer while deployed.

“In addition, we maintained and repaired all base perimeter sensors ensuring the airbase was protected from potential threats. We trained coalition forces on how to perform, test and maintain the perimeter sensors, which resulted in a reduction of alarms assessments and repair workload by 30 percent. We responded to 61 indirect fired attacks and one ground attack from the Taliban while performing 3,846 security measures and 19,200 personal checks. Additionally, our teams responded to 12 ground emergencies, 152 medical evaluations and 54 in-flight emergencies,” said Rivera.

“The 192nd defenders deployed with an ‘Expeditionary Force,’ which is defined as a force dispatched to fight in a foreign country,” said 192nd Fighter Wing Command Chief Master Sgt. Michael J. Bouley. “It’s a forward deployed unit charged with defending the force as well as humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and high intensity combat. The 192nd SFS performed professionally and answered the call of our nation. We are certainly proud of them all and also grateful to have them back home in Virginia.”