Welcome home SF expeditionary warriors

  • Published
  • By Col Mike Callan
  • 71st Flying Training Wing
Team Vance -- join me in welcoming our 13-person security forces squad home!
I'm writing this article after just getting home from the Hairston Gate where I welcomed our most recent security forces squad of 13 expeditionary warriors home from a 128-day Air Expeditionary Force deployment and I have to tell you it was great!
I was joined by Col Wade Johnson, Chief Jeff Kallas, Chaplain Jeff Bridges, and 1st Lt Jason Bishop who shared my enthusiasm and pride in the squad's performance for our nation and how magnificently they represented Vance Air Force Base! Each Airman had a smile on his or her face, most were joined by loved ones who understood the sacrifice each member of the squad had made to protect our nation's freedom. We were certainly glad to have them all back home safe and sound!
While AEF deployments continue year-round across our U.S. Air Force, seeing these 13 Airmen (for me) put a "face" to the deployments and made it very clear that our Global War on Terrorism and the hope of removing all threats to our United States are only going to be successful if we (like our SF squad did) are willing to deploy anywhere on the globe to search, find and if necessary neutralize the threats to our nation's freedom. Our Airmen were willing to do this for our Air Force and our nation, and their efforts will never be forgotten by many, including this wing's leadership!
Our wing's motto of "Expeditionary Air Warriors Training Tomorrow's Leaders" rings so true as we continue to train the next generation of military pilots; we simultaneously prepare ourselves for expeditionary deployment in case our name is called. Vance AFB's warriors will be ready when our Air Force calls, and I challenge the entire team to rededicate themselves to our mission and the vital role each one plays in it. I for one have no doubt that our GWOT campaign will be successful and it's primarily because of Airmen like our squad who were willing to go forward and be counted!
Although our SF squad will get some much-deserved "R & R," please take time to welcome them back home when they return to duty! They each have some great stories to tell, and you'll confirm what I saw Wednesday at the Hairston Gate -- Team Vance (and the people who represent it) are America's finest! Be safe and have a great weekend!