Over 160 Airmen Honored at Annual Welcome Home Ceremony

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Rich Murphy
  • 185th Public Affairs
Col. Brian Miller, Commander of the 185th Air Refueling Wing (ARW), along with esteemed community leaders, honored the over 160 members of the 185th who deployed in support of global contingency operations over the last year this Sunday at the annual "Welcome Home Ceremony."

Col. Miller said, "Every year we want to make sure that we recognize our Airmen and their families. I know you all sacrifice much during these deployments, and we want to thank you for that sacrifice."

During the last year, over 160 Airmen with the 185th have deployed to 12 different locations around the globe. Over 30% of the Airmen assigned to the 185th ARW deployed in 2012 to locations such as United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Guam, Djibouti, Afghanistan, Antarctica, and Omen.

Unlike many military installations that send large contingencies, the 185th is often asked to send its members to various locations across the globe in small groups and in many cases, individually. This ceremony honored those who did not receive the traditional "welcome home" ceremony typically associated with the end of the deployment.

Currently, over 4,800 Air Guard members nationwide are deployed across the globe in support of Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom. Since September 11th, the Air National Guard has deployed over 96,000 Airmen to help end the threat of terror in our country and around the world. The 185th continues to play a key role in supporting this mission as well as serving the needs of Iowa.

Col. Miller also thanked the area leaders for their commitment to supporting the 185th. "Two-thirds of our forces are citizen-Airmen. They have to take time off from their civilian careers to serve our global contingency operations. Without the help and support we receive from the families and employers of Siouxland, we could not do our jobs."

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