Arriving by helicopter, 25 Airmen from the 103rd Security Forces Squadron returned to the Bradley Air National Guard base in East Granby Monday night and into the arms of their waiting family and friends.
Members of the 103rd Security Forces Squadron departed Connecticut in July and were assigned to the 455th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron at the Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The airmen were greeted by family and friends with signs, U.S flags and balloons. Also greeting them were Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman and Maj. Gen. Thaddeus J. Martin, the Adjutant General and Commander of the Connecticut National Guard.
The unit performed duties ranging from Improved Explosive Device (IED) screening of vehicles entering the installation to command and control for the Joint Defense Operations Center. Additionally, members provided internal perimeter and counter insurgency operations while providing 24/7 response capabilities to mitigate direct and indirect attacks directed toward peacekeeping forces on the installation.
It was the unit’s third deployment to Afghanistan, Col. John Whitford, director of communications, for the Connecticut National Guard, said. Although for some individual members of the unit, it was their first deployment, Whitford said.