Send-off ceremony honors deployers
By Tech. Sgt. Susan Gladstein, 161st Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 08, 2013
PHOENIX SKY HARBOR AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE -- The 161st Air Refueling Wing came together April 6, 2013, to honor members of the 161st Security Forces Squadron at a send-off ceremony.
Borrowing from U.S. Army tradition, the send-off ceremony was a first for the 161 ARW.
The message throughout the ceremony was that those deploying and their family members will be taken care of.
"This ceremony is important for family members," said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Ronald Davis, 161 SFS deployment team leader. "We are able to let them know they'll be supported and people care about us."
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Hugo Salazar, Adjutant General, Arizona National Guard, thanked the Service members and their family members for their dedication to the mission.
"We have deployed more than 11,000 Soldiers and Airmen from the Arizona National Guard," he said. "More than 600 Arizona Guardsmen are deployed currently. That's what we do in the Arizona Guard."
The general expressed the pride he has for the Arizona Guardsmen.
"I am grateful as the adjutant general to have the opportunity to brag and talk about the great things our Airmen do overseas," he said. "These Airmen will continue to do the same and represent the State of Arizona."
According to the 161 SFS first sergeant, Master Sgt. Robert Hernandez, the deploying Airmen have trained well for this deployment and have become technically and tactically proficient in their warrior skills.
"Deploying 161st Security Forces Squadron members, we wish you well and Godspeed for a safe return," he said. "Let's give these brave Airmen a big round of applause as they go forth to defend freedom."