Military Security Deployed

By: Jason Simpson
By: Jason Simpson

Thirteen men and women of the 186th Air Refueling Wing Security Forces Squadron left Thursday morning, bound for an undisclosed location and for an uncertain period of time in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The fire team has had notice for a while, but only had 24 hours to prepare to go once the call-up came.

"It's part of the buildup for possible action with Iraq, to support that in some way," said Col. James White, support group commander for the 186th.

This unit provides security for the airfield to which it's assigned, ensuring the safety of resources and people. Initially, the 186ht is going to a "bare base."

"A bare base is a base that has a runway and a source of water. We build the rest of it," said Col. White.

Thursday's deployment marks the second time since 9-11 that they've been deployed.

This is staff Sgt. Patrick Whaley's second deployment in recent months and even though it's not easy to let go, his family is proud.

"I support him. I know he's doing what he should be doing," said Jennise Whaley. "It's hard, but I make it through."

"I'm very proud. He'll be 24 next week and we'll miss his birthday," said Pam Whaley of her son, who serves with the 186th. "He'll be in a good place and can't think of anyone better to serve."

"I haven't been home very long," said Sgt. Patrick Whaley. "Just looking forward to going over there doing what we need to do and getting back."

The Lamoreaux family has been through this many times before. Nonetheless, it's still emotional.

"There's just so much going through my head right now, it's hard to describe," said Sgt. Michael Lamoreaux.

As the plane took off, the families watched from the observation deck lifting up the unit with their prayers, and hoping for the best.


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