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Security Forces Airmen deploy for first time

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Col. Clint Crosier, 460th Space Wing commander, shakes hands with Security Forces Squadron members prior to their departure for a deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom here, Jun 25. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Anika Williams)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Col. Clint Crosier, 460th Space Wing commander, shakes hands with Security Forces Squadron members prior to their departure for a deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom here, Jun 25. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Anika Williams)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- It's hard to know what to expect on a first deployment and as a first-time deployer there are many things to consider such as mission and culture.

This was the case for Airmen First Class James Now and Danyalle Hillyer of the 460th Security Forces Squadron. The two were tasked for their first deployment to support Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"I am very anxious and nervous about deploying into theater, but can't wait to open my eyes to new culture," said Airman Now. "I knew when I enlisted into the military I was going to have to deploy. Now it's a reality and I am eager to serve my country."

Airman Hillyer agrees, expressing fears of the unexpected, but knows she will give everything she has.

"I feel confident in myself and my team as we head into theater," said Airman Hillyer.

While in theater, the term "Team Concept" is stressed among the Airmen. Tech. Sgt. Robert Bishop is heading this current team of deployed Airmen.

"This is by far one of the best teams I've had," said Sergeant Bishop, currently on his eighth deployment to the Middle East.

In the midst of everything, it is hard to forget the sacrifices of not only the Airmen but the families as well. Mrs. Wendy Hillyer, mother of Airman Hillyer, was on hand to support her daughter as she left for her first deployment.

"I am very proud of my daughter and the commitment put forward," said Mrs. Hillyer. "People need to realize what these Airmen give up for our country, things we take for granted day-to-day. She had a plan to defend and it's an honor to be a part of that."

Reminders to be safe and to keep in contact with family were a common thread among the Airmen and their leadership.

"Family is key and it is imperative to stay close with loved ones," said Senior Master Sgt. Ami Masaniai, 460th Security Forces manager.

Colonel Clinton Crosier, 460th Space Wing commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Arleen Heath, 460th SW command chief, were on hand to offer words of wisdom.

"I am jealous, I want to be part of their experience," said Chief Heath. "It is important the Airmen take in everything they experience. It's an absolute adventure."

Lt. Col. Matthew Boschert, 460th SFS commander was also in attendance to see his warriors off and conveyed his pride for his Airmen and the motivation they put forward.

"I feel we are doing what we need to do to prepare them," said Colonel Boschert. "I always tell my Airmen to come back better than when they left in some aspect of their life, whether it's physical, spiritual, or learning a new craft."
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