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Airmen from 108th Security Forces Squadron deploy to Southwest Asia in support of Operation New Dawn

Senior Airman Jeffrey Stich, a member of the 108th Security Forces Squadron, a New Jersey Air National Guard unit, holds his daughter, Kyleigh, during a farewell ceremony at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on July 12, 2011. Stich, along with about 30 other security forces members, have deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation New Dawn where they will be responsible for maintaining security at the air base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Kellyann Novak)

Senior Airman Jeffrey Stich, a member of the 108th Security Forces Squadron, a New Jersey Air National Guard unit, holds his daughter, Kyleigh, during a farewell ceremony at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on July 12, 2011. Stich, along with about 30 other security forces members, have deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation New Dawn where they will be responsible for maintaining security at the air base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Kellyann Novak)

Senior Airman Justin Rogers, a member of the 108th Security Forces Squadron, a New Jersey Air National Guard unit, leaves his family behind as he prepares to board a bus at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on July 12, 2011. Rogers, along with approximately 30 other security forces members, have deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation New Dawn where they will be responsible for maintaining security at the air base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Kellyann Novak)

Senior Airman Justin Rogers, a member of the 108th Security Forces Squadron, a New Jersey Air National Guard unit, leaves his family behind as he prepares to board a bus at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on July 12, 2011. Rogers, along with approximately 30 other security forces members, have deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation New Dawn where they will be responsible for maintaining security at the air base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Kellyann Novak)

Family members of Airmen from the 108th Security Force Squadron, a New Jersey Air National Guard unit, bid farewell to their deploying Airmen. The 108th SFS Airmen departed from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on July 12, 2011. Approximately 30 security forces members deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation New Dawn where they will be responsible for maintaining security at the air base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Kellyann Novak)

Family members of Airmen from the 108th Security Force Squadron, a New Jersey Air National Guard unit, bid farewell to their deploying Airmen. The 108th SFS Airmen departed from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on July 12, 2011. Approximately 30 security forces members deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation New Dawn where they will be responsible for maintaining security at the air base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Kellyann Novak)

Members of the 108th Security Forces Squadron pose for a group photo at the flight line while they wait to board a KC-135R Stratotanker on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on July 12, 2011. Approximately 30 security forces members deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation New Dawn where they will be responsible for maintaining security at the air base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Kellyann Novak)

Members of the 108th Security Forces Squadron pose for a group photo at the flight line while they wait to board a KC-135R Stratotanker on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on July 12, 2011. Approximately 30 security forces members deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation New Dawn where they will be responsible for maintaining security at the air base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Kellyann Novak)

Senior leadership from the 108th Wing and New Jersey Air National Guard line up in front of a KC-135R Stratotanker to say farewell to the approximately 30 members of the 108th Security Forces Squadron deploying from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on July 12, 2011. The security forces members deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation New Dawn where they will be responsible for maintaining security at the air base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Kellyann Novak)

Senior leadership from the 108th Wing and New Jersey Air National Guard line up in front of a KC-135R Stratotanker to say farewell to the approximately 30 members of the 108th Security Forces Squadron deploying from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on July 12, 2011. The security forces members deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation New Dawn where they will be responsible for maintaining security at the air base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Kellyann Novak)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Maria Falca-Dodson, left, commander New Jersey Air National Guard, wishes good luck to Staff Sgt. Jonathan Arochas, a member of the 108th Security Forces Squadron, before he boards a KC-135R Stratotanker at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on July 12, 2011. Arochas, along with about 30 other security forces members, have deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation New Dawn where they will be responsible for maintaining security at the air base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Kellyann Novak)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Maria Falca-Dodson, left, commander New Jersey Air National Guard, wishes good luck to Staff Sgt. Jonathan Arochas, a member of the 108th Security Forces Squadron, before he boards a KC-135R Stratotanker at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on July 12, 2011. Arochas, along with about 30 other security forces members, have deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation New Dawn where they will be responsible for maintaining security at the air base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Kellyann Novak)

A KC-135R Stratotanker sits at the flight line where approximately 30 members of the 108th Security Forces Squadron prepared to deploy from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on July 12, 2011. The security forces members deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation New Dawn where they will be responsible for maintaining security at the air base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Kellyann Novak)

A KC-135R Stratotanker sits at the flight line where approximately 30 members of the 108th Security Forces Squadron prepared to deploy from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on July 12, 2011. The security forces members deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation New Dawn where they will be responsible for maintaining security at the air base. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman Kellyann Novak)

July 12, 2011 -- JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J., -- More than 25 Airmen from the 108th Wing's Security Force Squadron deployed from here today for a six-month tour in Southwest Asia in support of Operation New Dawn.
 
Amidst family members and senior leadership from the 108th Wing and New Jersey Air National Guard, the 108th SFS Airmen said goodbye to their loved ones during a farewell ceremony held at the 108th Wing's conference room here.
 
Senior Airman Omar J. Navarro, a Newark resident and recent college graduate, said he was a little nervous about the deployment, but he was also excited at the opportunity.
 
"My sister and mother have both been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq and they told me I would be alright," said Navarro. "My father is a nervous wreck, though."
 
After a couple of weeks of training in Nevada to hone their security forces skills, the Airmen will deploy to Southwest Asia to commence the mission.
 
The 108th SFS Airmen are well-equipped and well-prepared to accomplish their mission, said Col. Robert A. Meyer, vice commander for the 108th Wing.
 
Maj. Gen. Maria Falca-Dodson, commander of the New Jersey Air National Guard, told the family members that they should be proud of their Airmen for serving in the military.
 
"They are American heroes," said Falca-Dodson. "Only one percent of the population in the United States serves in the military and these are some of them."
 
During their deployment, the Airmen will conduct air base ground defense missions, which may include perimeter patrols, flight line security, vehicle searches, and processing personnel at base entry points.