MINOT AIR FORCE BASE A 12-member team of 91st Missile Security Forces Squadron airmen from Air Force Global Strike Command's Minot Air Force Base arrived home Feb. 9 after a six-month deployment to Sather Air Base, Iraq.
Airmen from the 91st MSFS are among many who are entrusted with ensuring the safety and security of one of the most powerful weapons in our nation's arsenal here. For that reason, few are called to serve in deployed locations throughout the world.
Because of the odds, Staff Sgt. John Levrier, 91st MSFS flight security controller and returning deployer, said it was a privilege to have served overseas.
"Not a lot of security forces airmen here get a chance to deploy," said Levrier. "From the 91st Missile Wing side, our small group of security forces members were the only ones who deployed in 2010."
He emphasized the importance of allowing younger airmen who have never deployed an opportunity to gain insight and an understanding of how deployed environments operate.
"Each deployment can always be a bit different," said Levrier. "But whenever we get a chance to deploy, it is always a good experience for us."
Senior Airman Nicholas Murphy, 91st MSFS security forces member, was one of the first-time deployers.
"I volunteered to deploy," said Murphy. "I was really hoping to experience something new, even though I didn't know what to expect."
He said once he was on station in Iraq, he quickly noticed the change in work environment but came to enjoy it overall.
"I had the opportunity to meet a lot of new people over there," said Murphy. "I enjoyed interacting with the total force as with other foreign troops."
Levrier explained he enjoyed working alongside Air National Guard members.
"Working alongside members of the Air National Guard was a whole new experience for me," said Levrier. "Many of these members incorporated some civilian aspects into their work."
"A lot of them were law enforcement officers in the civilian world," he continued. "It's interesting to see their perspective on some of the work we did."
During this deployment, Levrier explained the work there was primarily providing overall base security.
"Some of our tasks included air base defense, perimeter flightline security, controlling entry points to the base and conducting mobile patrols," said Levrier.
He said that while they were kept busy at work, they found time to enjoy some of the local culture.
"We were able to tour Saddam Hussein's old palaces," said Levrier. "There was a lot of culture in the building designs."
He said the tour explained the country's history, which helped them better understand the current situation and the Iraqi people.
"Overall this deployment was great," said Levrier. "It's one thing to talk about it, but a completely different experience to actually go through it."