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SFS beats Santa home

By April Blumer | 37th Training Wing Public Affairs | Dec. 15, 2006

Lackland Air Force Base, Texas — Nearly 40 members of Team Lackland returned home Sunday following a six-month deployment to Eskan Village, Saudi Arabia.

Airmen from the 37th Security Forces Squadron provided force protection for more than 750 U.S. personnel supporting Operation Enduring Free-dom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"It's good to get people back, especially before Christmas," Senior Master Sgt. Kenneth Simonton, 37th SFS first sergeant, said. "Christmas is a big time for friends and family, and it's tough to enjoy the holidays when your family isn't intact."

Family members, waiting in Bldg. 1353 for their returning Airmen, held signs, balloons, flags, cameras and a touch of anxiety.

The Airmen were originally scheduled to arrive at Kelly Field Saturday at 5 p.m. However, mechanical issues with their commercial aircraft delayed their arrival by 24 hours, forcing an overnight stay in England.

The squadron experienced no fatalities or combat-related injuries while deployed.

Eskan Village is primarily a housing area for Air Force and other military people deployed to Riyadh Air Base, Saudi Arabia. Before the Khobar Towers bombing, people used Eskan Village when deployed to Riyadh.

Since the bombing, security concerns prompted the move of commanders and their coalition headquarters from Riyadh to Eskan.

An additional 20 to 30 Airmen in the 37th SFS are currently scheduled to return home in February.