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    Ceremony for 114th Airmen

    Ceremony for 114th Airmen

    Photo By Senior Airman Taylor Solberg | Returning deployers stand as they are recognised during a welcome home ceremony Sept....... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Jorrie Hart 

    114th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

    SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – A welcome home ceremony for more than 400 Airmen who deployed from the 114th Fighter Wing was held at Joe Foss Field, Sept. 11, 2021.
    Throughout the past year, several Airmen deployed overseas as part of a Reserve Component Period (RCP) where they supported a multitude of different operations. During this RCP, South Dakota Airmen deployed to 19 different countries where they supported ongoing U.S. military operations around the globe.

    Some unit members were deployed to Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, for a period of approximately 180 days while other unit members were attached to joint operations in areas throughout Central and West Asia, Europe, Africa and the Pacific.

    In addition to the RCP tasking, the 114th Fighter Wing was tasked with providing homeland defense in the United States through a National Special Security Events (NSSE) deployment.

    Regardless of the length or method of deployment Air National Guard members normally deploy in small groups or individually, and at different times throughout the year. The nature of the deployment cycle makes it difficult to hold formal send off and homecoming ceremonies. For this reason, it was significant to be able to recognize the contributions of these service members at the ceremony which fell on the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

    Several South Dakota dignitaries including U.S. Sen. John Thune were in attendance to welcome the unit members home on this fateful day.

    “For two decades since, many of you in this room have answered the call with great resolve and great resilience,” said Thune. “For two decades, Americans have been safe because the American military stepped up and did what it always does – protect Americans to keep this country safe.”

    Thune was joined on stage by other notable guests including U.S. Rep. Dustin Johnson, Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken, South Dakota National Guard leadership Gov. Kristi Noem, The Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Marlette, senior enlisted leader Command Sgt. Maj. Patrick Couser, 114th Fighter Wing commander Col. Mark Morrell and 114th Fighter Wing Command Chief Chief Master Sgt. Troy Erlandson.

    For many service members and the family that accompanied them in the audience, the ceremony was a reminder of the sacrifices our country has made since that day and continues to make daily.

    “I’m incredibly grateful for all that you do,” said Noem. “Not just by the brilliance of how you serve, but you serve with honor and distinction, and it means the world to me and my family.”

    The ceremony concluded with the names of the more than 400 service members who deployed being read aloud and each standing to be recognized for their dedication and selfless service.



    Date Taken: 09.11.2021
    Date Posted: 09.12.2021 14:26
    Story ID: 405024
    Location: SIOUX FALLS, SD, US 

    Web Views: 128
    Downloads: 0