Security Forces Return from Deployment

U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. James Picconatto, 148th Fighter Wing Security Forces, embraces his three daughters as he arrives home at the Duluth, Minn., based Air National Guard base May 13, 2010. Approximately 35 Air National Guard members of the 148th Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron returned to Duluth, Minn., after a 6-month deployment in southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jason W. Rolfe/Released)

U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. James Picconatto, 148th Fighter Wing Security Forces, embraces his three daughters as he arrives home at the Duluth, Minn., based Air National Guard base May 13, 2010. Approximately 35 Air National Guard members of the 148th Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron returned to Duluth, Minn., after a 6-month deployment in southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jason W. Rolfe/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jessica Salo, 148th Fighter Wing Security Forces, is reunited with her niece and other family members at the Duluth, Minn., Air National Guard base May 13, 2010. Approximately 35 Air National Guard members of the 148th Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron returned to Duluth, Minn., after a 6-month deployment in southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jason W. Rolfe/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jessica Salo, 148th Fighter Wing Security Forces, is reunited with her niece and other family members at the Duluth, Minn., Air National Guard base May 13, 2010. Approximately 35 Air National Guard members of the 148th Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron returned to Duluth, Minn., after a 6-month deployment in southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jason W. Rolfe/Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. William Hawley, 148th Fighter Wing Security Forces, speaks with a reporter after being reunited with his family at the Duluth, Minn., Air National Guard base May 13, 2010. Approximately 35 Air National Guard members of the 148th Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron returned to Duluth, Minn., after a 6-month deployment in southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jason W. Rolfe/Released)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. William Hawley, 148th Fighter Wing Security Forces, speaks with a reporter after being reunited with his family at the Duluth, Minn., Air National Guard base May 13, 2010. Approximately 35 Air National Guard members of the 148th Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron returned to Duluth, Minn., after a 6-month deployment in southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jason W. Rolfe/Released)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Susan Ksicinski, Security Forces Superintendant, is greeted by wing leadership as she gets off a plane at the Duluth, Minn., International Airport May 13, 2010. Approximately 35 Air National Guard members of the 148th Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron returned to Duluth, Minn., after a 6-month deployment in southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jason W. Rolfe/Released)

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Susan Ksicinski, Security Forces Superintendant, is greeted by wing leadership as she gets off a plane at the Duluth, Minn., International Airport May 13, 2010. Approximately 35 Air National Guard members of the 148th Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron returned to Duluth, Minn., after a 6-month deployment in southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jason W. Rolfe/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Pitoscia, 148th Fighter Wing Security Forces, completes in-processing paper work after just returning to his home unit in Duluth, Minn., May 13, 2010. Approximately 35 Air National Guard members of the 148th Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron returned to Duluth, Minn., after a 6-month deployment in southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jason W. Rolfe/Released)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Michael Pitoscia, 148th Fighter Wing Security Forces, completes in-processing paper work after just returning to his home unit in Duluth, Minn., May 13, 2010. Approximately 35 Air National Guard members of the 148th Fighter Wing Security Forces Squadron returned to Duluth, Minn., after a 6-month deployment in southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jason W. Rolfe/Released)

DULUTH, Minn. -- Family and friends gathered on a cold and rainy day to welcome home nearly 35 Duluth, Minn., based 148th Security Forces members who were deployed to southwest Asia in support of Operation IRAQI FREEDOM for nearly seven-months.

Billie Jean "Bea" Hawley had two reasons to be happy. Bea is the spouse of Master Sgt. William Hawley and mother of Staff Sgt. Nathaniel Hawley, both of whom returned today. Upon returning, Master Sgt. Hawley told family and friends that "none of this was possible without the support of the families back home." There won't be a lot of relaxing for the Hawley's this weekend. The family will travel to Saint Paul from Ely to watch William receive his Master's Degree from Concordia University.

148th Mission Support Group Commander, Col. Penny Dieryck enjoyed "watching our Airmen who returned walking taller and being prouder about serving their country." She said they "did a stellar job at their deployed location."

The Security Forces specialists left in October for Fort Dix, New Jersey where they received additional combat skills training to prepare them for their deployment. Of the 35 personnel who deployed, 22 of them had previously deployed to southwest Asia; locations include: Manas Air Base, Kyrgyzstan (2006), Baghdad, Iraq (2005 & 2006), the United Arab Emirates (2002), and Diego Garcia (2005).