Maryland Airmen support the mission

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Christopher Schepers
  • 175th Wing Public Affairs
After the Maryland National Guard was activated to help keep Baltimore City calm after unrest during demonstrations last weekend, 20 Airmen from the 175th Security Forces Squadron, who volunteered to support local law enforcement, joined the Maryland Guard Soldiers beginning on April 28 at the 5th Regiment Armory. 

With only a few hours of notice, the security forces personnel were in place to conduct 24-hour security operations at the armory, which houses military equipment and approximately 1,000 Maryland Guardsmen, providing assistance for Joint Task Force Chesapeake's mission across the city.

"Without each and every non-commissioned officer that volunteered to deploy, we would not have been able to get the job done," said Master Sgt. Duane Murrill, night-shift non-commissioned officer in charge.

"We are one team, one fight and we did it as a team down to our lowest Airman."

On the third day of the deployment, their responsibilities shifted from security operations to a Quick Reaction Force. The security forces Airmen stand trained and prepared to assist with protecting lives and property.

"At home station, we train with less-than-lethal use-of-force tactics, body search methods and handcuffing techniques to keep our minds and bodies ready to respond," said Master Sgt. Jerome Howard, day shift non-commissioned officer in charge.

The mobilization for a riot is the first for the Maryland Air National Guard since the riots of 1968 when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

"I am happy to be here and am honored to serve the citizens of the state of Maryland," said Tech. Sgt. Keri Wanner, security forces craftsman.

The 175th Wing deployed a total of 136 personnel to the city and a mobile emergency operations center. Currently, over 2,900 Maryland Guardsmen have been activated for the mission.