Around 30 members of the Iowa Air National Guard’s 32nd Fighter Wing returned home to their base in Des Moines today from a six-month tour of duty. Guard spokesperson, Colonel Greg Hapgood, says the soldiers were deployed in Southwest Asia.

He says they are security forces personnel who provided security and law enforcement services while deployed. Hapgood says while this mission is over, others continue.

“Right now we have approximately 110 members of the Iowa National Guard who are serving on active duty somewhere in the world. We have approximately 60 who in Afghanistan now and about 50 who will follow in the near future,” Hapgood says. The guardmembers are chosen for active duty based on their specialty and Hapgood says there probably will continue to be smaller groups that go on and off active duty.

“It’s expected that Iowa National Guard deployments will continue at a somewhat low number for the coming years,” Hapgood says. “Particularly as Afghanistan draws down, those numbers, we will probably see them drop some more. But in any given year we expect somewhere between 500 to a thousand members of the Iowa National Guard will be mobilized somewhere in the world.”

Today’s homecoming included a proposal from one of the airmen. Master Sergeant Rick Day proposed to his fiancee Billie Edwards, she said yes.