By Airman 1st Class Lauren McMullen, 150th Special Operations Wing
/ Published April 20, 2021
Members of the 210th Red Horse Squadron, New Mexico Air National Guard, departed for Southwest Asia after completing Combat Skills Training and quarantining at Fort Bliss, Texas.
Airmen from the New Mexico Air National Guard’s 210th Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineers (RED HORSE) Squadron deployed April 16, 2021, for missions in Southwest Asia.
The 210th RED HORSE Squadron provides a highly mobile civil engineering response force to support contingency and special operations worldwide.
“In this group, there are many veterans, but also quite a few first-time deployers,” said Airman 1st Class Sydney Valdez.
"I am ready to go,” said Valdez, who just concluded her training in time to leave. “I am feeling anxious, but I was stressing more about not stressing so I just want to go already.”
Valdez said her family is very supportive.
“They are excited for me to get out there and experience this amazing opportunity,” said Valdez.
Leaving was not as easy this time around for Master Sgt. William Santos who is going on his second deployment to this area of operation and has been to Israel, Korea and a few other places outside the country.
“This time feels different for me,” said Santos. “Usually these things are a lot easier and I'm usually super excited to leave and go work, but this time I am a little hesitant because I want to stay home a little bit longer since my daughter was only born a week ago.”
“At first we weren't sure I would even be here for the birth so, you know, we take the small wins,” said Santos. “I'm glad I was able to be here, see her born and spend the first week with her.”
Whether it is their first deployment or their third, anxious or excited, this group of Airmen left ready to complete the mission.