SPRINGFIELD, IL (08/01/2014)(readMedia)-- PEORIA, Ill. - Eighteen Illinois Air National Guard Security Forces Airmen with the 182nd Airlift Wing are scheduled to return August 4, after a seven-month deployment to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The Illinois Air National Guardsmen were assigned to the 405th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron (ESFS) overseas, where they were responsible for law enforcement and security missions.

"The men and women of the 182nd Airlift Wing continue to step up and provide a high level of mission accomplishment for our call to duty around the world," said Col. William P. Robertson, 182nd Airlift Wing commander. "I want to thank the families and the community for their support of our Airmen. Our Security Forces unit is top notch and we can't do the mission without the support of the home front. They have performed in an outstanding manner and completed the mission. They went to do a job and excelled in all aspects of the mission."

The deployed personnel are members of 182nd Security Forces Squadron, a component of the 182nd Mission Support Group.

"This deployment demonstrated the value of the Air National Guard capability to our country and the fact that our members deploy globally serving our nation's call," said Col. Cory K. Reid, the 182nd Mission Support Group commander. "They performed flawlessly. Now we are able to welcome them safely back home and congratulate them on a job well done."

The Airmen's home station commander was also pleased with their achievement.

"I cannot be more proud of the accomplishments these men and women of the 182nd Security Forces Squadron achieved while deployed," said Lt. Col. Todd M. Leach, commander of the 182nd Security Forces Squadron. "They represented Peoria well on the global stage."

The 405th ESFS leadership overseas praised the unit for making improvements to the air base during its tour. Accomplishments included boosting the security infrastructure, building strong relationships with the host-nation military forces and advancing the air base's physical and electronic force protection capabilities.

"I am confident that we have left behind a better squadron than how it was handed to us," said Air Force Maj. William Englebert, the 405th ESFS commander. "Our goal was to leave behind a legacy and I am confident we have obtained our goal."

The Airmen will arrive at Gen. Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport at 10 p.m., August 6th.