PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - Lt. Col. Tony Chavez was welcomed home from a year long deployment to Afghanistan in a ceremony at Building 3, July 31. Chavez deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom July 19, 2007, and returned July 22, 2008. During his deployment, Chavez served as the Executive Officer/Operations Officer for the Deputy to the Commanding General for Police Development, Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan.

In this position, Chavez was responsible for standing up, training, and equipping the Afghan National Police forces consisting of the Afghan Uniformed Police, Border Police, Counter Terrorism, Criminal Investigation Division, Counter Narcotics, Afghan National Auxiliary Police and Afghan National Civil Order Police. The total force structure was 82,000.

The training initiatives established to augment and enhance the training of the Afghan National Police included Focused District Development, In District Reform, Jump Start and Training Surge. Additionally, the Poppy Eradication Force was in the process of getting revamped and retrained prior to the poppy eradiation season taking place next year.

Chavez also worked with the Minister of Interior, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement and DynCorp to train the Police. Specifically, he worked with INL and DynCorp to identify key leadership positions in the Ministry of Interior that would require mentoring either at the professional or executive level.

His work on Rank and Pay Reform, to include Pay transparency, proved vital in ensuring police get paid in a timely manner and receive the correct amount due them. Where wide-spread pay corruption once existed, through work involving Chavez, many police officers now get paid through electronic funds transfer. To date 18 provinces have Electronic Funds Transfer with the remaining 16 provinces scheduled to have the capability by July 2009.

Chavez also planned and coordinated numerous trips for the Minister of Interior, his staff and Deputy to the Commanding General for Police Development personnel to visit Provinces, Districts and Regional Training Centers throughout Afghanistan, and worked the Ministry of Interior restructure initiative.

This was Chavez's fourth deployment. He previously deployed to Desert Shield/Desert Storm with 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment out of Fort Bliss, Texas, Joint Endeavor/Joint Guard with 7th Combat Support Group in Hungary and Bosnia and Operation Iraqi Freedom with 3rd Army in Kuwait and Iraq.

Chavez's sister, Christella, a 1989 West Point Graduate, from Tulsa, Okla., and his girlfriend, Crista Benavidez, from Albuquerque, N.M., were in attendance at the welcome home ceremony.