DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- --
Approximately 100 Airmen assigned to the 317th Airlift Wing and 39th Airlift Squadron arrived back home on two C-130J Super Hercules’, Jan. 19, after completing a four-month deployment with the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa supporting Operation Enduring Freedom operations.
The unit flew more than 1,500 hours from Germany and Africa, providing combat-delivery aid for CJTF-HOA to support aligned regional efforts, ensure regional access and freedom of movement and protect the U.S. interests.
“Our brave men and women set new records for the amount of hours flown, cargo and personnel movements as well as rescue missions,” said Lt. Col. Mark Yarian, 39th AS commander.
Not only can deployments be hard for the Airmen deployed, but it can also be challenging for the spouses and families who are left at home without them.
“Our spouse support here has been incredible. I never really felt alone because I could always call somebody,” said Shelly Swope, wife of Capt. Taylor Swope, 39th AS tactics officer. “It’s so great to have him home again!”
After spending time apart and missing the holidays, Airmen and families from the 317th AW and 39th AS were finally reunited.
“These deployments have not become routine, each one is unique and is just as dangerous as the last one,” Yarian said. “Today is a great day because 100 percent of our men and women who were in harm’s way have returnerd home safely without one major incident. It’s a very proud moment, not only for the 39th AS but for the 317th AW, to celebrate this day with them and their family.”