Ellsworth airmen return from Southwest Asia - KOTA Territory News

Ellsworth airmen return from Southwest Asia

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Homemade signs and hugs greeted 400 airmen after their Southwest Asia deployment. Homemade signs and hugs greeted 400 airmen after their Southwest Asia deployment.
Airmen finally get to stretch their legs and greet families after their 24-hour flight. Airmen finally get to stretch their legs and greet families after their 24-hour flight.

More than 300 Ellsworth Air Force Base airmen returned home early Friday morning from a Southwest Asia deployment.

The airmen stepped off their plane about 4:45 a.m., to the cheering crowd of families and friends; as well as a welcoming by their fellow airmen who didn't deploy.  There was plenty of hugging and kissing and shouts of "Welcome home!"

"It's bittersweet to have to leave and then come back home and it always makes everything feel that much better. It makes my job worth it," Capt. Nick Brooks, a B-1 weapons officer, said.

The last homecoming of this size was six months ago.

The 34th Bomb Squad had been deployed for six months.  Lt. Col. Seth Graham, squadron commander, says an array of airmen were deployed …including aircrew, aircraft maintenance and weapons troops.

While deployed, aircrews provided air presence, precision strike and surveillance missions over Afghanistan.  "I'm just so dang proud of the guys that we have," Graham said.  "They worked so hard out there.  It's really tough to be gone for six months."

The next deployment will be in a year.

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