CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M.-- 73rd Special Operations Squadron and 27th Special Operations Maintenance Group Airmen arrive at Hangar 126 to meet family and friends. Airmen from all over the base set up in Hangar 126 to help in-process Airmen returning from deployment. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class James Bell)
CANNON AIR FORCE BASE,N.M.-- Airmen from the 73rd Special Operations Squadron and 27th Special Operations Maintenance Group return from their first deployment Oct. 6. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class James Bell)
CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M.-- Airmen from the 73rd Special Operations Squadron, 27th Special Operations Maintenance Group and 16th Special Operation Squadron return from their deployment on a C-17 Oct. 6. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airmen 1st Class James Bell)
by Senior Airman Elliott Sprehe
27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs Office
10/16/2009 - CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- A C-130W taxied to a stop and as the doors of the tail ramp opened Airmen, assigned to the 73rd Special Operations Squadron, clad in tan flight suits, made their way off the aircraft.
Minutes passed as spectators, wing leadership and families awaited the arrival of a C-17 Globemaster III, carrying the maintenance personnel that had deployed in support of the aircraft.
And what a ride it was, as the flight crew and maintenance personnel with the 73rd SOS returned after completing its first combat deployment since arriving here.
Upon returning, Airmen in-processed with various agencies such as finance, medical and others, some hurrying along the way so they could spend time with their families.
"He needs to hurry up out of that line," said Jenny Hansen, referring to her husband Senior Airman Ryan Hansen, 73rd SOS. Mrs. Hansen said that she had some really good friends that helped her out while her husband was deployed.
Other Airmen, although glad to be home, are looking forward to their next deployment.
"I'd go again, but it's great to be home," said Staff Sgt. Justin Darland, following his first deployment.
The 73rd has a long history of supporting American warfighters since its initial inception as the 73rd Aero Squadron on Feb. 26, 1918, and will likely continue that legacy as Cannon's 27th Special Operations Wing grows exponentially to support SOF missions.
"I'm always proud to go back and get things done," said Capt. Jarvis Combs, whose recent return marked his second trip in support of intra-theater operations.
"Each time you go, you learn something different," said Captain Combs, who added that it is "always good to see my babies," referring to his 18-month old and 3-month old children.
The most recent deployment conducted by the 73rd SOS can be added to their long legacy of service to the U.S., including streamers from World Wars I and II.