Air Force Reservists return home from Afghanistan and Africa deployments

Approximately thirty Citizen Airman from the 920th Rescue Wing returned home from Afghanistan June 6 after providing personnel recovery support to ongoing operations for the last four months. Families, friends and pets gathered on base to greet their loved ones. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brandon Kalloo Sanes)

Approximately thirty Citizen Airman from the 920th Rescue Wing returned home from Afghanistan June 13 after providing personnel recovery support to ongoing operations for the last four months. Families, friends and pets gathered on base to greet their loved ones. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brandon Kalloo Sanes)

Approximately thirty Citizen Airman from the 920th Rescue Wing returned home from Afghanistan June 6 after providing personnel recovery support to ongoing operations for the last four months. Families, friends and pets gathered on base to greet their loved ones. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brandon Kalloo Sanes)

Approximately thirty Citizen Airman from the 920th Rescue Wing returned home from Afghanistan June 13 after providing personnel recovery support to ongoing operations for the last four months. Families, friends and pets gathered on base to greet their loved ones. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brandon Kalloo Sanes)

Approximately thirty Citizen Airman from the 920th Rescue Wing returned home from Afghanistan June 6 after providing personnel recovery support to ongoing operations for the last four months. Families, friends and pets gathered on base to greet their loved ones. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brandon Kalloo Sanes)

Approximately thirty Citizen Airman from the 920th Rescue Wing returned home from Afghanistan June 13 after providing personnel recovery support to ongoing operations for the last four months. Families, friends and pets gathered on base to greet their loved ones. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brandon Kalloo Sanes)

Approximately thirty Citizen Airman from the 920th Rescue Wing returned home from Afghanistan June 6 after providing personnel recovery support to ongoing operations for the last four months. Families, friends and pets gathered on base to greet their loved ones. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brandon Kalloo Sanes)

Approximately thirty Citizen Airman from the 920th Rescue Wing returned home from Afghanistan June 13 after providing personnel recovery support to ongoing operations for the last four months. Families, friends and pets gathered on base to greet their loved ones. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brandon Kalloo Sanes)

Approximately thirty Citizen Airman from the 920th Rescue Wing returned home from Afghanistan June 6 after providing personnel recovery support to ongoing operations for the last four months. Families, friends and pets gathered on base to greet their loved ones. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brandon Kalloo Sanes)

Approximately thirty Citizen Airman from the 920th Rescue Wing returned home from Afghanistan June 6 after providing personnel recovery support to ongoing operations for the last four months. Families, friends and pets gathered on base to greet their loved ones. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Brandon Kalloo Sanes)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

Approximately 75 Citizen Airman from the 920th Rescue Wing are expected to return to the U.S. from Afghanistan and Africa where they provided personnel recovery support over the last four months.

The majority of the reservists have arrived and the rest should be home by the end of the week.

With American flags and colorful signs in hand, a crowd cheered as the returning Airmen arrived June 13. The troops quickly reunited with their families, friends and pets. There were similar scenes for each wave of heroes as they completed their long journeys home.

Families shared their plans to celebrate the homecoming, to include fishing trips, scuba diving and cookouts.

“We’re going to have a big pig roast for all of the deployers that came home,” said military spouse June Goddard.

The Airmen who deployed are combat rescue aviators; aircraft maintainers; and support personnel. The unit uses Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters and HC-130P/N King aircraft to perform lifesaving missions. Rescue units pick up isolated and injured personnel and return them to safety.

According to unit leadership, the deployment was a success.

“Everybody stayed focused and ready the entire time,” said Lt. Col. Michael Walsh, 301st RQS commander.

Airmen from 920th RQW have rescued more than 3,000 individuals in the wing’s 50-year history. In peacetime and war, they live by the motto, "These things we do that others may live."

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