JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. –
More than 100 Airmen from the 14th Airlift Squadron returned home from a 120-day deployment to Southwest Asia March 3, 2013, at Joint Base Charleston - Air Base, S.C.
Family members and co-workers gathered on the flight-line in the chilly March weather to be re-united with their loved ones and fellow Airmen.
While deployed, the 14th AS Airmen served under the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron supporting overseas contingency operations.
"The Pelicans have done it again," said Lt. Col. Joseph Meyer, 14th AS commander, who served as the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron commander. "'Safe mission execution' was the watchword and the professional Airmen of the 14th AS performed superbly during our deployment."
Flying the C-17 Globemaster III, crews flew and supported roughly 2,500 sorties, logged approximately 7,174 combat flying hours and airlifted more than 125 million pounds of cargo and 11,000 personnel throughout Southwest Asia.
Additionally, the 14th AS executed 118 airdrops which resupplied service members serving in the regions with 4.7 million pounds of supplies.
"Air-land, air-drop and aeromedical evacuation - the men and women of the 14th AS successfully made rapid global mobility a reality," said Meyer. "Along with accomplishing the mission, the Pelicans used this opportunity for professional development. From furthering their expertise in the C-17 weapons system to improving physical fitness to advancing professional military education - we made the most of our time."
The deployment would not be successful without the dedication of the family members back home.
"Our robust spouse network ensured communication flowed freely through many venues and Pelican spouses were supported with a varied array of activities," said Meyer. "Now, it is time for us to enjoy some much deserved downtime with our families."
The 14th AS is one of four squadrons within the 437th Airlift Wing who share responsibility for the 816th EAS. The airlift squadrons rotate to operate the 816th EAS on a continuing basis. Operation of the 816th EAS allows Air Mobility Command to consistently provide coverage to the AOR.