PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Family and friends gathered Saturday night at the Air Reserve Station in Moon Township to welcome home members of the 32nd Aerial Port Squadron.
According to officials at the 911th Airlift Wing, more than 14 members returned following a six-month deployment to support Operation Enduring Freedom.READ MORE: West Virginia's Greenbrier River Trail Designated As National Recreational Trail
They were arrived home just after 9:30 p.m.
“Enjoy serving my country, don’t want to leave my family if I don’t have to, but proud to serve and happy to be home,” said Tech. Sgt. Stephen Hulick, of the 911th Airlift Wing.
“Many emotions,” said Tech. Sgt. Will Mossor, of the 911th Airlift Wing. “Just excited to give my wife and my kids a hug for the first time in six months. It’s been hard on them as well as me. It’s just good to be back with them.”
Their primary mission, officials say, was to move personnel and cargo throughout the Combined Joint Operations Areas of Afghanistan. They also provided support to more than 28 coalition forces.READ MORE: Two Of The Three Victims Killed In The Biomat USA Plasma Center Car Crash Were Employees
In a press release, Lt. Col. Joseph W. Browning, the deployed Expeditionary Logistics Readiness Squadron commander, said: “Notably, the members of the 32nd Aerial Port Squadron were instrumental in achieving a new air drop record for Afghanistan by delivering more than 16 million tons of life sustaining supplies to U.S. and Coalition forces in austere locations.”
The 32nd Aerial Port Squadron supported more than 200 Forward Operating Bases, Combat Outposts and Patrol Bases, officials said.
Other members are set to return home within the next two months.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon says it plans to close the 911th Airlift Wing next year. There will also be cuts for the locally-based 171st Air Refueling Wing.MORE NEWS: Severe Thunderstorm Watch Issued For Pittsburgh Area; High Winds, Potential Hail Expected