482nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
5/16/2014 - HOMESTEAD AIR RESERVE BASE, Fla. -- Dozens
of family members eagerly awaited the early morning return of their
loved ones at the Sam Johnson Fitness Center May 9. More than 200
personnel from the 482nd Fighter Wing and the 301st Fighter Wing arrived
here after completing a joint, eight-month deployment to Afghanistan.
During their deployment, Airmen worked to maintain and equip F-16C jets
to provide intelligence and close air support for the International
Security Assistance Force and other NATO forces. The deployment was a
coordinated effort between Homestead's 482nd FW and the 301st FW from
Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas.
Staff Sgt. Oniel Hernandez, a weapons loader assigned to Detachment 93,
495th Fighter Group at Homestead Air Reserve Base, said he was happy to
be home, and couldn't wait to wait to surprise the mothers on Mother's
Day. They both live in Broward County .
Milly Hernandez, wife of Staff Sgt. Hernandez said, "It was torture waiting for him!"
While at the fitness center, military members received multiple
briefings required for returning deployers. In addition to supporting
personnel, wing leadership was there to welcome them back and to
congratulate them on a job well done.
"I'm proud of what our Airmen accomplished in support of wartime
operations in Afghanistan," said Col. Chris Funk, 482nd FW commander.
"This is what we train for, this is our mission. Despite challenges and
being separated from families, they provided unparalleled air support to
keep troops on the ground safe."
Prior to returning, families and friends of the deployed Airmen
decorated the newly-renovated fitness center with welcome posters and
patriotic streamers. Additionally, refreshments were made available to
returning Airmen and their families.
After their in-processing was completed, members quickly departed with
their families to start their much deserved time-off. The wing is
preparing to officially welcome returning deployers during a July Airmen