VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – The “Fighting Swordsmen” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32, the “Gunslingers” of VFA-105, the “Wildcats” of VFA-131, and the “Rampagers” of VFA-83 returned home to NAS Oceana on Tuesday, July 13.
More than 800 sailors and aviators with four F/A-18E/F Super Hornet squadrons just completed a six-month deployment aboard USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). They were part of the nine squadrons of Carrier Air Wing Three, commanded by Captain Marcos A. Jasso.
These families have waited six months while their loved ones served overseas. On Tuesday, they showed up to welcome their heroes home.
Few seemed happier than Kati Brady.
“It’s been tough. They’ve been gone since December, so it’s been tough keeping everything home afloat, but we’re very excited to get them home and very proud of what they do,” said Kati Brady.
She should be. The squadrons conducted 6,100 sorties and logged more than 12,000 flight hours, in support of the safe drawdown of U.S. and coalition forces from Afghanistan. They also supported missions in Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel in the Arabian Sea.
This included Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, as well as closing America’s longest war.
“We are on our second of two deployments in two years. But for this specific deployment, we had the honor and the privilege of closing on the 20-year war, specifically Afghanistan,” said Capt. Marcos Jasso, commander of Airwing 3.
Now it’s time to catch up with family, as Shane Brady did while showing his son Jackson his ride.
He’s glad to be home as well.
“It’s great, he’s bigger now, he needs a haircut,” said Shane Brady.
Now, a much-deserved rest for him and his fellow crewmen.
“Everyone’s excited to be back here today, a beautiful day to fly in, all the aircraft got in here safely and I can tell you the welcoming is overwhelming,” Jasso said.