Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Gunfighters return home

by Airman 1st Class Malissa Lott
366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

10/15/2014 - MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Nearly 300 Airmen from the 391st Fighter Squadron and 366th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron returned home Oct. 10, 2014 after a six-month deployment to the Asia-Pacific region.

These deployments reflect the continuing commitment of maintaining an appropriate deterrent posture in the region.

"The U.S. has a number of important relationships in the Asia-Pacific region, and the Department of Defense has taken significant steps to strengthen our operational presence while simultaneously accomplishing training with our partners and allies," said Col. Dave Iverson, 366th Fighter Wing commander. "The 391st did a fantastic job helping achieve our national security objectives in the region."

Gunfighters and family members were present to welcome home the returning Airmen.

"It was tough," said Amy Pritchard, wife of Staff Sgt. Ryan Pritchard. "It's the first time we did this with our daughter so that was a new experience. We did our best to communicate and it worked out."

Air Combat Command continues to routinely deploy fighter aircraft to the Asia-Pacific Region, providing Pacific Air Forces and the U.S. Pacific Command a Theater Security Package in the region, deepening ties with allies and relationships with the international community.

"The time difference was hard trying to juggle her work schedule and my work schedule always changing," said Staff Sgt. Pritchard, 366th AMXS weapons loader. "Communication is key, and staying connected and being there for your family is the most important thing."

Now that the Airmen have returned home, they can get back to their day-to-day lives. Many have been looking forward to this long awaited moment.

"We're going to spend time together," said Amy. "I am due in November, so we are going to have a baby and that's pretty special."

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