CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Several airmen of the Charleston-based 130th Airlift Wing of the West Virginia National Guard returned home to McLaughlin Air National Guard Base Tuesday following a tour of duty in Southwest Asia.
A news release from the Guard said those who came home represented half of those who left earlier this summer. The rest will return home in the coming months.
“It’s a great day when we get to welcome home our men and women who have been supporting the fight overseas and congratulate them on their mission success,” Col. Johnny Ryan, 130th Airlift Wing commander, said in a news release. “I look forward to greeting the rest of our deployers once they return and celebrating the accomplishments of the West Virginia Air National Guard with their families, friends and community members. We’re very proud of the work they’ve done.”
Those deployed performed various duties including flying missions on C-130 Hercules aircraft as part of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, providing aircraft maintenance and being part of mission support efforts.
“It was a very high operations-tempo style deployment, which I wasn’t used to,” Staff Sgt. Jennifer Simms, a Maintenance Management Production Craftsman with the 130th Medical Group said. “More than anything, the camaraderie was great, and when times got tough, everyone came together and played their part in [Operation] Inherent Resolve.”
The 130th has been part of dozens of deployments in the Middle East since shortly after the War on Terror began in 2001.