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Ellsworth Airmen return home from six-month deployment

B-1 bombers from the 37th Bomb Squadron and Airmen from the 37th Aircraft Maintenance Unit were deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, to take part in the Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald C. Knechtel)

First Lt. Kyle Antoszewski, the 28th Operations Support Squadron deputy chief of training, welcomes home Capt. Kortnie Allen, the 28th OSS chief of intelligence operations, at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 29, 2018. B-1 bombers from the 37th Bomb Squadron and Airmen from the 37th Aircraft Maintenance Unit were deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, to take part in the Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald C. Knechtel)

Master Sgt. Michael Cromer, a flight line expeditor assigned to the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, watches his son, Jonah, play with a bean bag at the Pride Hangar at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 29, 2018. B-1 bombers from the 37th Bomb Squadron and Airmen from the 37th Aircraft Maintenance Unit were deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, to take part in the Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nicolas Z. Erwin)

Master Sgt. Michael Cromer, a flight line expeditor assigned to the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, watches his son, Jonah, play with a bean bag at the Pride Hangar at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 29, 2018. B-1 bombers from the 37th Bomb Squadron and Airmen from the 37th Aircraft Maintenance Unit were deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, to take part in the Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nicolas Z. Erwin)

Family members wait to see Airmen returning from a six-month deployment to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, at the Pride Hangar at Ellsworth AFB, S.D., Jan. 29, 2018. B-1 bombers from the 37th Bomb Squadron and Airmen from the 37th Aircraft Maintenance Unit were deployed to Andersen AFB, to take part in the Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald Knechtel)

Family members wait to see Airmen returning from a six-month deployment to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, at the Pride Hangar at Ellsworth AFB, S.D., Jan. 29, 2018. B-1 bombers from the 37th Bomb Squadron and Airmen from the 37th Aircraft Maintenance Unit were deployed to Andersen AFB, to take part in the Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald Knechtel)

Senior Master Sgt. Derek Hulsey, the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron first sergeant, hugs his wife, Master Sgt. Deborah Hulsey, the 28th Medical Operations Squadron superintendent, at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 29, 2018. B-1 Bombers from the 37th Bomb Squadron and Airmen from the 37th Aircraft Maintenance Unit returned from a six-month deployment to Andersen AFB, Guam, where they took part in the Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald Knechtel)

Senior Master Sgt. Derek Hulsey, the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron first sergeant, hugs his wife, Master Sgt. Deborah Hulsey, the 28th Medical Operations Squadron superintendent, at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 29, 2018. B-1 Bombers from the 37th Bomb Squadron and Airmen from the 37th Aircraft Maintenance Unit returned from a six-month deployment to Andersen AFB, Guam, where they took part in the Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald Knechtel)

Airmen assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron and the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron return to Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 29, 2018, after a six-month deployment to Andersen AFB, Guam. B-1 bombers from the 37th BS and Airmen from the 37th Aircraft Maintenance Unit were deployed to Andersen AFB to take part in the Continuous Bomber Presence mission being conducted by the U.S. Pacific Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald Knechtel)

Airmen assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron and the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron return to Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 29, 2018, after a six-month deployment to Andersen AFB, Guam. B-1 bombers from the 37th BS and Airmen from the 37th Aircraft Maintenance Unit were deployed to Andersen AFB to take part in the Continuous Bomber Presence mission being conducted by the U.S. Pacific Command. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald Knechtel)

Aziah Dominguez holds a sign to show his excitement for the return of his father at the Pride Hangar at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 29, 2018. B-1 Bombers from the 37th Bomb Squadron and Airmen from the 37th Aircraft Maintenance Unit were deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, to take part in the Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald Knechtel)

Aziah Dominguez holds a sign to show his excitement for the return of his father at the Pride Hangar at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 29, 2018. B-1 Bombers from the 37th Bomb Squadron and Airmen from the 37th Aircraft Maintenance Unit were deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, to take part in the Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald Knechtel)

Family members wait for their Airmen on the flight line at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 29, 2018. B-1 bombers from the 37th Bomb Squadron and Airmen from the 37th Aircraft Maintenance Unit returned from a six-month deployment to Andersen AFB, Guam, where they took part in the Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald Knechtel)

Family members wait for their Airmen on the flight line at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 29, 2018. B-1 bombers from the 37th Bomb Squadron and Airmen from the 37th Aircraft Maintenance Unit returned from a six-month deployment to Andersen AFB, Guam, where they took part in the Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald Knechtel)

Staff Sgt. Gabriel Henry, a crew chief assigned to the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, is greeted on the flight line at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 29, 2018, after returning from a six-month deployment to Andersen AFB, Guam. B-1 bombers from the 37th Bomb Squadron and Airmen from the 37th Aircraft Maintenance Unit were deployed to Anderson AFB to take part in the Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Karol)

Staff Sgt. Gabriel Henry, a crew chief assigned to the 28th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, is greeted on the flight line at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 29, 2018, after returning from a six-month deployment to Andersen AFB, Guam. B-1 bombers from the 37th Bomb Squadron and Airmen from the 37th Aircraft Maintenance Unit were deployed to Anderson AFB to take part in the Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Karol)

Maj. Jeremey, a pilot assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron, kisses his wife on the flight line at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., after returning from a six-month deployment to Andersen AFB, Guam, Jan. 25, 2018. B-1 bomber aircrews conducted sorties close to South Korea’s northern border as part of the U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Karol)

Maj. Jeremey, a pilot assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron, kisses his wife on the flight line at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., after returning from a six-month deployment to Andersen AFB, Guam, Jan. 25, 2018. B-1 bomber aircrews conducted sorties close to South Korea’s northern border as part of the U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Karol)

B-1 bombers returning from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, taxi down the runway at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 25, 2018. B-1 bombers from the 37th Bomb Squadron and Airmen from the 37th Aircraft Maintenance Unit were deployed to Andersen AFB, to take part in the Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nicolas Z. Erwin)
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B-1 bombers returning from Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, taxi down the runway at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 25, 2018. B-1 bombers from the 37th Bomb Squadron and Airmen from the 37th Aircraft Maintenance Unit were deployed to Andersen AFB, to take part in the Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Nicolas Z. Erwin)

Capt. Chad, a weapons system officer assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron, holds his son, Grant, at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 25, 2018, after returning from a six-month deployment. B-1 bomber aircrews conducted sorties close to South Korea’s northern border as part of the U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Karol)
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Capt. Chad, a weapons system officer assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron, holds his son, Grant, at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 25, 2018, after returning from a six-month deployment. B-1 bomber aircrews conducted sorties close to South Korea’s northern border as part of the U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Thomas Karol)

A B-1 bomber assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron is checked over by maintenance personnel at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 24, 2018. B-1 bombers from the 37th BS were deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, to take part in the Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald Knechtel)
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A B-1 bomber assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron is checked over by maintenance personnel at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 24, 2018. B-1 bombers from the 37th BS were deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, to take part in the Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald Knechtel)

Capt. Lance, a weapons system officer assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron, sees his family for the first time in over six months during a redeployment at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 24, 2018. B-1 bomber aircrews conducted sorties close to South Korea’s norther border as part of the U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald Knechtel)
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Capt. Lance, a weapons system officer assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron, sees his family for the first time in over six months during a redeployment at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 24, 2018. B-1 bomber aircrews conducted sorties close to South Korea’s norther border as part of the U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Donald Knechtel)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Ellsworth friends and families welcomed home approximately 350 Airmen on Jan. 29, 2018, after a six-month deployment to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, in support of U.S. Pacific Command’s Continuous Bomber Presence mission.
 

"It was great to see our Airmen reunited with their love ones this morning. They performed amazingly during this long and demanding deployment to U.S. Pacific Command." said Col. John Edwards, the 28th Bomb Wing commander. "This was a historical deployment for the 37th Bomb Squadron and 37th Aircraft Maintenance Unit in reassuring our allies and deterring adversaries in the Indo-Asia Pacific Region.”

Aviators flew 1,100 hours, completed more than 260 sorties, and dropped 200 bombs in training during the rotation. This deployed presence demonstrated America’s continuing commitment to supporting the Indo-Asia-Pacific regional stability and security.

“It was a very successful deployment,” said Capt. Brandon, a weapons system officer assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron. “We set a lot of records and got a lot of integration with our allies. We even moved farther north into North Korea than we have in the past two decades – a lot of history was made in this deployment.”

During the deployment, a sortie was flown past the Northern Limit Line, which is the de facto maritime boundary between the two Koreas. This marks the first time in over 20 years that a combat sortie has crossed the Northern Limit Line.

“Missions like this are very important,” said Lt. Col. Daniel Diehl, the 37th Expeditionary Squadron commander. “It shows the world how serious the U.S. is in supporting its allies. It’s crucial we show the world and our allies that we have their back.”

After a long time away from home, the roughly 350 Airmen have happily reunited with their families and are ready to make up for lost time.

“The 37th BS and Aircraft Maintenance Unit were welcomed by cheering families and teammates reminding them that their efforts over the last six months were astronomical,” said Chief Master Sgt. Adam Vizi, the 28th BW command chief. “Welcoming our deployed men and women assures all 28th BW Airmen that no matter the mission our home station team takes care of family – one team, one fight!”   

While the Airmen were ecstatic to be back with their Ellsworth family, they were even more thrilled to be reunited with their loved ones.

“I’m extremely happy to be back home again with my family,” Brandon said. “I just want to thank Ellsworth for the support. I honestly couldn’t do it without the families and friends that support us with the mission. We couldn’t do it without them.”


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