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HSC-25 Island Knights return home

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt, Jamie Lessard
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
After a nine-month deployment, transfers to two ships, and stops in four ports, 31 Sailors from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 Detachment 1, returned home to a hero's welcome Oct. 29.

According to the Officer in Charge Lt. Cdr. Andrew Strickler, the Sailors deployed in support of the 17th Fleet replenishment operations in the Western Pacific area of responsibility. While on USNS Shasta, an ammunition ship, Det 1 resupplied three carrier battle groups, including the USS Nimitz, USS Kitty Hawk, and USS Ronald Reagan.

The detachment deployed with two MH-60S Knighthawk helicopters, 25 enlisted Sailors and six naval officers. During the nine-month deployment, they safely flew more than 530 flight hours and transported 5,500 tons of ordnance.

"It was a long deployment," said Lt. Cdr Strickler "For some it was their first time on a ship, but I think most would agree that a Sailor belongs on a ship and a ship belongs at sea."

With arms wide open, friends and family met the sailors after they touched down on the tarmac.

"It was great to come home after a very long, long time at sea," said Petty Officer 1st Class Nicholas Wyandt. P01 Wyandt's son, Trenton, ran ahead of the crowd to be scooped up by his dad almost as soon as his foot hit the ground.

The rest of the families followed shortly after to be reunited with their loved ones.

Lt.j.g. Mathew Severe and his wife Kristina arrived on Guam in January only for him to deploy in February for eight months. Lieutenant Severe returned home a month early for the big wedding ceremony Kristina was waiting for.

"We plan on relaxing and spending a lot of time together," said Lieutenant Severe.

"I grew up in a military family, so I've been through deployments before," Mrs. Severe said. "But this time I didn't have my mother and the rest of my family to lean on when he left."

Mrs. Severe kept busy playing soccer and running in the local 5K's which she won first place in a few and broke her own personal best time. "The spouse's network was wonderful too," she added.

Guam's local dancers the "Chamorritas" were part of the Sailors' welcome home along with food supplied by the USO.