VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — On Labor Day morning, four Super Hornet Squadrons which are part of Carrier Air Wing One, returned to N.A.S Oceana after a nine-month deployment aboard USS Harry S. Truman.
It’s the moment dozens of families have waited months for.
“It’s very exciting,” said Katlin Skaggs while waiting on her sister.
“It’s been good, but the extensions were a little hard, but they always are," said Donna Enos as she waited for her husband Commander Matthew Enos. "And we have a great group and we always do it.”
Katlin Skaggs and her family lined up eager for their pilot to arrive. Skaggs said this is her sister's second deployment but she didn’t get a chance to see her the first time around.
“I wasn’t here for the last one, so it’s going to be awesome,” Skaggs said.
Crews supported U. S European Command with different trainings and air policing missions.
“Our predominant focus was building our partnership with NATO," said Commander Matthew Enos, the commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron VFA-11. "So we had many opportunities flying with different countries, interacting with them.”
The group worked with armed forces from several countries including Belgium, Croatia and France. Nine months abroad resulted in more than 26,000 flight hours and more than 10,000 arrested landings. With it being the first homecoming in a year, many call this moment special.
“We had a pretty amazing deployment, accomplished a lot of things there," Commander Enos said. "So coming back home, the weather is beautiful, we couldn’t have asked for a better reunion.”
The rest of the squadrons in Carrier Air Wing One will return to their home bases at Naval Station Norfolk, Florida and Washington state.
A Navy spokesperson said USS Harry S. Truman is expected to return to Hampton Roads in about a week.