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93rd ARS returns home after 7-month deployment

A 93rd Air Refueling Squadron member arrives home from a deployment and is greeted by a loved one on Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, July 1, 2020. The Airmen left home for a four-month deployment but due to coronavirus disease 2019 health and safety restrictions, members returned after seven months. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

A 93rd Air Refueling Squadron member arrives home from a deployment and is greeted by a loved one on Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, July 1, 2020. The Airmen left home for a four-month deployment but due to coronavirus disease 2019 health and safety restrictions, members returned after seven months. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

A 93rd Air Refueling Squadron member arrives from deployment and greets his loved one on Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, July 1, 2020. Seventy-six members of the 93rd ARS deployed for seven months in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

A 93rd Air Refueling Squadron member arrives from deployment and greets his loved one on Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, July 1, 2020. Seventy-six members of the 93rd ARS deployed for seven months in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Kiaundra Miller)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. --

Team Fairchild welcomed over 76 Airmen from the 92nd Maintenance Group and 92nd Operations Group after returning from a seven-month deployment, July 1, 2020, making it one of the longest deployments the KC-135 Stratotanker has ever seen.

 

Despite all of the increased protective measures due to coronavirus disease 2019 and the length of the deployment extended by three months, these Airmen maintained mission readiness and resiliency throughout their deployment.

 

“Our days didn’t change with COVID-19; our missions stayed the exact same, it was mainly us not knowing when we were coming home and trying to keep our spirits up,” said Capt. Kirsten Larson, 93rd Air Refueling Squadron aircraft commander, and one of the deployed members. “I was proud of my crew with how they really helped us all keep our spirits up.”

Airmen were originally scheduled to be deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve for four months, but due to COVID-19 they extended their deployment an additional three months.

 

“Some of them have been gone since before Thanksgiving,” said Lt. Col Scott Davis, 93rd Air Refueling Squadron commander. “They’re traditionally supposed to be deployed for 120 days and some of them have been gone for almost seven months.”

 

The return from deployment showcased how excited Airmen, their counterparts and family members were to see them return home safely from an unexpectedly long deployment.

 

“It’s a real honor to be out here to welcome these Airmen back,” said Col. Russell Davis, 92nd Operations Group commander. “These are our warriors that defend and support America’s allies.”