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Hundreds welcome 560th RED HORSE Airmen home

560th Red Horse Returns Home From Deployment

Tech. Sgt. Jeff Mattellini kisses his daughter after returning from a deployment to the Middle East. Hundreds of family members and friends showed up to the return of their loved ones during a deployment homecoming at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. November 3, 2017. More than 120 Airmen with the 560th RED HORSE Squadron deployed for 180 days across Southwest Asia to provide a dedicated, mobile, flexible, self-sufficient heavy construction engineering force for airfield, base infrastructure and special capabilities to support worldwide contingency operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Steven A. Ortiz)

560th Red Horse Returns Home From Deployment

Families and friends await the return of their loved ones during a deployment homecoming at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. November 3, 2017. More than 120 Airmen with the 560th RED HORSE Squadron deployed for 180 days across Southwest Asia to provide a dedicated, mobile, flexible, self-sufficient heavy construction engineering force for airfield, base infrastructure and special capabilities to support worldwide contingency operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Steven A. Ortiz)

560th Red Horse Returns Home From Deployment

Families and friends await the return of their loved ones during a deployment homecoming at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. November 3, 2017. More than 120 Airmen with the 560th RED HORSE Squadron deployed for 180 days across Southwest Asia to provide a dedicated, mobile, flexible, self-sufficient heavy construction engineering force for airfield, base infrastructure and special capabilities to support worldwide contingency operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Steven A. Ortiz)

560th Red Horse Returns Home From Deployment

Hundreds of family members and friends showed up for the return of their loved ones during a deployment homecoming at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. November 3, 2017. More than 120 Airmen with the 560th RED HORSE Squadron deployed for 180 days across Southwest Asia to provide a dedicated, mobile, flexible, self-sufficient heavy construction engineering force for airfield, base infrastructure and special capabilities to support worldwide contingency operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Steven A. Ortiz)

560th Red Horse Returns Home From Deployment

Hundreds of family members and friends showed up to the return of their loved ones during a deployment homecoming at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. November 3, 2017. More than 120 Airmen with the 560th RED HORSE Squadron deployed for 180 days across Southwest Asia to provide a dedicated, mobile, flexible, self-sufficient heavy construction engineering force for airfield, base infrastructure and special capabilities to support worldwide contingency operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Steven A. Ortiz)

560th Red Horse Returns Home From Deployment

Hundreds of family members and friends showed up for the return of their loved ones during a deployment homecoming at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. November 3, 2017. More than 120 Airmen with the 560th RED HORSE Squadron deployed for 180 days across Southwest Asia to provide a dedicated, mobile, flexible, self-sufficient heavy construction engineering force for airfield, base infrastructure and special capabilities to support worldwide contingency operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Steven A. Ortiz)

560th Red Horse Returns Home From Deployment

Hundreds of family members and friends showed up to the return of their loved ones during a deployment homecoming at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. November 3, 2017. More than 120 Airmen with the 560th RED HORSE Squadron deployed for 180 days across Southwest Asia to provide a dedicated, mobile, flexible, self-sufficient heavy construction engineering force for airfield, base infrastructure and special capabilities to support worldwide contingency operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Steven A. Ortiz)

560th Red Horse Returns Home From Deployment

Hundreds of family members and friends showed up to the return of their loved ones during a deployment homecoming at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. November 3, 2017. More than 120 Airmen with the 560th RED HORSE Squadron deployed for 180 days across Southwest Asia to provide a dedicated, mobile, flexible, self-sufficient heavy construction engineering force for airfield, base infrastructure and special capabilities to support worldwide contingency operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Steven A. Ortiz)

560th Red Horse Returns Home From Deployment

A Reporter from WCBD News 2 interviews a little girl eagerly awaiting the return of her father from a deployment. Hundreds of family members and friends showed up to the return of their loved ones during a deployment homecoming at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. November 3, 2017. More than 120 Airmen with the 560th RED HORSE Squadron deployed for 180 days across Southwest Asia to provide a dedicated, mobile, flexible, self-sufficient heavy construction engineering force for airfield, base infrastructure and special capabilities to support worldwide contingency operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Steven A. Ortiz)

560th Red Horse Returns Home From Deployment
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 10 of 15

Hundreds of family members and friends showed up to the return of their loved ones during a deployment homecoming at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. November 3, 2017. More than 120 Airmen with the 560th RED HORSE Squadron deployed for 180 days across Southwest Asia to provide a dedicated, mobile, flexible, self-sufficient heavy construction engineering force for airfield, base infrastructure and special capabilities to support worldwide contingency operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Steven A. Ortiz)

560th Red Horse Returns Home From Deployment
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 11 of 15

Hundreds of family members and friends showed up to the return of their loved ones during a deployment homecoming at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. November 3, 2017. More than 120 Airmen with the 560th RED HORSE Squadron deployed for 180 days across Southwest Asia to provide a dedicated, mobile, flexible, self-sufficient heavy construction engineering force for airfield, base infrastructure and special capabilities to support worldwide contingency operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Steven A. Ortiz)

560th Red Horse Returns Home From Deployment
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 12 of 15

Hundreds of family members and friends showed up to the return of their loved ones during a deployment homecoming at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. November 3, 2017. More than 120 Airmen with the 560th RED HORSE Squadron deployed for 180 days across Southwest Asia to provide a dedicated, mobile, flexible, self-sufficient heavy construction engineering force for airfield, base infrastructure and special capabilities to support worldwide contingency operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Steven A. Ortiz)

560th Red Horse Returns Home From Deployment
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 13 of 15

Families and friends await the return of their loved ones during a deployment homecoming at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. November 3, 2017. More than 120 Airmen with the 560th RED HORSE Squadron deployed for 180 days across Southwest Asia to provide a dedicated, mobile, flexible, self-sufficient heavy construction engineering force for airfield, base infrastructure and special capabilities to support worldwide contingency operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Steven A. Ortiz)

560th Red Horse Returns Home From Deployment
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 14 of 15

(From Left) Chief Master Sgt. George Role, III and Lt. Col. Horace Jones, 560th RED HORSE Squadron commander, speak to family members awaiting their loved ones return after a long deployment. Hundreds of family members and friends showed up to the return of their loved ones during a deployment homecoming at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. November 3, 2017. More than 120 Airmen with the 560th RED HORSE Squadron deployed for 180 days across Southwest Asia to provide a dedicated, mobile, flexible, self-sufficient heavy construction engineering force for airfield, base infrastructure and special capabilities to support worldwide contingency operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Steven A. Ortiz)

560th Red Horse Returns Home From Deployment
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 15 of 15

Hundreds of family members and friends showed up to the return of their loved ones during a deployment homecoming at Joint Base Charleston, S.C. November 3, 2017. More than 120 Airmen with the 560th RED HORSE Squadron deployed for 180 days across Southwest Asia to provide a dedicated, mobile, flexible, self-sufficient heavy construction engineering force for airfield, base infrastructure and special capabilities to support worldwide contingency operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Steven A. Ortiz)

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. -- During the warm evening hours of Nov. 3, hundreds of eager family members and friends anxiously awaited for the arrival of more than 90 Citizen Airmen returning from a long deployment in the Middle East.

The Airmen, assigned to the 560th RED HORSE Squadron, here, deployed together.

As if the excited faces didn’t express the mood enough, some of the signs family friends held up left no doubt.

“I’ve waited 230 days for this moment – welcome home daddy!” one sign read.

“For 8 months I’ve held you in my heart. Today I hold you in my arms. Welcome home!” read another sign.

Staff Sgt. Tyler Dray’s family held signs saying, “Land of the free because my daddy is brave.” And, “He’s not just any daddy, he’s my hero!”

It should also be of no surprise that it was a very emotional time for everyone. Tears of joy were shed by family members and returning Airmen alike.

Capt. William Hay, 560th RHS, said the welcoming reception was a little overwhelming after not seeing his family for more than seven months.

“I’m happy to be home,” Hay said as he hugged his wife & daughter tightly.

“Our guys did great over there,” added.

Some shared their excitement and pride with t-shirts with special messages to their returning Airmen.

Tech. Sgt. Herbert Deloach, jr. had a whole team to welcome him; about a dozen people sporting white t-shirts emblazed with “#TeamDelochjr” on them. It was hard for him to miss this joyous group as the bus he was arriving on pulled up to the crowd.

Maj. Jason Pryor’s son proudly wore a shirt that said, “Outta my way! I get my daddy back today.”

While deployed to various locations through the Middle East provided heavy construction within the region including building and repairing runways, buildings and other base infrastructure.

The mission of RED HORSE Squadrons is to provide commanders a dedicated, flexible airfield and base heavy construction and repair capability. The RED HORSE Squadron is self-sufficient for 30 days and indefinitely upon re-supply.