HomeNewsArticle Display

Wright-Patt aerial porters return home

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio - Senior Airman Steven Sherman, 87th Aerial Port Squadron, hugs his daughter Amelia, upon his return from a six-month deployment to Balad Air Base, Iraq.  More than 50 squadron members deployed to Southwest Asia this spring and will be returning throughout the month of September. (Air Force photo/Maj, Cynthia Harris)

Senior Airman Steven Sherman, 87th Aerial Port Squadron, hugs his daughter, Amelia, upon his return from a six-month deployment to Balad Air Base, Iraq. More than 50 squadron members from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, deployed to Southwest Asia this spring and will be returning throughout the month of September 2009. (U.S. Air Force photo/Maj, Cynthia Harris)

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Family, friends and co-workers gathered at the Dayton International Airport Sept. 16 for the return of four reservists from the 87th Aerial Port Squadron. The Airmen were greeted with cheers and welcome home signs after returning from a 120-day deployment to Balad Air Base, Iraq.

While waiting for their dad's airplane to arrive, Vernon, Nathan, AJ and Amelia - children of Senior Airman Steven Sherman - were happy and excited as they eagerly awaited his arrival. Their excitement was shared by their father's older sister, Margaret Turner. "I'm so happy, so proud," she said.

Not only was Airman Sherman greeted by family, but a crowd of more than a dozen co-workers from the Five Rivers Metroparks were on hand to welcome him home. Airman Sherman serves as a conservation crew supervisor for the parks.

"His absence left a big hole. We're proud of him." "... Absolutely glad he's back safe and sound. We're looking forward to having him back and hearing stories," said Kristen Leuer, a Five Rivers Metroparks employee.

More than 50 squadron members deployed to Southwest Asia this spring and will be returning throughout the month of September. While deployed, they were responsible for moving cargo and passengers to various areas of responsibility in Southwest Asia. They conducted ramp functions and commercial tender to get people, equipment and supplies where they needed to be.

Technical Sgt. Tracy Sease said the deployment was a good learning experience.

"It was a good time to grow together as a unit," he said.

The deployment was also rewarding for Master Sgt. Larry Adams, 87th APS self evaluation quality control NCO in charge.

"It's nice to be back home, but deploying made me feel like I was doing my part," Sergeant Adams said. "Being in a real-world AOR was a great experience that can only be gained if you're deployed.

"For reservists it's beneficial to be in a real-world environment and not just training," he said. "As reservists we always train for this, but it's good to actually experience it."

This was the sergeant's second deployment so he didn't encounter anything unexpected. But for the Airmen who never deployed, it took some getting used to. He encourages Airmen to deploy to get real-world experience.

The 87th APS and other units in the 445th Airlift Wing have deployed more than 200 Airmen in support of ongoing military operations around the world this year.  (Air Force Reserve Command News Service)