VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A long 10-month deployment came to an end at Naval Air Station Oceana Thursday morning.
10 On Your Side was on the flight line when the Sunliners flew their F-A 18 Super Hornets back home. The Air Squadron served on the carrier USS Carl Vinson in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea.
“It was a long one. I think we did good work,” Commander Brennan Sweeney said. “Our Sailors did a good job, all 223 of us. We’re getting another 200 home tomorrow,”
The deployment was the longest planned deployment on a carrier since the Vietnam War. For the Sailors and their families, it was a long time to be apart. WAVY.com caught up with a family that even grew during the deployment.
“I can’t believe he’s back. It’s been a long 10 months, and this is our first baby and she’s 7 weeks, so she was born when he was gone, and he left when I was like two-weeks pregnant,” Military wife Diem Genest said.
“It’s amazing, when I left she wasn’t even showing and now she’s a real human being and apparently she cries,” Pilot Tom Genest said.
The squadron flew more than 2,600 separate missions, more than 400 of them combat related.