Cannon welcomes back its Airman
By 27th Fighter Wing Public Affairs staff report
/ Published January 24, 2007
CANNON AIR FORCE BASEN N.M. -- Nearly 300 Cannon Airmen returned home Jan. 18 Thursday to hugs, handshakes and thank-yous after completing a four-month deployment to Balad Air Base, Iraq, that occurred during the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year holidays.
Anxious family members and friends filled Hangar 133 to greet their returning Airmen who arrived to Cannon by charter jet. The F-16 aircraft returned later in the day and another aircraft with about 35 more Airmen will return soon.
"It's been nerve-wracking," said Joanne Lodder of the deployment of her husband Staff Sgt. Jason Lodder, 27th Equipment Maintenance Squadron, adding that e-mail communication helped make it easier.
"It's time for me to be a dad," said Staff Sgt. Jason DeRocher, as he held his two-month old daughter, Jessica for the first time.
The deployment will be the last Air Expeditionary Force deployment for the 524th Fighter Squadron, but not the last for the 27th Fighter Wing.
This group of Airmen represents the largest deployment Cannon has had in the past year. On average, Cannon has had about 650 Airmen deployed throughout the world in support of various missions and operations.