About 40 airmen stationed at Cannon Air Force Base are returning this afternoon after spending about seven months deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
According to Capt. Mike Garcia, acting chief of Public Affairs at Cannon, the 40 airmen scheduled to return today are part of the 27th Civil Engineers, a unit which left Cannon in November. They will join about 200 to 300 airmen who have already returned.
Garcia said he couldn’t give exact numbers of troops who have returned but confirmed that some Cannon personnel are still deployed.
“Yes, we do have people still deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom,” Garcia said.
A reception will be held at The Landing at Cannon Air Force Base to welcome them home. The 5:30 p.m. arrival time is subject to change.
Today’s event will be smaller than earlier welcoming events on May 12 and 13, when about 200 airmen returned. On May 12, the 522nd Fighter Squadron returned from the state of Washington in a homeland security role and the 524th Fighter Squadron returned from deployment during the Iraqi war.
About 300 flag-waving relatives cheered and waved placards while “God Bless America” played on the airfield’s loudspeakers.
Col. Robert “Rowdy” Yates, commander of the 27th Fighter Wing, called the returning troops “American heroes.
“They’ve done a bang-up job with their skill and cunning,” Yates said last month. “That’s why we call them the world’s most lethal warfighters.”