Local News

Last of Pope Airmen to return from Iraq

Posted June 18, 2008 3:09 p.m. EDT
Updated June 18, 2008 9:41 p.m. EDT

— More than 40 Airmen from Pope Air Force Base, including two C-130 crews that won major awards for missions flown in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, were scheduled to land early Friday to complete their return from deployment.

The Airmen returning home are from Pope’s last remaining active-duty flying squadron, the 2nd Airlift Squadron, as well as the 43rd Maintenance Squadron and 43rd Logistics Readiness Squadron.

Two of the flying crews returning home, commanded by Capts. Kenneth Hoekman and Stephen Cheek, were honored for their work. Hoekman’s crew saved a severely burned Iraqi woman last month despite flying through treacherous conditions, while Cheek’s crew overcame a very rare double-engine failure to complete a flight with five wounded patients on board.