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Special Operations Soldiers Return To Pope AFB

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POPE AFB — A group of Special Operations soldiers who were deployed as part of Operation Enduring Freedom have returned to Pope Air Force Base.

Around 4 a.m. Wednesday, a C-5 carrying 16 members of the 528th Special Ops Support Battallion landed at the base. The group was deployed in late September.

The soldiers are back on American soil after spending two busy months in the middle of the war on terrorism. On the ground, the soldiers provided fuel and water support to troops, as well as transportation and engineering assistance.

As the soldiers were welcomed home by family members,they acknowledged that there were some tense moments, but that they are part of an elite group.

"We're proud that we were able to deploy very early and go over and do our mission. We're just very happy to be home and have all my soldiers back," a soldier said.

Small groups of soldiers from the 528th have been trickling home over the last few days. A total of 60 soldiers are scheduled to come home.

The early homecoming came as a surprise to soldiers and their families who had prepared to be separated for up to six months.

After a dangerous deployement, home for the holidays has a special meaning this year.