Flying Jennies return home

By Jessica Bowman – email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Friends and family anxiously waited Sunday as the "Flying Jennies" returned to Keesler Air Force Base. The Flying Jennies, made up of reservists from the 815th Airlift Squadron, returned with many outstanding achievements under their belts.

"We just received word that the plane has landed," said an Air Force official.

Those were the words family members had been waiting for since their loved ones deployed to Iraq last year.

P. Phillips who waited for his wife said, "It's insane, it's crazy right now. I'm feeling all warm and all fuzzy inside."

Kayla Brackett who waited for her father said, "I'm excited and ready for him to come home."

With signs held high, the bus arrived, and off stepped the men and woman who are being called true American heroes.

One family traveled all the way from Anchorage, Alaska to give their father a proper homecoming.

"It feels great to be home, this was a wonderful surprise. I feel very loved," said Major Keith Innes.

Nylah Grace was born January 4, 2010 while her dad fought for his country. On this day, she's meeting him for the first time.

Master Sgt. Kermit Watson said, "I am in Heaven right now, ecstatic, I can't describe it in words. I am very overwhelmed."

Brigadier General James Muscatell says the courageous men and women returned with outstanding achievements.

"The tonnage they moved was phenomenal they moved 5,400 tons of equipment they moved around," said Brigadier General James Muscatell.

Those numbers are compared to other wings that have served at the same base in Iraq since September 11, 2001.

Brigadier General James Muscatell said, "Usually they look at us to have 80 to 85% mission success rate to get the airplanes off, we were at 99.7%.  So not only did we set records we blew them out of the water."

The General says it takes the active duty, the guard and reserve working together as a team to protect our nation.

"I'm so glad to be back," said a Flying Jennies Airman.

The operations group of the "Flying Jennies" will return to Kessler Air Force Base Monday. The "Flying Jennies" deployed to Southwest Asia September 1, 2009.

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