Welcome Back: Record-Breaking F-16 Squadron Returns

An Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron reunite with his family during the squadron’s
return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 of the squadron’s Airmen, who serve
in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month
deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations in support of
Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

An Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron reunite with his family during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 of the squadron’s Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron lands on the flightline during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

An F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron lands on the flightline during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

Airmen assigned to the 52nd Fighter Wing wave as an F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft pilot assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

Airmen assigned to the 52nd Fighter Wing wave as an F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft pilot assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

The wife and children of a pilot assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron await to greet him during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

The wife and children of a pilot assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron await to greet him during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

An Airman assigned to the 52nd Fighter Wing cradles an infant while waiting to greet returning Airmen on the flightline at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. Approximately 300 of the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron’s Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber)

An Airman assigned to the 52nd Fighter Wing cradles an infant while waiting to greet returning Airmen on the flightline at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. Approximately 300 of the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron’s Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber)

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron taxis on the flightline at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. The 480th EFS completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia in of support Operation Inherent Resolve, a targeted operation against Da'esh terrorists. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber)

A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron taxis on the flightline at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. The 480th EFS completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia in of support Operation Inherent Resolve, a targeted operation against Da'esh terrorists. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber)

An Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, left reunites with family and friends on the flightline at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. Members of the 480th EFS and supporting agencies deployed to support Operation Inherent Resolve, a targeted operation against ISIL terrorists. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber)

An Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, left reunites with family and friends on the flightline at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. Members of the 480th EFS and supporting agencies deployed to support Operation Inherent Resolve, a targeted operation against ISIL terrorists. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber)

An Airman from the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron greets his daughter on the flightline at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. Approximately 300 Airmen reunited with their families and friends after a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber)

An Airman from the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron greets his daughter on the flightline at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. Approximately 300 Airmen reunited with their families and friends after a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber)

A 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron Airman embraces his daughter during a homecoming ceremony at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. The 480th EFS returned to home station after a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber)

A 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron Airman embraces his daughter during a homecoming ceremony at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. The 480th EFS returned to home station after a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber)

An Airman from the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron embraces his wife during a homecoming event on the flightline at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. The 480th EFS returned safely to home station after a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber)
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An Airman from the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron embraces his wife during a homecoming event on the flightline at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. The 480th EFS returned safely to home station after a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber)

An Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron places a hat on his son’s head on the flightline at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. Members of the 480th EFS and supporting agencies deployed to support Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber)
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An Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron places a hat on his son’s head on the flightline at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. Members of the 480th EFS and supporting agencies deployed to support Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber)

A 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron Airman embraces his family on the flightline at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. Approximately 300 of the squadron’s Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber)
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A 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron Airman embraces his family on the flightline at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. Approximately 300 of the squadron’s Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Dawn M. Weber)

An Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron reunites with his children during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)
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An Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron reunites with his children during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

An Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron reunites with his children during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)
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An Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron reunites with his children during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

An Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron reunites with his family during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)
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An Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron reunites with his family during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 6, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

Airmen assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron exit an airplane during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)
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Airmen assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron exit an airplane during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

Col. Stephen Scherzer, 52nd Maintenance Group commander, right, greets an Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)
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Col. Stephen Scherzer, 52nd Maintenance Group commander, right, greets an Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

Chief Master Sgt. Edwin Ludwigsen, 52nd Fighter Wing command chief, left, shakes the hand of an Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, right, during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)
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Chief Master Sgt. Edwin Ludwigsen, 52nd Fighter Wing command chief, left, shakes the hand of an Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron, right, during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

Friends and family members of Airmen assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron await the squadron’s arrival back to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 squadron members arrived from a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia where they provided close air support and dynamic targeting operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Preston Cherry)
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Friends and family members of Airmen assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron await the squadron’s arrival back to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 squadron members arrived from a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia where they provided close air support and dynamic targeting operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Preston Cherry)

Family members of Airmen assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron await the squadron’s arrival back to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Friends and family members gathered at Hangar One to welcome home the 480th EFS, which deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, whose mission aims to defeat enemy forces in the Combined Joint Force Area. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Preston Cherry)
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Family members of Airmen assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron await the squadron’s arrival back to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Friends and family members gathered at Hangar One to welcome home the 480th EFS, which deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, whose mission aims to defeat enemy forces in the Combined Joint Force Area. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Preston Cherry)

A child of a deployed Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron awaits the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. The 480th EFS served a six-month deployment in Southwest Asia in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, which aims to defeat enemy forces in the Combined Joint Force Area. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Preston Cherry)
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A child of a deployed Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron awaits the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. The 480th EFS served a six-month deployment in Southwest Asia in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, which aims to defeat enemy forces in the Combined Joint Force Area. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Preston Cherry)

Hundreds of families reunite with their returning Airmen assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron
during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 of the
squadron’s Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft,
completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting
operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)
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Hundreds of families reunite with their returning Airmen assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 of the squadron’s Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

Airmen assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron reunite with their loved ones during the squadron’s
return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 of the squadron’s Airmen, who serve
in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month
deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations in support of
Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)
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Airmen assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron reunite with their loved ones during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 of the squadron’s Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

Airmen assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron reunite with friends and family during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 squadron members arrived from a six-month deployment in Southwest Asia where they provided close air support and dynamic targeting operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Preston Cherry)
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Airmen assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron reunite with friends and family during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 squadron members arrived from a six-month deployment in Southwest Asia where they provided close air support and dynamic targeting operations in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Preston Cherry)

An Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron reunites with his loved one during the squadron’s
return from Southwest Asia to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. The 480th EFS deployed in support
of Operation Inherent Resolve’s, which aims to militarily defeat enemy forces in the Combined Joint Operations
Area by, with and through regional partners in order to enable whole-of-governmental actions to increase regional
stability by conducting a campaign against enemy forces in Iraq and Syria. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt.
Jonathan Snyder)
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An Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron reunites with his loved one during the squadron’s return from Southwest Asia to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. The 480th EFS deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve’s, which aims to militarily defeat enemy forces in the Combined Joint Operations Area by, with and through regional partners in order to enable whole-of-governmental actions to increase regional stability by conducting a campaign against enemy forces in Iraq and Syria. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

An Airman from the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron holds his son after returning to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. The squadron completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia to support Operation Inherent Resolve, which aims to defeat enemy forces in the Combined Joint Force Area. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Preston Cherry)
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An Airman from the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron holds his son after returning to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. The squadron completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia to support Operation Inherent Resolve, which aims to defeat enemy forces in the Combined Joint Force Area. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Preston Cherry)

An Airman reunites with his son during the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron return from Southwest Asia to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. The 480th EFS deployed in support of Operation Inherent
Resolve’s, which aims to militarily defeat enemy forces in the Combined Joint Operations Area by, with and through
regional partners in order to enable whole-of-governmental actions to increase regional stability by conducting a
campaign against enemy forces in Iraq and Syria. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)
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An Airman reunites with his son during the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron return from Southwest Asia to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. The 480th EFS deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve’s, which aims to militarily defeat enemy forces in the Combined Joint Operations Area by, with and through regional partners in order to enable whole-of-governmental actions to increase regional stability by conducting a campaign against enemy forces in Iraq and Syria. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder)

Family members cheer as Airmen assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron arrive during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)
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Family members cheer as Airmen assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron arrive during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

An Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron holds his daughter during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)
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An Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron holds his daughter during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

An Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron holds his daughter during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)
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An Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron holds his daughter during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

An Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron reunites with his family during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)
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An Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron reunites with his family during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

An Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron holds his son's head during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)
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An Airman assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron holds his son's head during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016. Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da'esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joe W. McFadden)

SPANGDAHLEM AIR BASE, Germany --

Hundreds of families reunited with Airmen assigned to the 480th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron during the squadron’s return to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, Oct. 12, 2016.

Approximately 300 of the Airmen, who serve in flight, maintenance or support roles for the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft, completed a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia by providing close air support and dynamic targeting operations as part of the squadron’s first deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

 

“It feels amazing for everybody to be back here,” said Lt. Col. Timothy Murphy, 480th EFS commander. “We’re obviously flying in some really hostile territory and to bring all the pilots back safe and sound and here is an amazing thing, and the whole team being back together is a great thing that we wanted to do.”

 

During the deployment, coalition forces regained 10,000 square-kilometers and liberated up to five cities including a supply center that Da'esh terrorists captured during their campaign within Iraq and Syria, Murphy said. 

 

He also said the maintenance team generated more sorties than any previous F-16 squadron, resulting in more support, weapons and effects for ground forces. 

 

“It is an incredible testimony to the quality of our daily Air Force training that they were able to step in and execute at such a high level for six months,” Murphy said. “Seeing this group have such success demonstrates the tradition of excellence that defines our Air Force."

 

The squadron, aided by the 332nd Expeditionary Maintenance Group, also broke an Air Force record Sept. 16, 2016, when they dropped their 1,900th precision-guided munition, thus exceeding the most amount ever delivered by an F-16 unit within a six-month period.

 

“A huge amount of the bombs that made up that record and the progress we made on the ground is really due to those guys being willing to put in those extra hours and those extra extensions and everything that goes behind it,” Murphy said. “We couldn’t have done it without the team we had.”

 

Having said goodbye April 7, 2016, families gathered again at Hangar One to greet the returning Airmen with open arms, uniquely designed posters and even new family members born during the deployment. 

 

Murphy concluded by highlighting the legacy of Airman 1st Class Nathaniel McDavitt, an F-16 tactical aircraft maintainer, who was killed in a weather-related incident April 15, 2016, during the deployment.

 

“It’s a tough thing for all of us,” Murphy said. “But all of the accomplishments I just talked about, they honored his memory in the absolute best way they possibly could. I know he’s unbelievably proud of what they did and what the team did.  Again, we’re happy to be back but we’re never going to forget him and the effort he put into it as well.” 

 

Operation Inherent Resolve aims to eliminate the Da’esh terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria and the wider international community. The destruction of Da’esh targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the group's ability to project terror and conduct operations.