14th Airlift Squadron returns from 50-day Asia mission

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Members of the 14th Airlift Squadron returned to the Lowcountry Monday morning after a deployment in southwest Asia.

"It was two nine hour flights basically to get home today," said Lt. Col. Matt Leard. "We were a deployed airlift squadron so, we were primarily at this point flying things out of Afghanistan in support of the President's withdrawal timeline."

The more than 80 airmen flew and supported nearly 1,300 sorties, logged more than 3,000 combat flying hours, and airlifted 40 million pounds of cargo and 23,000 people around the region.

"We were gone just over 50 days but, it was great," said Lt. Col. Charles Polomsky. "We did a lot of important stuff. Especially with the retrograde stuff out of Afghanistan."

Monday, dozens of family members and kids wore red, white and blue as they awaited their arrival.

"This is my first time where he was deployed and we had a kid. And, so it was really cool to see how he [their son] reacted," said Jacque Hince, whose husband Peter was deployed. "I mean he like took off to go see him and won't leave him."

It's the first time in nearly 10 years that all four airlift squadrons will be in Charleston at once, officials said.

"You always think of the things you missed over the last 50 days you've been gone, but to get hugs from them is well-worth it," said Polomsky. "Getting ready to spend some quality time with them now that we are back."