317th Airlift Group Enjoys Full Nest

After nearly a decade of constant deployment, all airmen and machines of the 317th Airlift Group are back home at Dyess AFB, Tex., according a base release. Friends and family members, holding signs and American flags, congregated on the Dyess flight line on March 15 to welcome home members of the group’s 40th Airlift Squadron and their combat-delivery C-130Js from a six-month deployment to Southwest Asia, states the March 19 release. “It’s amazing and kind of overwhelming to see all the families out here,” said 1st Lt. Zacharee Arendsee, one of the returning airmen. “This is a great day for us,” said 317th AG Commander Col. Walter Ward. “It feels great to have everybody home for the first time in a very long time,” he added. Members of the 317th AG have been continuously deployed overseas to support combat operations since Dec. 20, 2003, according to the release. The group’s full nest will last about six months until the 39th AS sets off on its scheduled deployment to Southwest Asia in September. (Dyess report by A1C Charles V. Rivezzo)