HAMPTON ROADS, Va. — The air squadrons of the USS Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group (HSTCSG) returned home Friday after eight months in the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean Sea.
The nine aircraft squadrons had been gone since April 11, returning just in time for the holidays - something many families are thankful for.
“We’re just anxious for him to be back,” said Nikki Ordway, who spoke with News 3 while waiting to see her husband, Brian Kesselring, Commander of VFA-81. "They are ready to have him home," she added in reference to her kids.
On deployment, the nine aircraft squadrons supported maritime security operations while operating in international waters across the globe. But for many, including Kesselring, the mission now is to enjoy family and being home for the holidays.
“We are ecstatic. Couldn’t be a better time to come home right before the holidays,” Kesselring said. “We did a little bit of everything: Went off to the Mediterranean and start it off there with operation air results, starting off fighting against ISIS, then we went to support our allies up as a high north of the Arctic Circle and did some phenomenal work up there."
Five of the squadrons made it home to their families Friday morning. The sixth locally-based squadron will touch down Saturday, and the rest of the HSTCSG will return Sunday.