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Capt. Tyler Young hugs his 3-year-old daughter, Clara, on the flight line at Misawa Air Base, Japan, late Friday afternoon after landing his F-16. Young, and other members of the 13th Fighter Squadron, returned from a 7-and-a-half-month deployment to Joint Base Balad, Iraq.
Capt. Tyler Young hugs his 3-year-old daughter, Clara, on the flight line at Misawa Air Base, Japan, late Friday afternoon after landing his F-16. Young, and other members of the 13th Fighter Squadron, returned from a 7-and-a-half-month deployment to Joint Base Balad, Iraq. (T.D. Flack/Stars and Stripes)
Capt. Tyler Young hugs his 3-year-old daughter, Clara, on the flight line at Misawa Air Base, Japan, late Friday afternoon after landing his F-16. Young, and other members of the 13th Fighter Squadron, returned from a 7-and-a-half-month deployment to Joint Base Balad, Iraq.
Capt. Tyler Young hugs his 3-year-old daughter, Clara, on the flight line at Misawa Air Base, Japan, late Friday afternoon after landing his F-16. Young, and other members of the 13th Fighter Squadron, returned from a 7-and-a-half-month deployment to Joint Base Balad, Iraq. (T.D. Flack/Stars and Stripes)
Natalee Kotowski holds 10-month-old Jackson as she welcomes her husband, Capt. Scott Kotowski, back to Misawa Air Base, Japan, on Friday. Kotowski and other members of the 13th Fighter Squadron returned Friday after a 7-and-a-half-month deployment to Joint Base Balad, Iraq.
Natalee Kotowski holds 10-month-old Jackson as she welcomes her husband, Capt. Scott Kotowski, back to Misawa Air Base, Japan, on Friday. Kotowski and other members of the 13th Fighter Squadron returned Friday after a 7-and-a-half-month deployment to Joint Base Balad, Iraq. (T.D. Flack/Stars and Stripes)
Capt. Tyler Young blows kisses to his wife, Anna, and daughters, 3-year-old Clara and 1-year-old Elena, after taxiing his F-16 to a stop Friday at Misawa Air Base, Japan, upon his return from Iraq.
Capt. Tyler Young blows kisses to his wife, Anna, and daughters, 3-year-old Clara and 1-year-old Elena, after taxiing his F-16 to a stop Friday at Misawa Air Base, Japan, upon his return from Iraq. (T.D. Flack/Stars and Stripes)
Natalee Kotowski hands her husband, Capt. Scott Kotowski, a bottle of champagne after spraying him with it upon his return to Misawa Air Base, Japan, from Iraq on Friday.
Natalee Kotowski hands her husband, Capt. Scott Kotowski, a bottle of champagne after spraying him with it upon his return to Misawa Air Base, Japan, from Iraq on Friday. (T.D. Flack/Stars and Stripes)
Anna Young welcomes her husband, Capt. Tyler Young, back to Misawa Air Base, Japan, on Friday with a kiss. Young, and other members of the 13th Fighter Squadron, returned from deployment to Joint Base Balad, Iraq.
Anna Young welcomes her husband, Capt. Tyler Young, back to Misawa Air Base, Japan, on Friday with a kiss. Young, and other members of the 13th Fighter Squadron, returned from deployment to Joint Base Balad, Iraq. (T.D. Flack/Stars and Stripes)
A 13th Fighter Squadron pilot taxis his F-16 on the flight line at Misawa Air Base, Japan, in May 2011.
A 13th Fighter Squadron pilot taxis his F-16 on the flight line at Misawa Air Base, Japan, in May 2011. (T.D. Flack/Stars and Stripes)
Two F-16s from the 13th Fighter Squadron roar above Misawa Air Base, Japan, on Friday as they return from deployment to Joint Base Balad, Iraq.
Two F-16s from the 13th Fighter Squadron roar above Misawa Air Base, Japan, on Friday as they return from deployment to Joint Base Balad, Iraq. (T.D. Flack/Stars and Stripes)
Capt. Matthew Hoyt and his wife, Danielle, enjoy being reunited Friday at Misawa Air Base, Japan. Hoyt and other members of the 13th Fighter Squadron returned from deployment to Joint Base Balad, Iraq.
Capt. Matthew Hoyt and his wife, Danielle, enjoy being reunited Friday at Misawa Air Base, Japan. Hoyt and other members of the 13th Fighter Squadron returned from deployment to Joint Base Balad, Iraq. (T.D. Flack/Stars and Stripes)

MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan — There was nothing unlucky about Friday the 13th at Misawa as the community welcomed home 300 of troops from a 7½-month deployment to Iraq.

The main body of personnel from the 13th Fighter Squadron arrived about 4 a.m. on Friday after about a four-hour delay. Families were up early to wave banners and welcome their loved ones home with plenty of kisses and hugs.

Later in the afternoon, a formation of six F-16s roared over the base before beginning their landings. A small group of family members, fellow pilots who brought the first wave of F-16s on Wednesday, and base leadership were on hand to welcome them.

Danielle Hoyt said she was “more than a little bit excited” to see her husband, Capt. Matthew Hoyt.

“It still hasn’t sunk in yet,” that he was coming home, she said while waiting. They’re newlyweds who’ve “spent three weeks of our married life together,” she said.

May Sletten, whose husband, Maj. Mark Sletten, arrived with the main body in the morning, said she was happy to have him home. So were their children, Sarah, 5; Naomi, 3, and Anna, 1.

“We love him so much,” May Sletten said.

Lt. Col. Chris McDaniel, squadron division officer, said the pilots focused on their primary mission of providing airborne over-watch to the U.S. Army while deployed.

“It’s very good to be home,” he said.

flackt@pstripes.osd.mil

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