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    Otis returns from Horn of Africa

    Otis Returns From Horn of Africa

    Photo By Brian Adam Jones | Staff Sgt. Richard L. Nordhoff hugs his wife, Angela, and his daughter, Haley, on the...... read more read more

    MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, NC, UNITED STATES

    07.17.2010

    Story by Lance Cpl. Brian Adam Jones 

    II Marine Expeditionary Force

    MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. - A five-month deployment for 37 Marines and one Sailor from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 came to an end July 17 as the detachment returned from the Horn of Africa to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C.

    The detachment, consisting of two KC-130J aircraft, deployed primarily to conduct aerial refueling missions in support of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, operating mostly out of Camp Lemonier, Djibouti.

    “The whole detachment has done an outstanding job,” said Lt. Col. David Morris, the commanding officer of VMGR-252. “We are very fortunate as a squadron to have some very capable, very dedicated Marines.”

    Scores of anxious friends and family members huddled in the squadron’s hangar to await their loved ones, as a violent thunderstorm delayed their arrival. The 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Party Band was on hand, playing jazz and Dixieland music to set the mood for a crowd that was brimming with anticipation.

    “This ensemble is fun,” said Staff Sgt. Santwan C. Odom, a trombone player for the band. “This crowd is definitely waiting for their loved ones to get back. Little performances like this make people feel better.”

    Just before 7:45 p.m., the two aircraft carrying the Marines finally touched down on the Cherry Point runway, beneath a rainbow that arched over the flight line.

    Brandon Nordhoff, 14, had restlessly awaited his father’s arrival for several hours. Staff Sgt. Richard L. Nordhoff, VMGR-252’s staff noncommissioned officer in charge of the power line, had deployed several times in the past, but this deployment was the longest.

    “I feel like this has been a good life experience for me and my sister,” Brandon said. “We have grown more independent.”

    Brandon’s mother, Angela, an Army veteran, said of her husband, “He’s always been a loyal Marine. He feels torn between family and work, but he understands that he has to be there. That’s how I felt when I deployed; I was excited, but I missed my family.”

    Morris said the families of VMGR-252 are apart more than usual because the squadron’s 12 aircraft are tasked to do a variety of missions and deployments in support of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing and II Marine Expeditionary Force, which makes these reunions more special.

    “We are a really tightly knit bunch,” said Courtney I. Thorud, VMGR-252’s family readiness officer. “The families here are amazing. They really band together.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 07.17.2010
    Date Posted: 07.22.2010 12:51
    Story ID: 53226
    Location: MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, NC, US 

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    Otis returns from Horn of Africa