MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT,N.C. -- Eight Marines with Marine Air Control Squadron 2 returned to Cherry Point Friday after a five-month deployment to Spain.
For the duration of the deployment, the Marines were attached to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 365 as a Marine air traffic control mobile team.
The team’s mission was to provide air traffic control capabilities for expeditionary operations. As part of their mission, they had to detect and identify possible enemy combatants while providing continuous navigational assistance to friendly aircraft in an austere environment.
“The Marines were awesome,” said 1st Lt. Matthew S. Jozaitis, the assistance operations officer with MACS-2. “They were ready to go, proficient at their jobs and did great things.”
Marines got to enjoy Spanish culture and visited Italy for a short time while accomplishing their mission.
“Getting to see areas like that was really cool,” said Cpl.Benjamin Thackrey, an air traffic controller with the squadron. “It was exciting because this was my first deployment.”
Family members gathered at the MACS-2 headquarters building to meet their loved ones.
“This was his first deployment but the fact that we got to email and make some phone calls made it easier while he was gone,” said Jennifer Donaldson, wife of Cpl. Tyson Donaldson, a communications technician with MACS-2.
As a van carrying the Marines rolled into the parking lot, family members ran out to greet them.
“It was quite the experience being deployed,” said Donaldson. “I’m just glad to be home and back with the family. I was overwhelmed when I saw them waiting for me in the parking lot.”
Along with family members who came out to greet the Marines were members of MACS-2 waiting for the return of their brothers.
“At work it felt like your own brothers were missing,” said Staff Sgt. Eloy Sifuentes, a member of the squadron who was waiting for the detachment to return. “Now they’re home and we are a family again.”