MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. -- Marines with 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing returned home to Cherry Point Saturday and Sunday after an eight-month deployment with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
The Marines were attached to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 266 (Reinforced) for the duration of the deployment.
The Marines and Sailors began their pre-deployment training in the summer of 2012 to prepare for the many exercises they would participate in during the deployment.
In March the Marines left their families and friends and sailed east.
The 26th MEU took part in Exercises Agile Spirit in the Republic of Georgia, Eagle Resolve in Qatar, Eager Lion in Jordan, Sea Soldier in Oman, and Eager Falcon in Kuwait.
“The Marines did an absolutely stellar job,” said Maj. Kristopher Faught, the operations officer for VMM-266 (Rein.). “They performed every task with passion and amazed me daily.”
Over the weekend, families of the returning Marines waited patiently at the squadron’s hangar in anticipation for their arrival home.
“We’re ready to do whatever he wants to do,” said Mary Baker, the grandmother of Lance Cpl. Chase Baker. “His wife, sister, mother and grandfather are here to welcome him home.”
The Marines who returned with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 467 gave waiting family and friends a show, conducting a fly-by with AH-1W Super Cobras before landing and marching back to their loved ones.
“The hardest part is going to be coming back and getting adjusted to civilians and garrison life again,” said Baker, an aviation mechanic with VMM-266 (Rein.) who returned to Marine Attack Squadron 231. “I’m glad they give us some time to decompress. A lot of the guys could really use it.”