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Forty Civil Engineer Airmen redeploy from Kuwait in time for the holidays

Airmen and family members walk through a line of Patriot Guard Riders in front of the 133rd Airlift Wing operations building on Dec. 21, 2011. The airmen returned from six months in Kuwait supporting Operation New Dawn and are from the 133rd Civil Engineer Squadron of the Minnesota Air National Guard. They have been working with buildings and utilities at bases in Kuwait as the U. S. military pulled out of Iraq. USAF photo by Senior Airman Kennith Veillon

Airmen and family members walk through a line of Patriot Guard Riders in front of the 133rd Airlift Wing operations building on Dec. 21, 2011. The airmen returned from six months in Kuwait supporting Operation New Dawn and are from the 133rd Civil Engineer Squadron of the Minnesota Air National Guard. They have been working with buildings and utilities at bases in Kuwait as the U. S. military pulled out of Iraq. USAF photo by Senior Airman Kennith Veillon

Joyful families embrace at the air guard base at the Minneapolis – St. Paul international airport on Dec. 21, 2011, as forty airmen disembark from an aircraft, returning from six months in Kuwait supporting Operation New Dawn. The airmen are from the 133rd Civil Engineer Squadron of the Minnesota Air National Guard and have been working with buildings and utilities at bases in Kuwait as the U. S. military pulled out of Iraq. Minnesota National Guard photo by Sgt. Johnny Angelo

Joyful families embrace at the air guard base at the Minneapolis – St. Paul international airport on Dec. 21, 2011, as forty airmen disembark from an aircraft, returning from six months in Kuwait supporting Operation New Dawn. The airmen are from the 133rd Civil Engineer Squadron of the Minnesota Air National Guard and have been working with buildings and utilities at bases in Kuwait as the U. S. military pulled out of Iraq. Minnesota National Guard photo by Sgt. Johnny Angelo

Family members walk through a line of Patriot Guard Riders in front of the 133rd Airlift Wing operations building on Dec. 21, 2011, waiting for forty airmen to disembark from an aircraft as they return from six months in Kuwait supporting Operation New Dawn. The airmen are from the 133rd Civil Engineer Squadron of the Minnesota Air National Guard and have been working with buildings and utilities at bases in Kuwait as the U. S. military pulled out of Iraq. Minnesota National Guard photo by Sgt. Johnny Angelo

Family members walk through a line of Patriot Guard Riders in front of the 133rd Airlift Wing operations building on Dec. 21, 2011, waiting for forty airmen to disembark from an aircraft as they return from six months in Kuwait supporting Operation New Dawn. The airmen are from the 133rd Civil Engineer Squadron of the Minnesota Air National Guard and have been working with buildings and utilities at bases in Kuwait as the U. S. military pulled out of Iraq. Minnesota National Guard photo by Sgt. Johnny Angelo

St. Paul, Minn. -- Forty airmen from the 133rd Airlift Wing returned to Minnesota Dec. 21, 2012 after a six-month deployment to Kuwait where they served in support of Operation New Dawn.

The sidewalk in front of the operations building on the air base at the Minneapolis - St. Paul international airport was lined with families, friends, members of the Patriot Guard and the media as a C-130 pulled up with the airmen on board.

When the propellers stopped turning and they disembarked, a pleasant mayhem began as families hugged and co-workers congratulated the returning men and women.

One of the most common exclamations was "it is so nice to have everyone home for the holidays," along with "I just want to spend time with my family."

"We are excited to have our airmen home after completing a successful mission supporting the drawdown in Iraq," said Air Force Col. Greg A. Haase, commander of the 133rd Airlift Wing.

The returning airmen are members of the 133rd Civil Engineer Squadron and are the first of many Minnesota airmen scheduled to return from overseas duty over the next several months, said Air Force Maj. Ann M. Todd, 133rd Airlift Wing Executive Officer.

Currently, about another 30 airmen are deployed from the 133rd Airlift Wing to countries across the world, including civil engineers, firefighters, aeromedical technicians, logisticians and airmen from many other specialties, said Todd.
Many of these men and women are serving on their second, third or even more deployments.