'Angry Warriors' finally home

Jul 21 2011 - 12:01am

Images

(NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner) Capt. Marcus White and Shelby White kiss after Marcus arrives home after a six-month deployment to Afghanistan on Wednesday at Hill Air Force Base. White was in Afghanistan with the 729th Air Control Squadron. See slideshow of homecoming at www.standard.net
(NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner) Kari Kulak (left) runs toward her son, Steven, who arrived home after a six-month deployment to Afghanistan on Wednesday at Hill Air Force Base. Kulak was in Afghanistan with the 729th Air Control Squadron.
(NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner) Sean Scott holds his daughter, Saniya, for the first time after arriving home from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan on Wednesday at Hill Air Force Base.
(NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner) Capt. Marcus White and Shelby White kiss after Marcus arrives home after a six-month deployment to Afghanistan on Wednesday at Hill Air Force Base. White was in Afghanistan with the 729th Air Control Squadron. See slideshow of homecoming at www.standard.net
(NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner) Kari Kulak (left) runs toward her son, Steven, who arrived home after a six-month deployment to Afghanistan on Wednesday at Hill Air Force Base. Kulak was in Afghanistan with the 729th Air Control Squadron.
(NICK SHORT/Standard-Examiner) Sean Scott holds his daughter, Saniya, for the first time after arriving home from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan on Wednesday at Hill Air Force Base.

HILL AIR FORCE BASE -- A whole crew of "Angry Warriors" returned home to Hill Air Force Base Wednesday night.

Approximately 150 members of the 729th Air Control Squadron arrived at the base after a six-month deployment to Afghanistan, arriving by jet on the base flightline.

Nicknamed the Angry Warriors, the 729th ACS is one of three active-duty air-control squadrons in the Air Force.

Lt. Col. Pat Skendziel, commander of the squadron, said the group provided radar air surveillance and command and control of coalition aircraft during the unit's time in Afghanistan.

When deployed, Skendziel said, the 729th controls the air war over Afghanistan.

"I'm extremely proud of our returning Angry Warriors," Skendziel said. "I also greatly appreciate the sacrifices of their families, who make it possible for them to deploy in support of our nation's efforts."

The squadron features air battle managers, surveillance technicians, communications experts, aerospace generator specialists, heating and air-conditioning technicians, vehicle maintainers and supply personnel.

During their deployment, they controlled more than 255,000 square miles of Afghan airspace and provided support to more than 45,000 air combat sorties, including Troops in Contact, Close Air Support and Show of Force missions.

The group spent summer 2010 preparing for the deployment at the Utah Test and Training Range in Utah's West Desert.

The squadron spent 10 days in early September 2010 at the range, setting up a camp that Skendziel said mimicked the environment they would see in Afghanistan.

The group's deployment rotation marks the eighth time the 729th ACS has deployed to the Central Command Area of Responsibility since 2003, which includes the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia, Afghanistan and Iraq.

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