Navy aviators reunited with their families after spending half a year overseas

An emotional reunion for Navy aviators and their loved ones at NAS JAX

A Navy aviator greets his family at NAS Jacksonville on Wednesday after a six-month deployment. (WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A group of naval aviators returned to Naval Air Station Jacksonville on Tuesday morning after spending six months overseas. Members of Patrol Squadron 45, the Pelicans, reunited with loved ones for the first time since their deployment.

Families anxiously waited for the P-8A Poseidon aircraft to land. Crews were greeted with kisses, hugs, tears, and welcome home signs.

Children wait for loved ones to return to NAS Jacksonville after a six-month deployment. (WJXT)

In total 323 personnel were deployed to Misawa Air Base, Japan in October 2022.

The aviators spent the last half year practicing war-fighting tactics to crack down on anti-submarine warfare, theatre security cooperation, and intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance operations.

The deployment was led by the squadron’s Commanding Officer Stephen Bruner.

“The Pelicans of VP-45 once again demonstrated thoughtful agility and maritime battlespace dominance across the sensitive and most-critical Indo-Pacific region,” said Bruner. “VP-45 professionally demonstrated our regional expertise through determined protection of American values and interests, while supporting our allies with unyielding support for a free and open Indo-Pacific. I could not be more proud of or impressed by the Pelicans of VP-45.”

Now that they’re back home, they’re focused on making up for the time lost overseas.

About the Author:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.