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Civil engineers return home

Patrick AFB, Fla. -- Tears of joy and smiles filled the faces of families and friends as Airmen from the 45th Civil Engineer Squadron arrived back home from deployment Wednesday at the Melbourne International Airport.

The 17-member team redeployed after a four-month deployment to Al-Udeid, Air Base, Qatar, in support of the Global War on Terrorism.

The team consisted of a variety of technicians from the CES career field to include electrical, power production, structures, heating, ventilation and utilities. Their mission was to act as a base sustainment team, which ensures the base's CE-related equipment remained operational on a daily basis.

According to 2nd Lt. Daniel Harrington, 45th CES deputy readiness flight chief, losing people to deployment significantly affects the normal operations at the home base. In all, the 45th CES has more than 30 of the approximate 100 people from Patrick still deployed.

"I'm relieved and excited that he (Tech. Sgt. Patrick Holland) could be reunited will all of us," said Barbara Holland. "I have four kids who all have extracurricular activities in different parts of the area. My friends were great support in helping me pick them up."

Her 3-year-old daughter, Elizabeth, only had one thing on her mind when her daddy arrived, "I want to go to Chuck E. Cheese's."

Tech. Sgt. Chadwick Jones was glad to be home because the deployment was rough on him and his wife due to unpredictable circumstances. Three weeks ago, a kitchen fire caused Candy Jones to lose their house as well as her home child care business.

"I'm excited because it's been a rough deployment," said Mrs. Jones. "The fire caused us to move into TLF (temporary living facility). I'm definitely ready for him to be home."

Sergeant Jones felt the same way. "I'm ready to help get us back into a home," said he said. "I'm very proud of the job Candy did, and am also glad for all the support we received from the base."

Lieutenant Harrington said the strong civilian workforce in CE was a key factor to maintaining daily operations at Patrick.

"We definitely felt the crunch. It's great to get them all home, he said."