Mission In Manas: Last Fairchild Flight Crews Come Home - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mission In Manas: Last Fairchild Flight Crews Come Home

Posted: Updated:
The last three military jets from Fairchild Air Force Base returned home from Manas, Kyrgyzstan, Tuesday, signaling a significant step in the drawdown of operations in the Middle Eastern country. The last three military jets from Fairchild Air Force Base returned home from Manas, Kyrgyzstan, Tuesday, signaling a significant step in the drawdown of operations in the Middle Eastern country.
Fairchild AFB, Wash. -

The last three military jets from Fairchild Air Force Base returned home from Manas, Kyrgyzstan, Tuesday, signaling a significant step in the drawdown of operations in the Middle Eastern country.

Under a deal reached between the U.S. and Kyrgyzstan in 2009, the contract for U.S. military refueling operations was not renewed and the last Fairchild refueling missing from the country was finished Monday. Moving forward, Fueling Freedom will continue out of other bases in southwest Asia, along with operations in Romania. Fairchild has had a significant presence at the base in Manas since 2005 in the War on Terror.

But politics and conflict aside, the arrival of the three flight crews Tuesday was above all an emotional and highly-anticipated reunion for dozens of families who were finally able to wrap their arms around their loved ones after months of overseas deployment.

Staci Huff was among them. She and her 4-year-old son, Noah, eagerly awaited their husband and father, SSgt. Curtis Huff, who had been stationed in Manas for five months. Holding a "Welcome Home Daddy" sign, they watched him walk off one of the planes.

"I was hoping I wasn't going to cry but I can't help it, we're happy to have him home," Staci told KHQ's Kelsey Watts. "His last deployment was only four months, this was a little longer, and a little more excruciating for whatever reason. They don't get any easier."

"I'm excited to see my boy and my wife," Curtis added. "I've been overseas longer than I've been at Fairchild so now we can enjoy it for a little bit."

Nearly 100 Fairchild family members returned home Tuesday. Still, some maintenance and medical personnel from Fairchild remain in Manas, and will return home via commercial flights when refueling operations completely end in Kyrgyzstan in mid-summer.

"Fairchild has been on the front lines supporting the Manas Air Force Base since 2005 and today as the three jets come home, that chapter comes to a close," Col. Brian Newberry, the Commander of the 92nd Air Refueling Wing said. "Whenever a soldier, sailor, airman or marine called for help, that help was overhead in minutes and that's something we haven't been able to do in a long time and we've done it on the backs of those tankers."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • BACK TO SCHOOL: See where your school ranks in performance

    BACK TO SCHOOL: See where your school ranks in performance

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 9:18 PM EDT2014-08-27 01:18:51 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Two schools in the Spokane area received top rankings based on a new assessment, according to the Washington Policy Center. The Washington State Board of Education released a new assessment of the quality of schools around the state Tuesday. The assessment ranked schools on an "A to F-" scale, with 14 percent of schools in in and around Spokane finishing with A's or B's.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Two schools in the Spokane area received top rankings based on a new assessment, according to the Washington Policy Center. The Washington State Board of Education released a new assessment of the quality of schools around the state Tuesday. The assessment ranked schools on an "A to F-" scale, with 14 percent of schools in in and around Spokane finishing with A's or B's.>>
  • Throwback Thursday! Look At 'Sunshine Shelly' Through The Years!

    Throwback Thursday! Look At 'Sunshine Shelly' Through The Years!

    Thursday, March 20 2014 1:04 PM EDT2014-03-20 17:04:11 GMT
    KHQ.COM - It's throwback Thursday! Here is a slideshow we would like to share of Shelly Monahan through the years! For those of you who have been in Spokane for many years, and saw her through her "Sunshine Shelly" days, you will probably remember the Shelly from back in those days. Enjoy!>>
    KHQ.COM - It's throwback Thursday! Here is a slideshow we would like to share of Shelly Monahan through the years! For those of you who have been in Spokane for many years, and saw her through her "Sunshine Shelly" days, you will probably remember the Shelly from back in those days. Enjoy!>>
  • Sheriff's Office seeks help finding missing teens

    Sheriff's Office seeks help finding missing teens

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 1:44 AM EDT2014-08-27 05:44:30 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane County Sheriff's Office took to Facebook asking for help finding three missing juveniles in the Inland Northwest.The three children were reported missing with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office and The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children. Their cases are not believed to be related.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane County Sheriff's Office took to Facebook asking for help finding three missing juveniles in the Inland Northwest.The three children were reported missing with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office and The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children. Their cases are not believed to be related.>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Sheriff's Office seeks help finding missing teens

    Sheriff's Office seeks help finding missing teens

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 1:44 AM EDT2014-08-27 05:44:30 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane County Sheriff's Office took to Facebook asking for help finding three missing juveniles in the Inland Northwest.The three children were reported missing with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office and The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children. Their cases are not believed to be related.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane County Sheriff's Office took to Facebook asking for help finding three missing juveniles in the Inland Northwest.The three children were reported missing with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office and The National Center For Missing and Exploited Children. Their cases are not believed to be related.>>
  • Spokane Valley K-9 falls into culvert during chase

    Spokane Valley K-9 falls into culvert during chase

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 1:10 AM EDT2014-08-27 05:10:10 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - It was tougher than usual for a Spokane Valley sheriff's K-9 to get his man. Not only did K-9 Laslo and his partner, Deputy Jeff Thurman, fall into a culvert during a chase in the early morning darkness, the deputy landed on top of the German Shepherd.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - It was tougher than usual for a Spokane Valley sheriff's K-9 to get his man. Not only did K-9 Laslo and his partner, Deputy Jeff Thurman, fall into a culvert during a chase in the early morning darkness, the deputy landed on top of the German Shepherd.>>
  • UPDATE: Seven-year-old boy still in critical condition after being shot

    UPDATE: Seven-year-old boy still in critical condition after being shot

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 12:25 AM EDT2014-08-27 04:25:40 GMT
    A 7-year old boy from Hayden, Idaho is fighting for his life after a gun shot wound to the head.The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office says that two young boys were playing with a hand gun, when the gun discharged and hit one of the boys in the head.The injured seven-year-old originally went to Kootenai Health, and then medics transferred him to Sacred Heart. He is now in critical condition .Sheriff's Detectives are continuing an investigation.>>
    A 7-year old boy from Hayden, Idaho is fighting for his life after a gun shot wound to the head.The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office says that two young boys were playing with a hand gun, when the gun discharged and hit one of the boys in the head.The injured seven-year-old originally went to Kootenai Health, and then medics transferred him to Sacred Heart. He is now in critical condition .Sheriff's Detectives are continuing an investigation.>>