Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wizards Return Home to NAS Whidbey

By Lt.j.g. Vidal De Jesus, Electronic Attack Squadron 133 Public Affairs

WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. (NNS) -- The "Wizards" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 133 returned to Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island, Jan. 21, after a six-month combat deployment to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

The Wizards left NAS Whidbey Island in July and immediately made their presence felt, with every Sailor contributing many long hours to the effort. The squadron flew night and day supporting U.S. and coalition forces in the global war on terrorism.

"There were some rough spots," said Lt. Cmdr. Peter Fey. "Our guys were hitting on all cylinders for a good while there. Whenever there was a cry for more Prowler support, they (our Sailors) came out and answered the call. You can't train that."

Along with the normal challenges of being forward deployed, there was the weather. The average temperature when the Wizards arrived in July was more than 100 degrees and when they departed it was 20. But, the severe weather swing didn't adversely affect the Sailors from VAQ-133.

"I just did my job and I'd do it again if I had to," said Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 2nd Class (AW) Mark Becker.

But what every Sailor really cherished was returning home to their loved ones. With a sea bag on their backs, a rose in one hand and open arms, Sailors greeted well wishers who showed up in display of their appreciation, despite the frigid weather.

"This is great. This is what it's all about," said Yeoman 3rd class Eric Shroyer.

With the deployment complete, the Wizards look forward to well deserved time off before they begin training to do it all over again.

For many, this may seem daunting, but as Lt. Philip Bush said, "This is what we do and I wouldn't want it any other way."