Airmen return home

The first fighter jets from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base that fought in Iraq have touched down at their home base.

A dozen F-15-E Strike Eagles greeted their welcome committee by flying over the base tarmac in pairs, then banking to the left and coming around to land.

About 60 family members and fellow airmen were waiting behind a row of concrete barriers in front of a hangar.

Captain Dan King says he and other pilots flew hundreds of bombing missions over Iraq and were in the air virtually every day.

About a thousand airmen of the Fourth Fighter Wing from the Goldsboro base were deployed in January and February. About 100 have returned already. Aviators from the base flew bombing sorties on Iraqi targets. One Strike Eagle was lost in action.

The Pentagon announced Wednesday that its reclassified the second airman aboard the jet as killed in action. The pilot was declared dead last week.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)