LEMOORE, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – An emotional reunion for families at the Lemoore Naval Air Station as aviation squadrons assigned to Carrier Air Wing 9 came home after being deployed earlier this year. It was all smiles and excitement on Tuesday for families that haven’t seen their loved ones in months.

“We have been waiting a long seven and a half months for them to come home,” said Lisa Whales waiting for her husband with their baby in hand.

Spouses and even children held up signs welcoming “Top Hats” squadron pilots back home.

“His dad gets to be home and gets to live life with us and gets to experience all the things that I’ve been fortunate enough to experience over these past seven-and-a-half months,” said Whales.

There was running, jumping, kisses, and hugs as the 10 aircrew in the squadron reunited with those they missed most.

“Every deployment is different somehow you know different stuff going on in the world, but back home nothing beats it,” said Commander Casey “Shackle” McCain. 

The aviators spent time on the water with a marine corps squadron covering over 65,000 nautical miles and training between surface and air units. But with deployment comes its challenges.

“It just requires a certain amount of toughness and it’s kind of like running a really long race, you just have to get your mind right,” said Commander Marvin “Sunshine” Win.

“I’m just glad were we able to get the jets back still have sailors on their way obviously for another couple of days, so still have about 200 folks that need to get home,” added McCain.

McCain feels grateful to see his children now, more grown than before.

“This is the first time we’ve done it with kids and just missing their growing up and like she walking now my son is talking more that’s really brought tears to my eyes,” said McCain.

“Ready and excited, I’m ready for him to be home,” said Lauren McCain.

Other squadrons will be coming home in the next couple of days to bases all across California.