It was early when the first Airmen showed up at the 606th Air Control Squadron; it was 4 a.m., to be exact.
Some were accompanied by loved ones, others stood there alone or mingled with coworkers.
As the sun rose and illuminated the sky, the deployers start roll call to make sure everyone is where they need to be.
One Airman clenched his newborn daughter as names were called. He reluctantly raised his voice as the master sergeant gruffly called his name.
“Here, sir,” he replied.
The Airmen began organizing and loading luggage after roll call.
Some Airmen scoffed at the semi truck that pulled up to transfer their luggage to the passenger terminal. They one-by-one climbed into the trailer and the loading process began.
Some struggled with the 70-pound “weight limit” of these oversized deployment bags, but managed to budge their way onto the trailer.
The trailer quickly filled and, within a matter of minutes, all the bags were ready to ship.
The deployers embraced their loved ones, said goodbye, loaded into buses and transferred to the holding terminal, where within a couple of hours, they boarded a plane and left Spangdahlem.
Tech. Sgt. Tena Briscoe looked on as the buses departed the squadron. A once-buzzing parking lot was now empty and the familiar faces gone. It will be six months before they meet again, but for Briscoe, her job was successful.