It was a homecoming 10 months in the making.
Members of Helicopter Marine Strike Squadron 79 (HSM-79) are back in San Diego after their deployment with USS Lincoln was extended four times, making it the longest carrier deployment since Vietnam.
Siblings Maya, Jordan, and Justice Harvey had been hoping for this moment for a few months. They were supposed to have their father back in time for the holidays, but his deployment kept getting extended.
Their mom Wendy Harvey had to deliver the news before Thanksgiving and again before Christmas.
“That was tough having to tell them, but the day is here. They are coming home so we are just really excited,” Wendy said.
HSM-79 has five MH-60R Seahawk Helicopters and 221 personnel stationed at Naval Air Station North Island, the U.S. Navy said. The squadron had been deployed for 296 days.
HSM-79 was deployed with Carrier Air Wing Seven (CVW-7) aboard USS Abraham Lincoln as part of the ‘around the world deployment’ from Norfolk, Virginia to San Diego, California.
“We took care of each other and just took it one day at a time. We got the mission done and just looked after each other,” commanding officer Josh Peters said.
Now the Harvey’s are able to get back to what matters most.
“Aw man there is a lot that I missed but we are going to take care of that this week,” the children's father said.
The rest of the carrier strike group returns Monday, led by USS Lincoln.
During its deployment, which began on April 1, 2019, USS Lincoln navigated over 64,000 nautical miles and completed multiple strait transits including the Strait of Gibraltar and the Strait of Malacca, the U.S. Navy said.