• Brig. Gen. Kaffia "Belle" Jones, 335th Signal Command (Theater) deputy commanding general, greets Col. Stephen Hager, Soldier from 335th SC (T), as he steps off the plane at Biggs Army Airfield at Fort Bliss, Texas, April 20. Hager and the 335th Soldiers just returned from a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class David Parish, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West Public Affairs)

    335th Signal Command returns to American soil

    Brig. Gen. Kaffia "Belle" Jones, 335th Signal Command (Theater) deputy commanding general, greets Col. Stephen Hager, Soldier from 335th SC (T), as he steps off the plane at Biggs Army Airfield at Fort Bliss, Texas, April 20. Hager and the 335th...

  • Brig. Gen. Kaffia "Belle" Jones, 335th Signal Command (Theater) deputy commanding general, congratulates Capt. Randy Chambers, Soldier from 335th SC (T), on a successful completion of a yearlong deployment during the Welcome Home Ceremony at Bigg Army Airfield at Fort Bliss, Texas, April 20. Jones presented first-time deployers with a Welcome Home Warrior Citizen plaque. Those with multiple deployments, she presented them with certificates of appreciation. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class David Parish, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West Public Affairs)

    335th Signal Command returns to American soil

    Brig. Gen. Kaffia "Belle" Jones, 335th Signal Command (Theater) deputy commanding general, congratulates Capt. Randy Chambers, Soldier from 335th SC (T), on a successful completion of a yearlong deployment during the Welcome Home Ceremony at Bigg Army...

  • Soldiers from the 335th Signal Command (Theater) deplane on U.S. soil at Biggs Army Airfield on Fort Bliss, Texas, April 20 for the first time since deploying last April to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Brig. Gen. Kaffia "Belle" Jones, 335th SC (T) deputy commanding general, greeted the Soldiers and shook hands one by one as they filed out of the aircraft. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class David Parish, 5th Armored Brigade, Division West Public Affairs)

    335th Signal Command returns to American soil

    Soldiers from the 335th Signal Command (Theater) deplane on U.S. soil at Biggs Army Airfield on Fort Bliss, Texas, April 20 for the first time since deploying last April to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Brig. Gen. Kaffia "Belle"...

EL PASO, Texas -- Soldiers from the 335th Signal Command (Theater) from East Point, Ga., arrived at Biggs Army Airfield here Sunday after a yearlong deployment in Afghanistan to cheers, hugs and handshakes.

Brig. Gen. Kaffia "Belle" Jones, 335th Signal Command (Theater) deputy commanding general, and her team lined the tarmac as unit members filed from the plane with grins as wide as the Nile River and squinted eyes to protect their pupils from the glowing Easter sun.

"Honestly, I'm really tired and exhausted," said Master Sgt. Jimmy Robinson, of Birmingham, Ala., and the 335th SC (T) forward operations noncommissioned officer-in-charge. "I'm just glad to be back home."

Not long after touching down at Biggs AAF, Jones greeted each of her Soldiers during the Welcome Home ceremony with either a Warrior-Citizen keepsake, the first-time deploying Soldiers, or a Certificate of Appreciation for the Soldiers who have deployed multiple times.

"It's so great to see you back home," said Jones. "I know just looking at you that you've had some great leaders and maintained the five pillars of strength: physically fit, socially intact, emotionally sound, spiritually focused, and fired up about family."

The camaraderie amongst the Soldiers was evident in the constant cheers and jovial laughter shared throughout the ceremony.

"I'm excited to be home," said Maj. Dan Sikes, of Starke, Fla., and command judge advocate general. "It was an awesome experience to serve with a group of truly great Americans."

Page last updated Thu May 1st, 2014 at 00:00