Eight Arizona Army National Guard soldiers were welcomed home by friends and family from a deployment to the Horn of Africa on Friday at Sky Harbor International Airport.
The 257th Engineering Team left Phoenix almost a year ago for training before they departed for Africa. This was the unit's second deployment in the last six years.
The team's mission was to drill, maintain, and plan for local residential, agricultural, and military water wells.
The operations were in support of U.S. humanitarian missions and the war on terrorism in the Horn of Africa.
"It was..different mission for me this time, it felt good doing water well missions out there, like I said in Ethiopia and Djibouti to help out the people..with the new medical buildings they're building out there," said Staff Sgt. Ruben Licon.
"We did a lot of good over there. We had a good time, drilled some water wells for Ethiopia, so yeah, it was a very good deployment," said Sgt. William Davis.
Some of the soldiers say the hardest part about being deployed was not being around their family and friends.
Over 400 Arizona National Guard soldiers and airmen are still serving on federal active duty overseas.
Video: FOX 10's Alexis Vance reports.