Sailors with Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 46 return to Mayport after 7 month deployment

Sailors return home to Naval Station Mayport

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Nearly 80 sailors with the Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 46  returned to Naval Station Mayport on Monday after a seven-month deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation.

Two new babies got to see their father for the first time Monday.

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Action News Jax was there as six helicopters landed.

As soon they hit the tarmac, families that were waiting patiently took off running and hugged and the embraced their loved ones.

Some even shed a few tears.

One mother told us Monday is extra special because it's her son's birthday and he got to see his dad.

Another woman said her daughter Penelope is only 5 weeks old and is finally meeting her father.

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"So this is our first baby and it was our first deployment, as well, so it's a lot of firsts and so he's going to be meeting her for the first time because he couldn't come home for the birth," Emily McConnell said.

The sailors were assigned to protect the USS Abraham Lincoln while they were in the Middle East.

HSM 46 sailors provided anti-surface and anti-submarine protection for the Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group.