- Associated Press - Sunday, December 6, 2015

HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - Dignitaries have welcomed back to Michigan about 500 National Guard pilots and support crew members from Middle East missions.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, Democratic U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and others spoke Sunday morning at Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Macomb County’s Harrison Township.

The personnel mainly returned home in late October and November from operations in and near Syria, Afghanistan and other nations in the U.S. Central Command area of operations. Officials say they represented the largest and longest mass deployment from Selfridge since the Korean War.

Syria’s civil war has killed hundreds of thousands of people and spurred a massive refugee crisis. The Islamic State group has seized oil refineries and other infrastructure in Iraq and Syria, and claimed responsibility for deadly attacks in Paris and elsewhere.

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