PETALING JAYA - There was heartbreak and joy when 56 officers and men who were involved in the search and recovery operations for Flight MH370 in the Indian Ocean returned home from Perth.
The sad part was returning without any answers to the mystery of the Malaysia Airlines aircraft's disappearance on March 8, while the joyous part was being reunited with their families after more than five weeks with the SAR mission at the Royal Australian Air Force base in Pearce.
Housewife Siti Zannirah Ab Aziz, 38, was overjoyed at seeing Sjn Mohd Nazri Mohd as he stepped out from one of the two C-130 aircraft, which touched down at the Royal Malaysian Air Force base in Subang at about 11am yesterday.
Siti Zannirah, who is eight months' pregnant, said she was away in Malacca with their two children when her husband received orders to leave on March 28.
"We rushed back, but it was too late to see him off. There was still cubes of ice in the glass of Milo he had bought with his dinner," she recalled.
Sjn Nazri was supposed to be away for two weeks but the mission stretched a further fortnight.
"I'm overjoyed to be back," he said.
Mejar Azman Amat said he could not help but feel disappointed over their failure to spot any signs of the plane.
"It was heartbreaking spotting objects, which we thought could be parts of the plane, only to be told they were not," he said.
On hand to welcome the men was RMAF No. 1 Air Division commander Mejar-Jeneral Datuk Azizool Arif Abdul Ghani and base commander Brig-Jen Abdul Manaf Md Zaid.
Jen Azizool said the third RMAF C-130 should return to Malaysia over the weekend.
He said 78 officers and men, including six crew members, were deployed for the SAR operations.
"They flew a total of 382 missions."