Tornado crews from RAF Leuchars in Fife have begun to arrive home from the war in Iraq.
Sqn Ldr Rolfie Dunne holds up his daughter Alice
The families of the pilots gathered at the base to give them a hero's welcome.
The four Tornado F-3s of 111 Squadron have landed at the Scottish airbase.
Air Commodore Martin Routledge, the base commander, said it was a great feeling that crews are starting to arrive home.
"There's a degree of elation that the job's done, air supremacy has been gained over Iraq, the Iraqi airforce has been overwhelmed and it's time to start bringing forces back," he said.
The pilots from RAF Leuchars have flown almost 1,000 hours in missions over the Gulf.
They were guarding the no-fly zones as part of joint coalition operations.
"It has been tiring work, seven hour sorties typically, for my guys, under some pretty exacting circumstances - night time, being shot at, all those sort of things," said the air commodore.
Not a walkover by any means but we're really delighted to have them home
Air Commodore Martin Routledge
"Not a walkover by any means but we're really delighted to have them home."
The crew members were reunited on the runway with a cheering crowd of loved ones.
The crews, who were based in Al Kharj, Saudi Arabia, came under fire several times.
As the pilots and crew stepped down Corporal Steve Jones, from the RAF Leuchars Pipe Band, played Scotland the Brave.
Families then walked to the planes and warmly embraced the men whom they had not seen since early February.
One woman was clutching a few cans of Boddingtons while some crew members at the base provided champagne to toast the homecoming.
Flt Lt Simon Clark was happy to be home
Flight Lieutenant Simon Clark was welcomed back by his wife and son.
"What has been planned for us is a little time off so that we can get back with our families, get back into the normal routine and enjoy life again with each other," he said.
His wife Joanne described the difficult emotions experienced by families as the conflict unfolded.
"In the end I didn't have the news on during the day, I didn't buy the newspapers. I didn't want the kids to see it.
"I believe people have the right to know what's going on but to actually see what's happening, it was quite frightening to watch that."
The abiding image of the day was provided by Squadron Leader Rolfie Dunne, who dropped to his knees and held aloft his baby daughter Alice.
"She is about twice the size of when I last saw her and this is a very emotional moment," the squadron leader said.
"As we flew in I was choking, trying to come to terms with it and trying not to blub.
"It is great to be home and I'm looking forward to spending time with my family, having a drink and doing all the normal domestic things."
Squadron Leader Dunne, 37, from Ely, Cambridgeshire, said his role was to provide defence cover.
He added: "On paper we should have had a fairly superior air force and technology.
"But you don't know what will happen in a war situation."
More than 300 personnel from RAF Leuchars have been serving in the Gulf.
Most of them are expected to return in the next few day.
An RAF spokesman stressed that they were not withdrawing from the Gulf, adding
that around 270 air and ground staff from the base were still in the region.