GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) — More than 130 sailors celebrated with family Tuesday after returning home from a six-month deployment.

The USS Newport News submarine pulled into its homeport in Groton to traditional first kisses and hugs.

“The crew did a phenomenal job for the last sixth months out at sea,” Cmdr. Joseph Fontenot said. “I couldn’t be more proud of them. They’ve done a fantastic job, so it’s great to be home.”

The submarine stretches more than 360 feet. While at sea, it supported national security interests and maritime security operations.

“We were hoping for this day,” said Maureen Robinson, who had a child on the ship. “So we are excited. We just thank God they are coming home safe.”

Families said they were excited to see each other again and are ready to belatedly celebrate the holidays.

“It’s great being home,” Forrest Keith said. “Proud to serve. Proud to be here.”