A military aircraft headed home on Monday carrying service members of South Korea's anti-piracy Cheonghae Unit that was stationed in waters off Africa.
The Defense Ministry said that the KC-330 Cygnus multi-role aerial tanker departed from a local airport Monday, carrying members of the 34th contingent of the unit.
A ministry official said another tanker would take off in about two hours carrying the rest of the sailors. They are expected to arrive in South Korea on Tuesday evening.
South Korea sent the two aerial tankers to bring home all 301 members of the unit following a mass COVID-19 outbreak, with infections totaling 247.
The Defense Ministry said it is securing medical institutions, treatment and quarantine facilities for the sailors.