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79th Rescue Squadron

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79th Rescue Squadron

79th Rescue Squadron
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Combat Search and Rescue
Part of Air Combat Command
23d Wing
563d Rescue Group
Garrison/HQ Davis-Monthan Air Force Base

The 79th Rescue Squadron (79 RQS) operates the Lockheed HC-130J "Combat King II" variant of the C-130 "Hercules" and provides rapidly deployable combat search and rescue forces to theater commanders worldwide. It conducts helicopter air refueling, airdrop, and airland of pararescue personnel and/or equipment in support of combat personnel recovery. Its crews are capable of landings on short, unimproved, runways and low-level operations during day or night with night vision goggles.[1]

Mission

The 79th Rescue Squadron operates the HC-130J "Combat King II" and provides rapidly deployable combat personnel recovery forces to theater commanders worldwide. It conducts helicopter air-to-air refueling, airdrop and airland of pararescue personnel and/or equipment in support of combat personnel recovery. The 79th is capable of providing airborne mission commander and rescue mission commander duties for long periods of time due to our receiver aerial refueling capability, limiting mission length to crew stamina. Its crews are capable of landing on short, unimproved runways and conducting low-level operations during daytime missions, or night with the aid of night vision goggles.

History

Operations

Recent Accomplishments

2011 Meritorious Unit Award (1 Jun 2011 – 31 May 2011); 2012 Meritorious Unit Award (1 Jun 2011 – 31 Jan 2012). In 2011, the 79th Rescue Squadron completed an eight-month Operation ENDURING FREEDOM deployment, where it executed 1215 combat sorties, saving the lives of 334 allied, coalition, and Afghan military and civilian personnel.

2005 Hurricane Katrina Rescue Missions

The 79th Rescue Squadron (RQS) deployed to Moody Air Force Base (AFB) in support of Joint Task Force Katrina. The 79th along with their sister squadron, the 71st RQS located at Moody AFB, flew search and rescue and refueling missions over the New Orleans area for several days after the hurricane destroyed much of the Gulf Coast. The crews from the two rescue squadrons were credited with over 4,300 saves.

2006 Sudan mission

On 28 November 2006, a squadron of HC-130 aircraft assigned to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti was sent to an airfield in Darfur, Sudan to retrieve the belongings of a US military liaison who had left the area. On the ground at Al-Fashir airfield, the aircraft was surrounded by 150 Sudanese soldiers who refused to allow the aircraft to leave, fearing that the crew had taken photographs of Sudanese military operations at the airfield. The Sudanese soldiers threatened to rape two female members of the crew and stated that the entire crew would be executed. The US crew barricaded the aircraft and refused to allow the Sudanese soldiers to enter during a tense stand-off.[2]

After four hours, a locally assigned US military liaison was able to persuade the Sudanese airfield commander to allow the aircraft to depart without further incident.[3]

Lineage

  • 79th Rescue Squadron (2003 – present)

Assignments

Bases stationed

Aircraft operated

References

  1. ^ 563d Rescue Group Fact Sheet
  2. ^ Hoffman, Michael, "11 airmen survived 2006 confrontation in Sudan", Military Times, 28 October 2009.
  3. ^ Hoffman, Michael, "11 airmen survived 2006 confrontation in Sudan", Military Times, 28 October 2009.

Bibliography

  • 563d Rescue Group Fact Sheet
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