Adios, Pedro

HH-60G rescue helicopters stood on alert at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, for the last time on New Year’s Eve. Aircrew, pararescuemen, and the machines of the 26th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron saved more than 2,400 US and coalition lives since beginning around-the-clock casualty evacuation alert at Bastion in early 2009, according to a Jan. 5 base release. “The airmen of the 26th ERQS, along with Guardian Angel teams, have accomplished some remarkably brave missions in support of the joint and coalition force,” said squadron boss Maj. Adams Darling. “I am humbled to have had the chance to command these warriors,” he said. The squadron inactivated on Jan. 1, passing its alert responsibilities to Army UH-60 Black Hawk and Royal Air Force CH-47 Chinook rescue crews. The 83rd EQRS at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, is now the Air Force’s sole combat rescue unit in theater, according to the release. (Camp Bastion report by 1st Lt. Trevor Martin)