Last Air Force Rescue Personnel Who Served in Iraq Return Home

Airmen from the 66th Rescue Squadron and 763rd Maintenance Squadron returned home to Nellis AFB, Nevada. Arriving via commercial charter on Wednesday, they were the last USAF rescue units to come home from duty in Iraq, a Nellis spokesperson confirmed to the Daily Report. Many of these airmen deployed constantly on four- to eight-month rotations since Operation Iraqi Freedom kicked off in March 2003. “It’s almost like Christmas, coming home every time,” said HH-60 Pave Hawk pilot Capt. Ben Buchta, reported the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I honestly thought I would probably be out of the Air Force before we’d be out of Iraq,” he added. Some of the most heavily deployed career fields in the Air Force over the last decade, these pararescue jumpers, rescue crews, and maintainers have rotated constantly between Iraq, Afghanistan, home station, and other trouble spots in Southwest Asia. (See also Las Vegas’ KNTV report.)