True Lifesavers

Reservists with the 920th Rescue Wing at Patrick AFB, Fla., and its geographically separated units in Arizona and Oregon, have saved more than 300 US troops since deploying to Afghanistan in February 2008. These airmen fly HH-60 rescue helicopter missions in support of Army medical evacuation operations in the Near East nation. Already they have flown 1,181 sorties and saved 313 service personnel, the wing said in a release Dec. 29. A “save” entails a situation in which a person would die, lose a limb, or go blind, without immediate medical evacuation. In addition to the saves, these airmen have recorded more than 340 assists, which are evacuations in which life, limb, or eyesight are not in immediate danger. The wing’s current medical evacuation deployment marks the first time that these airmen have undertaken this role for the Army. Their primarily wartime responsibility is combat search and rescue. The 943rd Rescue Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and 304th Rescue Squadron at Portland International Airport, Ore., fall under the wing.