943d Rescue Group

The 943d Rescue Group, a geographically separated unit of the 920th Rescue Wing, is located at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. The 943d RQG performs day and night combat rescue missions to search for, locate and recover isolated personnel. The group also provides search and rescue support for humanitarian and disaster relief operations at the request of the United State Government through FEMA, foreign governments, and the International Civil Aviation Organization.

The parent unit of the 943rd Rescue Group is the 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick SFB, Florida.

Subordinate Units:
943d Maintenance Squadron
943d Aerospace Medicine Squadron
306th Rescue Squadron 
304th Rescue Squadron (Portland, Oregon)
305th Rescue Squadron
943d Mission Support Flight
943d Operations Support Flight
943d Security Forces Squadron

Number of Personnel Assigned: Approximately 500

Gaining Command: Air Combat Command (ACC), Langley AFB, Virginia.

Type of Aircraft Flown: HH-60G Pave Hawk, HH-60W Jolly Green II helicopters

Significant Unit History: The 943rd RQG traces its lineage back to the 943rd Troop Carrier Group, Medium which was activated in the Reserve December 28, 1962, at March AFB, California.

The group was re-designated the 943rd Tactical Airlift Group on July 1, 1967, and subsequently inactivated on April 25, 1969, and renamed the 943rd Military Airlift Group, which was inactivated July 1, 1973.

The 943rd Tactical Airlift Group was reactivated on Jan. 8, 1985, and re-designated the 943rd Airlift Group.

The 943rd Airlift Group was inactivated on June 30, 1993, and re-designated the 943rd Rescue Group at Davis Monthan AFB, Arizona on January 13, 2005.

Previous Aircraft Flown: C-119 Flying Boxcar, C-141 Starlifter, C-5 Galaxy, C-130 Hercules.
Operations: 1965, the 943rd conducted flying training missions and participated in Operation Power Pack, the transport of troops and equipment during the Dominican Republic crisis.

1966, transported troops into and out of Southeast Asia during airlines pilot strike in Operation Combat Leave.

1968, air dropped personnel and supplies to Army Special Forces training in Utah for night counter-insurgency missions and airlifted Marine Corps personnel from California to Nevada.

Between 1969 and 1973, the unit participated in many operations which included transporting porpoises and a Polaris missile for the U.S. Navy.

1971, airlifted patients from the Panama Canal Zone and islands in the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean hospitals; and supported President Nixon's meeting with Japanese Emperor Hirohito in Alaska.

The 943rd also provided air transport in Southeast Asia and participated in Operation Garden Plot in support of Republican and Democratic conventions in 1972.

1985, it was equipped with C-130H and C-130B Hercules aircraft, deployed personnel and equipment world-wide, airlifting troops, supplies, and equipment, and performing aeromedical evacuations.

1985-1993, the group rotated crews and aircraft to Panama in support of U.S. operations in the Canal Zone, Two C-130Bs assigned to the group were equipped with firefighting modules and supported firefighting operations in Southwestern U.S.

1990-1991, the group deployed personnel in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

2005, Various personnel deployed to Afghanistan in support of OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, deployed for search and rescue operations after hurricanes Katrina and Rita, helping to save over 1,000 lives.  

2005, 2007, 2008 and 2012 the 943rd RQG was activated under the partial mobilization order to participate in Operation Enduring Freedom.

The 943rd RQG has supported several local peacetime rescues while maintaining a combat deployable status, such as rescuing a heart attack victim 500 miles off the coast of California and rescue and recovery operations in a Pima County helicopter crash in Southern Arizona.

(Current as of February 2024)