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920th Rescue Wing

Who We Are: A combined arms team of special mission personnel and aviation.
Mission: Plan, lead and conduct military rescue operations and missions to deny competitors and adversaries exploitation of isolated personnel.

Based at Patrick Space Force Base, Florida, the 920th Rescue Wing is the only Air Force Reserve Command that trains and equips its Airmen who carry out its mission; to search for, locate and recover U.S. Armed Forces personnel during military operations. Air Force rescue is the only DoD entity specifically organized, trained and equipped to conduct personnel recovery operations into hostile or denied areas as a primary mission.

The 920th Rescue Wing comprises 24 subordinate groups and squadrons, including three geographically separated units; the 943rd Rescue Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, the 304th Rescue Squadron at Portland, Oregon, and the 920th Aerospace Medicine Flight at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. The wing is responsible for a demanding and compelling array of life-saving missions, and the men and women who work here must maintain a high level of proficiency and be ready to deploy at moment's notice. 

The 920th Rescue Wing was activated on Jan. 15, 1963, becoming the Air Force Reserve's first and only rescue squadron. The unit was based at Miami International Airport and made its first rescue in January 1957. In 1960, the unit relocated to Homestead Air Force Base, near Miami. The following year, the 920th began a long relationship with NASA and the U.S. space program, providing rescue-contingency operations for the first Mercury launch and continued 50 years of manned spaceflight support as they were the primary rescue unit charged as guardians of the astronauts during NASA space shuttle missions until NASA's human spaceflight transportation system ended in July 2011.

The wing mobilized Airmen to Operation Allied Force (1999), Operation Southern Watch and Operation Noble Eagle (2001), Operation Iraqi Freedom (2002), and Operation Enduring Freedom (2005, 2008, and 2011), making 1,221 combat rescues, including Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, who documented his ordeal in the best-selling novels, "Lone Survivor" and "Service".

The rescue wing has also been a mainstay in humanitarian relief, rescuing 137 South Florida residents during the 18 days following Hurricane Andrew (1992); saving 93 elderly residents from rising flood waters at their Tampa-area retirement community (1993); rescuing more than 200 people after Hurricane Floyd (1999) and pulling 1,049 people from New Orleans and the Gulf Coast after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (2005).
Quick Facts

Airmen Assigned: Over 2,000.
Taxpayer savings: 920th Rescue Wing provides 18% of the Air Force's personnel recovery mission at 4% of the cost.
Rescues: More than 4,000 lives saved since 1956
Motto: "These things we do, that others may live"