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Air Force Association recognizes Florida Reserve Wing

  • Published
  • 920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs

Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing were awarded with the Air Force Association Unit Award Sept. 17, 2018, during the opening and awards ceremony at the annual Air, Space & Cyberspace Conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbour, Maryland. 

The wing was recognized for its outstanding rescue efforts and holistic award-winning accomplishments throughout the year, which include supporting multiple rocket launches, air shows, hurricane relief efforts and exercises and being awarded the 2017 Jolly Green Association Rescue Mission of the Year award; the Medal of Honor on Ribbon for Rescue Missions at Sea in Gold; and the 10th Air Force Power & Vigilance Award, to name a few. 

"We are proud, humbled, honored, and flattered by the award!" said Col. Kurt Matthews, 920th Rescue Wing commander, who accepted the award along with 10 wing Reservists and one key spouse. "I see the amazing things our rescue team accomplishes day-in-and-day-out, so on behalf of the wing, I am extremely grateful!"

During one particular harrowing mission, Reserve Citizen Airmen rescued two German Citizens whose sailboat caught fire and sunk 500 miles off the east coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida in July 2017. After being alerted to the incident, the wing immediately employed a rescue plan that utilized approximatly 80 Reserve Citizen Airmen to execute a long-range over water rescue operation resulting in saving the life of both men and transporting them to an Orlando, Florida hospital for further care.

The theme of this year's AFA conference is "Multi-Domain Operations: Leveraging the Full Spectrum," and takes place from Sept. 17 through Sept. 19. The professional development symposium is touted as the nation's premier event for defense and aerospace professionals from around the world bringing together senior leaders and experts from government, industry and acedemia. 

It includes engaging speakers and panels focused on airpower, space, and cyber developments to the technology exposition featuring the latest technology, equipment and solutions for tomorrow's problems.

The 920th Rescue Wing is a combat-search-and-rescue unit at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida comprised of 2,000 Air Force Reservists spread out to three geographically separated units: Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Ariz.; Portland Airport, Portland, Ore; and Joint Langley-Eustis, Langley, Virginia. Its  motto is, "These things we do, that others may live."