920th Rescue Wing soars in league with aviation giants

  • Published
  • By Lt. Cathleen Snow and Senior Airman Heather Kelly
  • 920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs
The 920th Rescue Wing is soaring in a league with aviation giants today after being presented wtih the Jimmy Doolittle Historical Fellow for best exemplifying the Reserve Component Air Search and Rescue mission at the Air Force Associations' 22nd annual Air Warfare Symposium gala Feb 3. 

Gen. Ronald E. Keys, commander of Air Combat Command, presented a 920th mixed crew with the award at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel in Orlando, Fla. 

Col. Timothy E. Tarchick, 920th RQW Commander along with 11 members and their spouses represented the unit at the event. “It’s a great honor to be recognized as a wing that embodies excellence in aviation in the air search and rescue arena,” said Colonel Tarchick. “When I go to work everyday, I’m among heroes. This is one of my proudest moments as a commander,” he said. 

The 920th Rescue Wing was singled out as the Air Force Reserve component for its substantial contributions to the air search and rescue mission, which have earned the unit local and national recognition, particularly for it's accomplishments during Hurricane Katrina rescue operations where crews saved 1,043 lives. 

“Hurricane Katrina rescue operations were our finest hour. It was a defining event for the 920th which showed the unit’s commitment to its motto, ‘These Things We Do That Others May Live,’” said the commander. 

Prior to the gala, the two-day symposium featured speakers such as Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne and the Air Force Chief of Staff, General T. Michael Moseley. 
Other senior leaders past and present were on hand at the gala to celebrate the unit’s achievements. 

“This has been an incredible event that celebrates the Airmen in the search and rescue community,” said Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Gerald R. Murray. “The 920th is a critical unit that is mission ready to go anytime, anywhere. Their accomplishments demonstrate that there is no difference between the active duty, Reserve and Guard components when it comes to getting the job done,” Chief Murray added. 

Former U.S. Special Operations Command commander, retired Air Force General Charles R. Holland, agreed. “The ethic ‘That Others May Live’ plays on the values of what Americans stand for,” said General Holland. “The sense of pride we feel when our Airmen bring that precious cargo home is immeasurable. I was very proud to be a part of it during my time,” General Holland said. 

The Jimmy Doolittle Educational Fellow honors the late General Jimmy Doolittle who excelled in every aspect of aviation and actively promoted public understanding and support for aerospace power. The honorees received a personalized certificate and a walnut plaque which houses a specially minted coin honoring General Doolittle.