301st Rescue Squadron welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Darius Sostre-Miroir, 920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs

Lt. Col. Melvin Bonifacio assumed command of the 301st Rescue Squadron during a change of command ceremony at Patrick Space Force Base, Florida, Feb. 3.

Bonifacio was born in the Philippines and has a diverse military career, serving in roles such as Training Officer, Plans Officer, Tactics Officer and Safety Officer. He has held the position of 301st RQS Director of Operations for 3 years and has deployed 12 times to regions including Iraq, Afghanistan, Africa and Turkey. With over 4500 flight hours, including 500 combat hours, he brings extensive aviation experience to the rescue squadron.

"If you take care of the people, then they'll take care of the mission—a belief woven into the fabric of our success. I will do my best to ensure that all of you have the tools, training and opportunities to ensure not only individual achievement but also a collective triumph for this squadron”, said Lt. Col. Bonifacio, incoming 301st RQS commander.

The 301st RQS operates HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters to execute the wing's combat search and rescue mission to plan, lead and conduct military rescue operations and missions in order to deny competitors and adversaries exploitation of isolated personnel.

The 920th RQW is a combined arms team enabled by agile combat support capable of multi-lateral assault on a defended point of incident in a highly contested environment. The wing is the only Air Force Reserve Command wing with a combat search and rescue mission, is responsible for saving over 4,000 lives and is responsible for a demanding and compelling array of missions and maintains a state of readiness to deploy at moment’s notice.