Rescue wing supports successful rocket launch, national defense mission

  • Published
  • By 920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs

The 920th Rescue Wing provided range clearance and contingency support for the successful launch of an NROL-61 spacecraft aboard an Atlas V rocket from Launch Complex 41 at nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station July 28, 2016, at 8:37 a.m. ET.


The ULA Atlas V rocket was carrying a national security payload for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office. 


As part of an integrated team, 920th Airmen launch in two HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter several hours prior to every Space Coast rocket launch to clear civilian and commercial marine traffic from the launch trajectory are, which extends roughly 80 miles east from the shores of Cape Canaveral.


The wing's primary mission is combat search and rescue (CSAR), which includes rescuing servicemembers trapped and/or wounded behind enemy lines. Additionally, the wing performs civil search and rescue and humanitarian relief.


Since being activated in 1956, the 920th Rescue Wing has saved roughly 4,000 lives, including more than 850 combat rescues.

It is the only CSAR unit in the Air Force Reserve.

NOTE: portions of a 45th Space Wing news release were used in this story.