PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
The men and women of the 920th Rescue Wing said farewell to a chief who retired after 36 of service in the Air Force at a ceremony on base Sept. 10.
Hundreds of Airmen of all ranks, retirees, friends and family members traveled from across the country to attend Chief Master Sgt. Philip Roe’s retirement, commemorate his decades of service and congratulate him on a distinguished career. Col. Jeffrey Macrander, 920th Rescue Wing commander, was the presiding officer.
“Chief Roe has been an integral member of our wing for a long time, and we are all better off because of his hard work and dedication to our mission and our Airmen,” Macrander said. “He has dedicated the majority of his career to rescue, and we are thankful for his service. He will be greatly missed.”
In his most recent role, Roe was the chief enlisted manager and superintendent for the 920th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. In this role he advised the commander on all issues relating to aircraft maintenance, budget, facilities, manpower, discipline, morale, welfare and quality of life for assigned personnel. He was also the liaison between group staff and superintendents overseeing production efforts supporting the wing’s nine HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters and six HC-130 King aircraft.
Roe said he has thoroughly enjoyed serving his country and meeting so many great people along the way.
“The people is what I will miss the most,” Roe said. “The relationships you build will last forever, and you can never replace the camaraderie between everyone in the Air Force.”
Roe spent 26 years of his career with the 920th Rescue Wing and its predecessor, the 301st Air Rescue and Recovery Squadron, which was at Homestead Air Force Base near Miami. He called the wing “the best team in the world” and said he was proud to have been part of it. He said rescue will always be close to his heart.
“Rescue is not just a mission--it is a way of life,” Roe said. “For those of you that have been part of a rescue mission you know what I mean. For those of you that haven't, when you are you will know what I mean.”
Roe advised his fellow Airmen to continually learn and grow, work hard and be the best they can. He reminded them the 920th is the only Air Force Reserve combat search-and-rescue wing.
“Learn more than just your job, because in the long run it will help you and the team you are working with,” Roe said. “You are part of a team that are the only ones that accomplish this mission in the entire Air Force Reserve Command. Be proud of it always!”
Roe, who was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, enlisted in the Air Force in 1980 and transitioned from active duty to the Air Force Reserve in 1989. He joined the 301st Air Rescue and Recovery Squadron in 1990. After the unit facilities were destroyed by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, he moved with the unit up to Patrick.
Roe has held various operational and strategic positions throughout the Air Force in the U.S. and overseas. He is a combat veteran who participated in numerous deployments including Operation Southern Watch, Operation Northern Watch and Operation Enduring Freedom. He participated with many task forces including Joint Task Force Katrina, JTF Rita, JTF Horn of Africa and several JTF NASA space shuttle launch and recovery missions.