DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — U.S. Air Force Reservists assigned to the 306th Rescue Squadron returned to from a four-month deployment to the Horn of Africa June 2.
They were greeted by their families and members of the 943rd Rescue Group in the maintenance hangar here.
“The squadron did a fantastic job,” said Maj. Anthony Alexander, 306th RQS commander. “Our theater responsibilities in Africa were extremely complicated. As the ground force for the personnel recovery task force, we provided combat search and rescue and casualty evacuation to Department of Defense forces operating in an area the size of almost two million square miles. The terrain varied from 19,000-foot mountains to vast, unpopulated desert; thick jungle; and large cities to open ocean.”
The extremely long ranges between potential crisis areas required the team to be able to get to sites by parachute, helicopter, ground vehicles, or boats and required the pararescuemen to be able to treat multiple injured personnel for hours to days, he said.
“In preparation for the deployment, the squadron spent almost six months conducting advanced medical training and practicing shooting skills, parachuting techniques, urban combat tactics, technical rescue training, and combat integration with Air Force HH-60 helicopters and HC-130 aircraft,” said Alexander.
The squadron arrived for the deployment highly proficient and ready – and it showed.
“The team saved six lives during the deployment, flew more than 500 combat hours, conducted 67 parachute deployments, and provided more than 2,600 hours of dedicated alert coverage,” he said. “I am extremely proud of them and glad they all made it back safely.”
Col. John Beatty, the 943rd RQG commander, said he is “extremely proud” of the sacrifices and accomplishments of this group of men and women and pleased to have them re-united with their unit and families.
“The 943rd Rescue Group is happy to welcome our deployers home from Africa,” he said. “The work they performed in support of on-going operations there is testament to the dedication and commitment of our reserve Airmen. As citizen Airmen, most of these men and women balance the unique requirements of a civilian career, a military career, and family. For most, this recent deployment to Africa was but one of a number of similar deployments since 2001.”