Under Secretary of the Air Force Matthew Donovan and the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Stephen Wilson paid a visit to PAFB to thank members of the 920th Rescue Wing for their hurricane recovery efforts. Video by Malcolm Denemark
More than 100 Air Force reservists with the 920th Rescue Wing at Patrick Air Force Base have deployed to the Middle East and the Horn of Africa in a logistically challenging mission.
The citizen airmen deployed Saturday, Maj. Cathleen Snow said.
The challenge of deploying two squadrons simultaneously to two continents exceeded the capacity of the 920th Logistics Readiness Squadron, said Col. Kurt Matthews, 920th Rescue Wing commander.
“We had two units going — double the size requirement. Normally when that happens, they go to the same place together,” Matthews said.
“This time, not only was it twice the size but they’re going to two different locations. There might be some efficiencies gained. But it’s literally double the workload,” he said.
“We needed to bring in some extra help,” he said.
Personnel from Moody Air Force Base near Valdosta, Georgia; March Air Reserve Base near Riverside, California; and Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Texas, moved an estimated 80,000 pounds of equipment, gear and personnel aboard a C-5 Galaxy aircraft and a contracted civilian aircraft.
The 920th Rescue Wing is the Air Force Reserve’s only combat search-and-rescue unit.
Matthews said his airmen deployed for combat search-and-rescue operations in the Middle East, while the Africa contingent will support the Department of Defense and America’s partner nations with medical evacuation services.
In a dual-deployment announcement, Maj. Rachael Lagerquist, who commands the 920th Logistics Readiness Squadron, labeled the mission “a huge joint effort.”
“We maximized the specialties and personnel available to us. Then we brought in augmentees to help get us spun up and out the door,” Lagerquist said.
Neale is the South Brevard watchdog reporter at FLORIDA TODAY.
Contact Neale at 321-242-3638 or email@example.com. Twitter: @RickNeale1
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