AUGUST 15, 2016, Moffett Federal Airfield, Calif. – California Air National Guardsmen from the 129th Rescue Wing completed an overwater rescue mission on the Pacific Ocean, saving the life of a seriously ill 37-year-old crewman on board the HMCS Calgary, a Canadian naval frigate.
“The 129th Rescue Wing’s federal mission is to conduct combat rescue. But as California Guardsmen, we have a responsibility to apply our life-saving capabilities here at home,” said Col. Gregory F. Jones, 129th Rescue Wing Commander. “Whether at home or abroad, the 129th Rescue Wing and the Air National Guard are always mission-ready.”
The HMCS Calgary was approximately 800 miles north-west of San Francisco, Calif. when the U.S. Coast Guard requested Air Force Rescue Coordination Center assistance. The 129th Rescue Wing (RQW) accepted the mission due to the time-critical nature of the event and the distance of the vessel from shore.
With AFRCC and U.S. Coast Guard coordination, the 129th RQW launched two HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, an MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft and a Guardian Angel pararescue team from Moffett Federal Airfield around 4:30 a.m. Aug. 12th to the HMCS Calgary. Once the Guardian Angel Team boarded the frigate, they made sure the patient was stable before loading him into an HH-60G that departed back to Moffett. The Guardian Angel team continued to care for the Canadian crewman while inside the helicopter. An ambulance met the crewman at Moffett and immediately transported him to a local hospital.
The 129th Rescue Wing is credited with saving the lives of more than 1,000 people. From arid deserts and snow-covered mountain tops to urban and rural settings, 129th Rescue Wing air guardsmen can reach any destination by land, air or sea. Equipped with MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft, HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopters and Guardian Angel teams (Pararescuemen and Combat Rescue Officers), the 129th Rescue Wing conducts combat search and rescue missions, as well as the rescue of distressed persons on board ships, lost or injured hikers, and medical evacuations across the West Coast.