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Rescue Airmen return from Afghanistan deployment

Staff Sgt. Gordon Grooms, a reservist from the 920th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, greets his son at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., upon return from a four-month deployment Feb. 8, 2017. Approximately 50 wing reservists were welcomed home by friends, family members and fellow Airmen on the Patrick AFB flight line. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Anna-Marie Wyant)

Staff Sgt. Gordon Grooms, a reservist from the 920th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, greets his son at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., upon return from a four-month deployment Feb. 8, 2017. Approximately 50 wing reservists were welcomed home by friends, family members and fellow Airmen on the Patrick AFB flight line. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Anna-Marie Wyant)

Air Force reservists greet their friends and family on the flight line at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., upon return from a four-month deployment Feb. 8, 2017. Approximately 50 wing reservists returned from Afghanistan and were transported to Patrick by an Air Force C-17 Globemaster aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Anna-Marie Wyant)

Air Force reservists greet their friends and family on the flight line at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., upon return from a four-month deployment Feb. 8, 2017. Approximately 50 wing reservists returned from Afghanistan and were transported to Patrick by an Air Force C-17 Globemaster aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Anna-Marie Wyant)

Staff Sgt. Paula Herrera poses in front of the C-17 Globemaster aircraft that transported her to Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., after a four-month deployment Feb. 8, 2017. Approximately 50 wing reservists who were deployed to Afghanistan were welcomed home by friends, family members and fellow Airmen on the Patrick AFB flight line. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Anna-Marie Wyant)

Staff Sgt. Paula Herrera poses in front of the C-17 Globemaster aircraft that transported her to Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., after a four-month deployment Feb. 8, 2017. Approximately 50 wing reservists who were deployed to Afghanistan were welcomed home by friends, family members and fellow Airmen on the Patrick AFB flight line. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Anna-Marie Wyant)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Approximately 50 reservists from the 920th Rescue Wing returned to Patrick Feb. 8 after providing personnel recovery support to ongoing operations in Afghanistan for the last four months.

Several friends, family members, wing leaders and fellow Airmen greeted the returning reservists on the flight line. An Air Force C-17 Globemaster based out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, transported the Airmen here.

The returning deployers are helicopter aviation, maintenance and support personnel who perform and enable personnel rescue and recovery using Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters. Other wing Airmen are currently deployed and continue to support this mission.

They were tasked with saving lives by using their skills and aircraft to perform combat rescue operations – speeding to pick up isolated and injured personnel and returning them safely in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and NATO’s Resolute Support missions.

The wing has a 50-year history of saving lives, and its Airmen have rescued more than 3,000 personnel in peacetime and combat. The wing’s motto is, “these things we do that others may live.”

The 920th RQW owns and operates nine HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters and six HC-130P/N King fixed-wing air refueling aircraft. It has three geographically separated units: the 943rd Rescue Group, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona; the 304th Rescue Squadron, Portland Air National Guard Base, Oregon; and the 920th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.

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