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Rescue Wing assists in search for missing aircraft passengers

A 920th Rescue Wing HC-130 King aircraft takes off from  Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, May 16 for a five-hour search and rescue mission off the coast of the Bahamas to locate a downed aircraft and its four passengers. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brandon Kalloo)

A 920th Rescue Wing HC-130 King aircraft takes off from Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, May 16 for a five-hour search and rescue mission off the coast of the Bahamas to locate a downed aircraft and its four passengers. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brandon Kalloo)

Citizen Airmen with the 920th Rescue Wing secure a pallet of search and rescue equipment inside an HC-130 King aircraft May 16 at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, in preparation for a mission off the coast of the Bahamas to search for a downed aircraft and four passengers. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brandon Kalloo)

Citizen Airmen with the 920th Rescue Wing secure a pallet of search and rescue equipment inside an HC-130 King aircraft May 16 at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, in preparation for a mission off the coast of the Bahamas to search for a downed aircraft and four passengers. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Brandon Kalloo)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Air Force Reserve search and rescue personnel from the 920th Rescue Wing at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, joined forces with the Coast Guard May 16, to search for two adults and two children reported missing the day prior.

A team of 13 Citizen Airmen departed in one of the wing’s HC-130 King aircraft at approximately 4 p.m. to search for the passengers, whose MU-2B twin-prop plane lost radio contact off the coast of the Bahamas the afternoon of May 15.

After a five-hour search, the 920th RQW crew returned around midnight without having found the downed aircraft or passengers. The Coast Guard continues its search, having discovered some MU-2B aircraft debris, but still no passengers.

The 920th RQW is an AFR combat-search-and-rescue unit which performs more than 20 percent of the Air Force's CSAR mission. The Wing is comprised of 1,700 Airmen and flies both fixed and rotor wing aircraft: the HC-130P/N extended-range Hercules and the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter.

The wing also provides humanitarian relief during hurricanes and other natural disasters, as well as search and rescue support for emergency situations at sea.

Since it’s activation in 1956, wing reservists have saved nearly 4,000 lives, including more than 850 combat rescues.