HomeNews

Florida Reserve Citizen Airmen join search for Airman in Gulf

Tech. Sgt. Pat Englishby, 39th Rescue Squadron Load Master prepares the HC-130N Combat King aircraft to respond to the combined federal, Department of Defense, state and local rescue mission for a missing Airman in the Gulf of Mexico November 6, 2019. (U.S. Air Force video by Tech. Sgt. Kelly Goonan)

Tech. Sgt. Pat Englishby, 39th Rescue Squadron Load Master prepares the HC-130N Combat King aircraft to respond to the combined federal, Department of Defense, state and local rescue mission for a missing Airman in the Gulf of Mexico November 6, 2019. (U.S. Air Force video by Tech. Sgt. Kelly Goonan)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

Search and Rescue Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing departed the base at approximately noon today to join the search for a missing Special Tactics Airman in the Gulf of Mexico. The Airman is from the 24th Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Florida.

 

The rescue team launched in two HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters and one HC-130 Combat King aircraft, each carrying two pararescuemen aboard to assist with the search. Additional scanners and rescue gear were also on board the aircraft headed for the Gulf.

 

The search has been underway since the Airman departed from a C-130 aircraft yesterday making an unintentional water landing during a planned static-line jump as part of a training event.

 

Emergency response was immediately initiated and multiple units were dispatched to search for the Airman. Rescue teams are currently searching a 700 square-mile area off the coast between Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola. The search area continues to expand and adjust as efforts continue.

 

Multiple Air Force, Army and Coast Guard search crews have been on the scene since early this morning to include local Sheriffs and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

 

“We will search as much as the crew duty day, gas and conditions allow us until we find our brother in arms,” said Lt. Col. Chad Senior, 920th Deputy Group Commander/Combat Rescue Officer.

 

More details will continue to be released as they become available. Questions should be directed to the 24th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs Office at (850) 884-3902/8336 or Alejandra.fontalva.1@us.af.mil