33d Rescue Squadron

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33d Rescue Squadron
33d Rescue Squadron.jpg
33d Rescue Squadron Patch
Active 14 November 1952 – 18 March 1960
18 June 1961 – 1 October 1970
1 July 1971 – present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Search and Rescue
Part of Pacific Air Forces
5th Air Force
18th Wing
18th Operations Group
Garrison/HQ Kadena Air Base
Motto(s) That Others May Live
Decorations Meritorious Unit Commendation.jpg Navy MUC
Air Force Meritorious Unit ribbon.svg AFMUA
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
Vietnam gallantry cross unit award-3d.svg RVGC w/ Palm
33d Rescue Squadron (RQS) HH-60 PAVE Hawk

The 33d Rescue Squadron (33 RQS) is part of the 18th Wing at Kadena Air Base, Japan. It operates HH-60 Pave Hawk aircraft conducting search and rescue missions.



The 33d has performed search, rescue, and recovery missions from 1952–1960, 1961–1970, and since 1971. The squadron flew missions in support of the Vietnam War from 1965–1967. The 33d supported operations following the seizure of the USS Pueblo by North Korea between 29 January and 16 September 1968 and aided search efforts and salvage operations from September–October 1983, after a Soviet fighter aircraft shot down South Korean airliner KAL 007.[1]


Operation Enduring Freedom- Multiple deployments from 2005–present

Significant Awards[edit]


  • 33d Air Rescue Squadron (1952–1965)
  • 33d Air Recovery Squadron (1965–1966)
  • 33d Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (1966–1989)
  • 33d Air Rescue Squadron (1989–1993)
  • 33d Rescue Squadron (1993 – present)


Bases stationed[1][edit]

Aircraft operated[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e f Factsheets: 33 Rescue Squadron
  2. ^ Kalish, Brian, "33rd Rescue Squadron earns MacKay Trophy", Military Times, 1 June 2010.
  3. ^ National Aeronautics Association, "[1]"


See also[edit]