55th Rescue Squadron

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55th Rescue Squadron
55 Rescue Squadron USAF emblem.PNG
55th Rescue Squadron patch
Active 22 January 2003 - Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Search and Rescue
Part of Air Combat Command
23d Wing
563d Rescue Group
Garrison/HQ Davis-Monthan Air Force Base
Nickname(s) Night Hawks
Motto(s) Haec Ago Ut Alii Vivant
These Things We Do That Others May Live

The 55th Rescue Squadron (55 RQS) is an aviation unit of the United States Air Force. It operates the HH-60G Pavehawk helicopter and provides rapidly deployable combat search and rescue forces to theater commanders worldwide. They tactically employ the HH-60G helicopter and its crew in hostile environments to recover downed aircrew and isolated personnel during day, night, or marginal weather conditions. The squadron also conducts military operations other than war including civil search and rescue, disaster relief, international aid, emergency medical evacuation, and counter-drug activities.[1]

Mission[edit]

Since 2003, the squadron provided rapidly deployable combat search and rescue forces worldwide; and deployed aircraft and crews in response to national disasters, domestic search and rescue, and MEDEVAC missions.

History[edit]

Originally, the 55th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron was activated on 14 November 1952, at Thule Air Force Base, Greenland, and remained there until its inactivation on 18 June 1960. The squadron was reactivated again at Kindley Air Force Station, Bermuda, on 10 May 1961. The squadron was relocated to McCoy Air Force Base, Florida (USA) in February 1970, and to Eglin Air Force Base on 3 June 1971. Twenty-two years later, on 25 February 1993, the 55th ARRS moved to Hurlburt Field, where the squadron was inactivated on 11 November 1999. On 22 January 2003 the squadron was reactivated at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, AZ (USA).[2]

Operations[edit]

The 55th ARS trained and performed rescue and recovery missions from 1952 to 1960. Between June 1961 and January 1966 the unit supported manned spacecraft recovery operations. In 1988 the rescue role changed to special operations missions. During Operation Just Cause the 55th SOS performed combat search and rescue in Panama between 20 December 1989 and 14 January 1990. This was repeated during the 1991 Gulf War between January and March 1991, and again in the Persian Gulf region and the Kosovo, in 1998-1999. Since 2003, the squadron provided rapidly deployable combat search and rescue forces worldwide; and deployed aircraft and crews in response to national disasters, domestic search and rescue, and MEDEVAC missions, like during Hurricane Katrina.[3]

Lineage[edit]

  • 55th Air Rescue Squadron (17 October 1952 – 18 June 1960; 10 May 1961 - 8 January 1966).
  • 55th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (8 January 1966 – 1 March 1988)
  • 55th Special Operations Squadron (1 March 1988 – 11 November 1999)
  • 55th Rescue Squadron (22 January 2003 – present)

Assignments[edit]

  • 6th Air Rescue Group (14 November 1952)
  • Air Rescue Service (18 February 1958 – 18 June 1960)
  • Military Air Transport Service (10 May 1961)
  • Air Rescue (later, Aerospace Rescue and Recovery) Service (18 June 1961)
  • 39th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery (later, 39th Special Operations) Wing (1 January 1970)
  • 1st Special Operations Wing (18 April 1989)
  • 1st Special Operations (later, 16th Operations) Group (22 September 1992 – 11 November 1999)
  • 355th Operations Group (14 March 2003)
  • 563d Rescue Group (1 October 2003 – present)

Bases stationed[edit]

Aircraft operated[edit]

An 55th ARRS HH-53C over the Gulf of Mexico, 1978.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 563d Rescue Group Fact Sheet
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 September 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-11. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 September 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-11. 

Bibliography[edit]