58th Rescue Squadron

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58th Rescue Squadron
58th Rescue Squadron pararescue.jpg
Pararescuemen from the 58th exercise recovering a downed pilot
Active1952–1960; 1961–1970; 2002–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
RoleSearch and Rescue
Part ofAir Combat Command
Garrison/HQNellis Air Force Base
Motto(s)Courage and Honor[1]
DecorationsNavy Meritorious Unit Commendation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award[1]
58th Rescue Squadron emblem (approved c. 2007)[1]58th Rescue Squadron.jpg
Pararescuemen from the 58 RQS participate in an exercise at Nellis AFB.

The 58th Rescue Squadron is one of five active-duty squadrons under the command of the 563d Rescue Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona but located at Operating Site Alpha, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.[2]


Rescue in North Africa[edit]

In the fall of 1952, Air Rescue Service, expanded its existing squadrons to groups. Its 7th Air Rescue Squadron, which had responsibility for rescue support in an area stretching from the middle Atlantic and across North Africa to the Middle East, became the 7th Air Rescue Group. Air Rescue Service formed new squadrons, which replaced existing flights of the old squadrons. The 58th Air Rescue Squadron was activated at Wheelus Air Base, Libya, where it assumed the mission and took over the resources of Flight E, 6th Air Rescue Squadron.

The 58th flew search and rescue in parts of the Middle East, Africa, and Southern Europe, especially at the El Uotia Gunnery Range in Libya. It was briefly inactive from September 1960 until June 1961. It also stood downrange alert during manned space missions, performed some overwater escort, and provided humanitarian aid during natural disasters. In September 1969, a coup led by Muammar Gaddafi replaced the Kingdom of Libya with the Libyan Arab Republic. The new republic terminated American base rights in Libya and the squadron was inactivated.

Guardian Angel[edit]

Prior to about 2000, Air Force rescue units were frequently composite units (as shown by the number of fixed and rotary wing aircraft flown by the squadron at Wheelus). At that time, rescue units were organized as fixed wing, helicopter, or pararescue units. The squadron, now the 58th Rescue Squadron, was activated at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, in June 2002 as a pararescue squadron, often called a "Guardian Angel" squadron. The squadron possesses no aircraft, but its rescue personnel fly on the helicopters of the 66th Rescue Squadron.


  • Constituted as the 58th Air Rescue Squadron on 17 October 1952
Activated on 14 November 1952
Discontinued on 18 September 1960
  • Organized on 18 June 1961
Redesignated 58th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron on 8 January 1966
Inactivated on 15 February 1970
  • Redesignated 58th Rescue Squadron on 30 May 2002
Activated on 14 June 2002[1]


  • 7th Air Rescue Group, 14 November 1952 (attached for operational control to Headquarters United States Air Forces Europe (USAFE), until 15 November 1953, to Seventeenth Air Force until 1 August 1954, USAFE, until unknown date)
  • 12th Air Rescue Group, 8 December 1956
  • Air Rescue Service, 18 Feb 1958 – 18 September 1960
  • Air Rescue Service (later Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service), 18 June 1961
  • Atlantic Rescue and Recovery Center (later 40 Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Wing), 1 April 1967 – 15 February 1970
  • 57th Operations Group, 14 June 2002[1]
  • 563d Rescue Group, 1 October 2003 – present)[3]


  • Wheelus Air Base, Libya, 14 November 1952 – 18 September 1960
  • Wheelus Air Base, Libya, 18 June 1961 – 15 February 1970
  • Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, 14 June 2002 – present[1]


See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g Endicott, Judy G. (20 December 2007). "Factsheet 58 Rescue Squadron (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 4 January 2018.
  2. ^ http://www.nellis.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=4102 Archived 13 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine Major Tenant Units at Nellis AFB Factsheet
  3. ^ Bailey, Carl E. (2 January 2008). "Factsheet 563 Rescue Group (AFSOC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 5 May 2015.


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.