943d Rescue Group

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943d Rescue Group
943d Rescue Group HH-60.jpg
Aircraft maintenance personnel from the 943rd Maintenance Squadron and aircrew from the 446th Airlift Wing, McChord Air Force Base, Wash., use a powered winch on a C-17 to load an MH-60G PAVE HAWK helicopter. Two helicopters were loaded and deployed to Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. to augment launch and recovery of Space Shuttle Discovery. In total, twenty reservists from the 943d Rescue Group were deployed on the Shuttle support mission.
Active 12 February 2005 – present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Group
Role Rescue
Part of AFR Shield.svg  Air Force Reserve Command
Garrison/HQ Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Arizona
943d Rescue Group emblem 943d Rescue Group.png

The 943d Rescue Group (943RQG) is a reserve component of the United States Air Force. It is assigned to Tenth Air Force (10AF) under the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) and is based in Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona. When mobilized, Air Combat Command (ACC) is the Force Provider that directs Group assets into theater to support wartime tasking and other operations, like humanitarian relief. NorthCom may gain Group assets directly from AFRC to support disaster relief, search and rescue tasking in the aftermath of catastrophic events like hurricane, tornado, wildfire, flooding and earthquake, when they occur in the US, or its territories.

The Group and its subordinate squadrons function as a geographically separated unit (GSU) of AFRC's 920th Rescue Wing (920 RQW) based at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida.


The mission of the 943d Rescue Group is to provide leadership, management, policy formulation, planning, and standardization for operations, training and support of the Air Force Reserve Command's rescue assets, consisting of 3 squadrons and 3 flights at Davis-Monthan AFB and 1 additional squadron as a geographically separated unit at Portland Air Reserve Station, Oregon. The Group is equipped with six (6) HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters at Davis-Monthan AFB to support worldwide combat rescue operations.

As an Air Force Reserve Command unit, the 943 RQG is normally under the control of the 920 RQW at Patrick AFB, Florida and is the only Air Force Reserve rescue unit in the Southwestern United States. Upon mobilization, the 943 RQG and the 920 RQW would come under the control of the Air Combat Command (ACC).


Following the mobilizations in 1961 and 1962 for the Berlin Crisis and the Cuban Missile Crisis, Continental Air Command (ConAC) realized that it was unwieldy to mobilize an entire wing unless absolutely necessary. Their original Table of Organization for each Wing was a wing headquarters, a troop carrier group, an Air Base Group, a maintenance and supply group, and a medical group. In 1957, the troop carrier group and maintenance and supply groups were inactivated, with their squadrons reassigned directly to the wing headquarters - despite the fact that many wings had squadrons spread out over several bases due to the Detached Squadron Concept dispersing Reserve units over centers of population.

To resolve this, in late 1962 and early 1963, ConAC reorganized the structure of its reserve Troop Carrier Wings by establishing fully deployable Troop Carrier Groups and inserting them into the chain of command between the Wing and its squadrons at every base that held a ConAC troop carrier squadron. At each base, the group was composed of a material squadron, a troop carrier squadron, a tactical hospital or dispensary, and a combat support squadron. Each troop carrier wing consisted of 3 or 4 of these groups. By doing so, ConAC could facilitate the mobilization of either aircraft and aircrews alone, aircraft and minimum support personnel (one troop carrier group), or the entire troop carrier wing. This also gave ConAC the flexibility to expand each Wing by attaching additional squadrons, if necessary from other Reserve wings to the deployable groups for deployments.

As a result, the 943d Troop Carrier Group was established with a mission to organize, recruit and train Air Force Reserve personnel in the tactical airlift of airborne forces, their equipment and supplies and delivery of these forces and materials by airdrop, landing or cargo extraction systems. The group was equipped with C-119 Flying Boxcars for Tactical Air Command airlift operations.

The 943d TCG was one of four C-119 groups assigned to the 452d TCW in 1963, the others being the 942d, and 944d, at March AFB, and the 945th Troop Carrier Group, at Hill AFB, Utah.

The group flew routine tactical airlift missions in the western states, inactivating its Flying Boxcars in 1969. It then was moved east to Charleston AFB, South Carolina, where it was updated to the C-141 Starlifter heavy intercontinental transport. the group's crews augmented Military Airlift Command units for strategic airlift missions worldwide, including contingency and humanitarian operations and took part in strategic mobility exercises for training. Inactivated in 1973 as part of a Military Airlift Command/Air Force Reserve reorganization.

Reactivated at March AFB in 1985 with C-130 Hercules transports. Inactivated in 1993 when the 303d TAW was moved to Norton AFB and the Reserve's C-141s were moved to March.

Rescue Group[edit]

The 943d Rescue Group was officially reactivated in the Air Force Reserve on 12 February 2005 at Davis-Monthan AFB. The group inherited an illustrious lineage beginning in 1962 with the establishment of the 943d Airlift Group, originally a troop carrier group, and has gone through many activations, re-designations and periods of inactivation since its inception.


  • Established as the 943d Troop Carrier Group, Medium and activated in the Reserve on 28 December 1962 (not organized)
Organized on 17 January 1963
Redesignated 943d Tactical Airlift Group on 1 July 1967
Inactivated on 25 April 1969
  • Redesignated 943d Military Airlift Group (Associate) on 31 July 1969
Activated in the Reserve on 25 September 1969
Inactivated on 1 July 1973
  • Redesignated 943d Tactical Airlift Group on 8 January 1985
Activated in the Reserve on 1 April 1985
Redesignated 943d Airlift Group on 1 February 1992
Inactivated on 30 June 1993
  • Redesignated 943d Rescue Group on 13 January 2005
Activated in the Reserve on 12 February 2005






 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947-1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
  • Mueller, Robert, Air Force Bases Volume I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982, Office of Air Force History, 1989
  • Cantwell, Gerald (1987), Citizen Airmen, A History of the Air Force Reserve, 1946-1994. Washington, D.C.: Air Force History and Museums Program: GPO, 1997 ISBN 0-16049-269-6
  • Rogers, Brian (2005). United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Hinkley, England: Midland Publications. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.
  • AFHRA 943d Rescue Group page

External links[edit]