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Rescue Airmen Enhance Lethality, Readiness of Wing

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Cali Elliott
  • 920th Rescue Wing

Maj. Gen. Brian K. Borgen, Tenth Air Force Commander, Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, Texas, visited 920th Rescue Wing Airmen at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 12.

Borgen spent the weekend visiting Airmen within nearly every single squadron attached to the 920th RQW.

“Our Reservists are in a unique position to combine their civilian expertise, knowledge, and experience with their military training,” the General said. “I’m always impressed with the talent we have in the Tenth and how well our Airmen are able to integrate both worlds, further empowering their individual squadrons and by effect, enhancing the lethality and readiness of their Wing.”

During the visit, the Tenth Air Force Commander sought to recognize several Airmen across the Rescue Wing who’ve gone above and beyond during the year who exemplify the Wing’s motto: “These Things We Do That Others May Live.”

For example, during the Mission Support Group facilities tour the General was introduced to Airman First Class Ryan, an Air Transportation Airman within the Logistics Readiness Squadron. While conducting final checks in preparation for Hurricane Isaias, a need was identified to transfer medical records to a secure location. The A1C quickly took action without leadership intervention. He contacted his LRS leadership team, informed them of the situation, rallied members and prepared vehicles/trailers to quickly resolve the issue which secured and safeguarded medical records for the Wing.

As the visit continued, General Borgen would meet two Aeromedical Staging Squadron (ASTS) Airmen who distinguished themselves for their outstanding performance when called upon for New York COVID-19 response earlier this year.

Staff Sgt. Jorge, Non-commissioned Officer in Charge of Physical Exams and Deployments overhauled the examination and medical deployment process when the request to deploy to New York came in. His implementation of new guidance ensured all deployers were medically qualified prior to heading to the North Eastern state. The NCOIC was instrumental in ensuring all 920 RQW Airmen heading for NYC COVID-19 Response were medically cleared and out the door in less than 24-hours.

920th ASTS Respiratory Therapist, Staff Sgt. Marja, was one of those members who deployed for that response. While she was deployed to NYC’s Lincoln Memorial Center, one of the hardest hit Coronavirus areas, she provided her respiratory therapist skills to ventilated patients in the fight against COVID-19. She had a remarkable patient save when responding to an alarm for a patient that was not assigned to her. Marja quickly recognized an emergent situation related to an endotracheal tube which had become dislodged in an unstable patient. She promptly provided lifesaving interventions then elicited additional assistance to provide more definitive care. Her attention to detail and quick thinking prevented almost certain and imminent death for the patient.

“The drive and initiative of the 920th Airmen, with their willingness to take on projects without being instructed to do so, is exactly what I’m looking for in our Airmen,” Borgen said. “We need to get away from the mother-may-I mentality our Air Force has fallen into and start to once again to empower our SSgt/TSgt and young officers to make decisions without them worrying about receiving negative repercussions if they fail”

Additionally, he observed a training exercise first-hand conducted by the 301st Rescue Squadron by joining aircrew on a HH-60 Pave Hawk Helicopter. The capabilities and readiness of the 301st RQS allowed for a smooth flight, allowing him to see many sites including Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, SPACEX and NASA.

Borgen takes time to visit the Airmen who fall under the Tenth Air Force umbrella by venturing to different Reserve units on Unit Training Assembly weekends. While doing so, he evaluates all of the units, upcoming assets they may need, and learns how he can better advocate for them.

The Tenth Air Force Commander takes initiative by seeing first-hand what he can do to improve not just the units he oversees, but the Air Force Reserve as a whole.

The 920th Rescue Wing falls under the command of Tenth Air Force, which is one of three Numbered Air Force’s (NAFs) in Air Force Reserve Command. The other two NAFs include Fourth Air Force in California and the Twenty Second Air Force located in Georgia.

His command operates across multiple domains which include all special operations and rescue units in the Air Force Reserve.

Based at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., the 920th RQW is the only Air Force Reserve Command wing that trains and equips its Airmen to carry out its mission; to search for, locate and recover U.S. Armed Forces personnel. Air Force rescue is the only DoD entity specifically organized, trained and equipped to conduct personnel recovery operations into hostile or denied areas as a primary mission.

“The Things We Do That Others May Live”

*Editors Note: Last names have been omitted for 920th Rescue Wing Airmen for operational security.