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306th Rescue Squadron Airman awarded 2021 combat rescue officer of year award

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Nicole Koreen, 943rd Rescue Group Public Affairs
  • 920th Rescue Wing

Captain Ryan Gilbert of the 306th Rescue Squadron was awarded the 2021 Air Force Special Warfare Combat Rescue Officer CGO of the Year award here this month.

Air Force combat rescue officers are trained to lead special operations forces in conducting personnel and material recovery operations. While deployed, combat rescue officers plan and organize missions leading combat search and rescue assets; pararescue and survival; evasion, resistance, and escape operations, including aerospace interface in the recovery objective area while coordinating the evacuation of isolated personnel to friendly control.

Captain Gilbert displayed exceptional leadership and dedication throughout the year to earn this award. He deployed in support of United States Africa Command objectives as the director of operations leading 66 Airmen across four geographically separated units. He maintained accountability of over six million dollars in critical equipment, enabling special operations forces, other governmental agencies and Department of State Combat-related missions by providing over 2,000 hours of personnel recovery.

Additionally, he led three of the wing and group's largest exercises. He facilitated all coordination with 3,000 joint and partner-nation forces, providing rotary-wing, fixed-wing, and maritime support to secure the Secretary of Defense’s top three priorities.

Captain Gilbert was a key leader for Department of Defense resiliency by redeploying 21 members via the deployed transition center and bridging combat vets with home front skills fortifying mental stability and career longevity.