920th RQW takes to the skies during the Atlas V launch
By , 920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 24, 2014
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla -- Air Force Reserve combat-search-and-rescue Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing here, supported the successful launch of an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Sept. 16 at 8:10 p.m.
The rocket delivered a QuikScat Earth satellite and crew supplies to the International Space Station. The QuikScat Earth satellite will monitor ocean winds, and deliver the data for use in weather predictions, including hurricane monitoring.
Reserve Airmen work side-by-side with their active duty counterparts at the 45th Space Wing to maintain safety at the launch site on the Space Coast.
HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter crews begin their flight several hours before the scheduled launch to ensure the area around the site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Kennedy Space Center is safe and secure.
The Airmen patrol the 70-mile long by 10-mile wide swath of ocean extending east from the Cape to ensure that ships, boats or swimmers in the area will not be harmed if the launch is not successful.
"On behalf of Team Patrick-Cape, we tip our hats to ULA, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company and everyone associated with this mission," said Brig. Gen. Nina Armagno, 45th Space Wing commander, who also served as the Launch Decision Authority for the mission. "We couldn't do what we do without the combined efforts of our entire team. You're the best team out there."
The 920th RQW performs combat search and rescue as its primary mission, which includes rescuing members that are injured during combat and in hostel locations.
In addition to combat recue, the 920th RQW also performs civil search and rescue as well as humanitarian relief.
To date, the unit has saved more than 3,000 lives, both in peacetime and combat.