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Just got an email from the Public Affairs office at the 920th Rescue Wing based at Patrick AFB in Cocoa Beach, Fl.  The tie-in here is that the good folks at PAFB are my neighbors, and our Gold Star Mom Debbie Lee is getting involved.  Read more to see how.

Rescue Wing Airmen departing for Afghanistan

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Approximately a dozen Rescue Wing Reservists from the Air Force Reserve’s 920th Rescue Wing here are scheduled to depart for several months to Afghanistan September 1 where they will perform life-saving missions.

“I’m proud of them and their ability to perform at the level they do,” said Lt. Col. Kurt Matthews, commander of the pararescue squadron.

The wing’s primary wartime job is combat search and rescue, which involves locating and rescuing service members isolated or injured in combat – such as pilots shot down behind enemy lines or soldiers injured on the battlefield.

“While over there they will on average, conduct half a dozen rescues a day and save anywhere from 200-300 people a month,” Said Colonel Mathews.

A ‘save’ refers to a situation where, without immediate intervention, a person would lose their life, a limb or eyesight.

During their last deployment to Afghanistan in 2010, they are credited with saving 450 lives. One particular event took them high up in the mountains of the Helmand Province, more specifically, the Salang Pass, at an elevation of approximately 11,500 feet.

The Guardian Angel Airmen used their diverse rescue skills to treat and evacuate survivors of multiple avalanches that occurred in this major mountain pass which connects northern Afghanistan to the Kabul province, with further connections to southern Afghanistan and Pakistan.

More than 1,500 Afghans were stranded in frigid weather with raging winds and minus-40 degree air. After 12 flights in a seven-hour period, the Guardian Angel Airmen were able to assist more than 300 people.

Currently, 920th Airmen are celebrating a 50-year history serving as guardians of the astronauts during NASA space shuttle missions. The space transportation ended in July 2011, but 920th Airmen work closely with the 45th Space Wing and NASA providing safety and security of the Eastern Range supporting all rocket launches.

The unit’s other peacetime missions include providing local search-and-rescue support for civilians who are lost at sea or in distress. The wing also provides worldwide humanitarian relief, supporting rescue efforts in the aftermath of disasters such as hurricanes, floods and earthquakes.

For more information about the 920th RQW, log on to the wing’s Web site: www.920rqw.afrc.af.mil or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.


Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann and Gold Star Mom Debbie Lee

Dear Capt. Snow,

Andrea Shea King here.  I’m currently traveling with the Tea Party Express on a national tour.  One of our team members is a Gold Star Mom.  Her name is Debbie Lee and she is the founder of America’s Mighty Warriors, a foundation that assists the families of those KIA.

She’s also involved with Move America Forward, the nation’s largest pro-troop organization that raises funds to send care packages to our troops in the Middle East.

Debbie has asked me to have you send her the names of those who are being deployed so that she may send them each a care package.  I am including her in this email so that you might begin contacting each other directly.

Hope all is well with you.  My prayers go with our brave men being deployed, and those already there.