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Bay Area ANG unit rescues Navy contractor

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Roderick B. Bersamina
  • 129th Rescue Wing
The California Air National Guard's 129th Rescue Wing conducted a long-distance rescue mission over the Pacific Ocean Nov. 12, saving the life of a seriously ill 63-year-old civilian contractor on board the USS Guadalupe.

"The 129th Rescue Wing's bottom line is the Air Force rescue community's motto: ‘That others may live,’" said Col. Taft Aujero, the 129th RQW commander. "Our more than 1,000 saves both at home and abroad speaks to the extraordinary talent of our members. I could not be prouder of them and their accomplishments."

The USS Guadalupe was approximately 560 miles off the California coast when the U.S. Coast Guard requested Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) assistance.

"Due to the distance of the vessel and no local assets in the area, we reached out to the 129th Rescue Wing for assistance," said Lt. Kayla Abruzzese, the 11th Coast Guard District watchstander. "Through the coordination efforts, we were able to get the person in distress to higher medical care."

With AFRCC and Coast Guard coordination, the 129th RQW launched two HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, an MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft and a pararescue team from Moffett Federal Airfield around 11 a.m. to the USS Guadalupe. Once the team boarded the ship, they stabilized the patient before loading him into an HH-60G that departed back to Moffett Air National Guard Base. The pararescue team continued to provide en route care for the patient during the four-hour return flight. An ambulance met the contractor at Moffett ANGB and immediately transported him to a local hospital.

The 129th Rescue Wing is credited with saving the lives of more than 1,000 people. The wing conducts combat search and rescue missions, as well as the rescue of distressed persons on board ships, lost or injured hikers, and medical evacuations across the West Coast.