Saturday, January 31, 2015

Silicon Valley-based Air Guardsmen deploy to the Horn of Africa

by 129th Rescue Wing Public Affairs

1/28/2015 - MOFFETT FEDERAL AIRFIELD, Calif. -- About 30 California Air National Guardsmen from the 129th Rescue Wing here deployed from here to the Horn of Africa Jan. 24 in order to provide combat rescue support to ongoing operations there.

Pararescuemen, also known as PJs, and Combat Rescue Officers of the wing's 131st Rescue Squadron will be the primary personnel recovery force for Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa during their four month deployment.

"The 129th Rescue Wing has been preparing and training for this deployment for the past six months," said Col. Gregory F. Jones, 129th Rescue Wing commander. "Our Airmen are ready to bring the same level of professionalism we demonstrated in our past rescue missions to the Horn of Africa."

While deployed these Airmen will be supporting CJTF-HOA's ongoing multinational, joint, interagency, intergovernmental counter insurgency and stabilization operations throughout the region.

"Mission failure is not an option for us and this mindset permeates every aspect of our operational training and employment," said Lt. Col. Jeff Borg, 131st Rescue Squadron commander. "Our PJs and CROs will face some challenging environmental conditions during this deployment and have spent the last six months training specifically towards this area of operation. These Airmen are world class athletes standing by to come to someone else's aid."

These Air Guardsmen are trained to execute personnel recovery missions anywhere in the world. From arid deserts to snow covered mountain tops, from urban environments to rural setting, PJs and CROs can reach any destination by land, air or sea.

Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, the primary mission of the 129th Rescue Wing is to perform its wartime mission of personnel recovery anywhere in the world. Equipped with Air Force MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft and Air Force HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopters, the 129th has performed a wide variety of civilian personnel recovery missions, including the rescue of distressed persons aboard ships, lost or injured hikers, and medical evacuations. To date, the wing is credited with saving the lives of more than 1,000 people.