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Reserve Rescue Airmen return to D-M from Africa

A combat rescue officer from the 306th Rescue Squadron hugs his daughters upon his return to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., from the Horn of Africa June 2. The 306th RQS is part of the 943rd Rescue Group, the Air Force Reserve Command's premier combat search and rescue group. They were deployed for four months and saved six lives during the deployment, flew more than 500 combat hours, conducted 67 parachute deployments, and provided more than 2,600 hours of dedicated alert coverage. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Greg Gaunt)

A combat rescue officer from the 306th Rescue Squadron hugs his daughters upon his return to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., from the Horn of Africa June 2. The 306th RQS is part of the 943rd Rescue Group, the Air Force Reserve Command's premier combat search and rescue group. They were deployed for four months and saved six lives during the deployment, flew more than 500 combat hours, conducted 67 parachute deployments, and provided more than 2,600 hours of dedicated alert coverage. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Greg Gaunt)

A little girl cannot contain her joy to see her father as he returns to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base June 2 from a 306th Rescue Squadron deployment to the Horn of Africa.  The 306th RQS is part of the 943rd Rescue Group, the Air Force Reserve Command's premier combat search and rescue group. As citizen Airmen, most of the men and women of the reserve rescue group here balance the unique requirements of a civilian career, a military career, and family. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Greg Gaunt)

A little girl cannot contain her joy to see her father as he returns to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base June 2 from a 306th Rescue Squadron deployment to the Horn of Africa. The 306th RQS is part of the 943rd Rescue Group, the Air Force Reserve Command's premier combat search and rescue group. As citizen Airmen, most of the men and women of the reserve rescue group here balance the unique requirements of a civilian career, a military career, and family. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Greg Gaunt)

Children greet their father June 2 as he returns to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base from a 306th Rescue Squadron deployment to the Horn of Africa. As the ground force for the personnel recovery task force, the 306th RQS provided combat search and rescue and casualty evacuation to Department of Defense forces operating in an area the size of almost two million square miles.  The terrain varied from 19,000-foot mountains to vast, unpopulated desert; thick jungle; and large cities to open ocean. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Greg Gaunt)

Children greet their father June 2 as he returns to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base from a 306th Rescue Squadron deployment to the Horn of Africa. As the ground force for the personnel recovery task force, the 306th RQS provided combat search and rescue and casualty evacuation to Department of Defense forces operating in an area the size of almost two million square miles. The terrain varied from 19,000-foot mountains to vast, unpopulated desert; thick jungle; and large cities to open ocean. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Greg Gaunt)

Families greet their loved ones upon the return of the 306th Rescue Squadron to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., from the Horn of Africa June 2. The 306th RQS is part of the 943rd Rescue Group, the Air Force Reserve Command's premier combat search and rescue group. They were deployed for four months and saved six lives during the deployment, flew more than 500 combat hours, conducted 67 parachute deployments, and provided more than 2,600 hours of dedicated alert coverage. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Greg Gaunt)

Families greet their loved ones upon the return of the 306th Rescue Squadron to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., from the Horn of Africa June 2. The 306th RQS is part of the 943rd Rescue Group, the Air Force Reserve Command's premier combat search and rescue group. They were deployed for four months and saved six lives during the deployment, flew more than 500 combat hours, conducted 67 parachute deployments, and provided more than 2,600 hours of dedicated alert coverage. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Greg Gaunt)

Families of 306th Rescue Squadron Reserve Airmen make welcome home signs as they wait for the arrival of returning deployers at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base June 2. The 306th RQS is part of the 943rd Rescue Group, the Air Force Reserve Command's premier combat search and rescue group, and had been deployed to the Horn of Africa for four months. The team saved six lives during the deployment, flew more than 500 combat hours, conducted 67 parachute deployments, and provided more than 2,600 hours of dedicated alert coverage. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Greg Gaunt)

Families of 306th Rescue Squadron Reserve Airmen make welcome home signs as they wait for the arrival of returning deployers at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base June 2. The 306th RQS is part of the 943rd Rescue Group, the Air Force Reserve Command's premier combat search and rescue group, and had been deployed to the Horn of Africa for four months. The team saved six lives during the deployment, flew more than 500 combat hours, conducted 67 parachute deployments, and provided more than 2,600 hours of dedicated alert coverage. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Greg Gaunt)

Members of the 943rd Rescue Group and families of 306th Rescue Squadron Reserve Airmen wait for the arrival of returning deployers at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base June 2 The 306th RQS is part of the 943rd Rescue Group, the Air Force Reserve Command's premier combat search and rescue group, and had been deployed to the Horn of Africa for four months. The team saved six lives during the deployment, flew more than 500 combat hours, conducted 67 parachute deployments, and provided more than 2,600 hours of dedicated alert coverage. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Greg Gaunt)

Members of the 943rd Rescue Group and families of 306th Rescue Squadron Reserve Airmen wait for the arrival of returning deployers at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base June 2 The 306th RQS is part of the 943rd Rescue Group, the Air Force Reserve Command's premier combat search and rescue group, and had been deployed to the Horn of Africa for four months. The team saved six lives during the deployment, flew more than 500 combat hours, conducted 67 parachute deployments, and provided more than 2,600 hours of dedicated alert coverage. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Greg Gaunt)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. --

U.S. Air Force Reservists assigned to the 306th Rescue Squadron returned to from a four-month deployment to the Horn of Africa June 2.

They were greeted by their families and members of the 943rd Rescue Group in the maintenance hangar here.

“The squadron did a fantastic job,” said Maj. Anthony Alexander, 306th RQS commander. “Our theater responsibilities in Africa were extremely complicated.  As the ground force for the personnel recovery task force, we provided combat search and rescue and casualty evacuation to Department of Defense forces operating in an area the size of almost two million square miles.  The terrain varied from 19,000-foot mountains to vast, unpopulated desert; thick jungle; and large cities to open ocean.”

The extremely long ranges between potential crisis areas required the team to be able to get to sites by parachute, helicopter, ground vehicles, or boats and required the pararescuemen to be able to treat multiple injured personnel for hours to days, he said. 

“In preparation for the deployment, the squadron spent almost six months conducting advanced medical training and practicing shooting skills, parachuting techniques, urban combat tactics, technical rescue training, and combat integration with Air Force HH-60 helicopters and HC-130 aircraft,” said Alexander. 

The squadron arrived for the deployment highly proficient and ready – and it showed.

“The team saved six lives during the deployment, flew more than 500 combat hours, conducted 67 parachute deployments, and provided more than 2,600 hours of dedicated alert coverage,” he said. “I am extremely proud of them and glad they all made it back safely.”

Col. John Beatty, the 943rd RQG commander, said he is “extremely proud” of the sacrifices and accomplishments of this group of men and women and pleased to have them re-united with their unit and families.

“The 943rd Rescue Group is happy to welcome our deployers home from Africa,” he said. “The work they performed in support of on-going operations there is testament to the dedication and commitment of our reserve Airmen.  As citizen Airmen, most of these men and women balance the unique requirements of a civilian career, a military career, and family.  For most, this recent deployment to Africa was but one of a number of similar deployments since 2001.”