55th RQS receives rescue squadron of the year award

  • Published
  • By SSgt Giovanni Sims
  • 355th Wing Public Affairs

Editor’s note: The mention of the nonprofit organization That Others May Live does not constitute endorsement of affiliation by Davis-Monthan Air Force Base or the U.S. Air Force.)

In the first year of partnering with the Air Rescue Association, the 55th Rescue Squadron was awarded the That Others May Live Foundation Rescue Squadron of the Year Award in 2020.

This annual award is presented to an active duty, Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve rescue unit that scores highest in the categories of mission events, combat effectiveness, squadron accomplishments and community relations.

“Rated on squadron accomplishments to include mission results, unit and individual accomplishments and community relations impact, all submissions were outstanding and the competition was fierce,” said Heidi Meisterling, member of the TOMLF board of directors.

During the ceremony, Lt Col (ret) Cedric Stark, highlighted the squadron’s phenomenal accomplishments over the past year.

“While deployed in support of Operation INHERENT RESOLVE, the 55th RQS rapidly executed a short notice emergency evacuation, they were the first to deploy the Distributed Aperture Infrared Countermeasure system, they were the first squadron to contract robot vehicle aerial gunnery targets to aid target acquisition and destruction,” Stark said. “Those are just a few of the many accomplishments of the 55th RQS. The bottom line is that the 55th was head and shoulders above the rest which is a huge testament to their amazing year.”

The distinctive accomplishments of the 55th RQS resulted in their award of the That Others May Live Rescue Squadron of the Year.

“When we look at all the great work the Rescue community is doing around the world it is extremely humbling to receive this award,” said Lt. Col. Charles Redmond, 55th RQS commander. “We also recognize and are grateful to be part of the greater team in the 355 Wing that has enabled the 563rd RQG to earn this award three years in a row.  Specifically, the team effort with the 55th Helicopter Maintenance Unit and 355th Contracting Squadron has been the key to our success.”

While this award was received with humble hearts, the Airmen of the 55th know that their achievement toward greatness continues.

“Well done!” Redmond said. “We will build off this past year’s success and we will continue to be ready for tonight’s fight by training for tomorrow’s war.”

Thanks to their outstanding accomplishments, the 55th RQS has proven to be the top rescue squadron in the Air Force for 2020 and will continue their legacy of excellence for years to come.