DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. --
The Air Rescue Association held their annual reunion luncheon at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, Oct. 4, 2019.
The ARA is organized, operated and dedicated to extending and preserving the spirit and camaraderie among persons who have been assigned to or associated with United States Air Rescue forces in the past, those presently serving, and those who may serve in the future.
The group was comprised of retired personnel who have been involved in rescue operations since World War II.
Their reunion consisted of a tour of the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group, and visiting the 48th Rescue Squadron.
“These reunions help us keep ties to the people who may sometimes feel disconnected from the military after retiring,” said Master Sgt. Mathew Macella, 48 RQS operations superintendent. “This allows them to come be a part of the community again. It keeps them in the loop and involved in the rescue community.”
During their visit with the 48 RQS, they received briefings from Col. Jason Pifer, 563d Rescue Group commander, on the current state of the rescue community, the Tamara rescue mission and the mission that awarded them Rescue Mission of the Year.
Members from the ARA were also given the opportunity to share rescue missions they had gone on during their time in service.
“Hearing their stories does mean a lot to us,” said Macella. “Rescue wouldn’t be where it is today if we didn’t have the people before us build it in the first place. They pushed us forward into the future of keeping people safe on the battlefield by years of developing new tactics, equipment and aircraft.”
The ARA reunion concluded with an awards ceremony, Oct. 5, 2019, where the 58 RQS was awarded the Rescue Squadron of the Year award, presented by the That Others May Live foundation.