Located in the heart of the Silicon Valley, the 129th Rescue Wing's mission is to train and prepare to perform its wartime mission of combat search and rescue anywhere in the world. The 129th has performed a wide variety of civilian search and rescue missions, including distressed persons aboard ships, lost or injured hikers, and medical evacuations.
The weapon systems that perform these missions are the HC-130J Combat King II aircraft, the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter and the Guardian Angel pararescue system. The force multiplying capability of aerial refueling the HH-60G from the HC-130J makes these two aircraft an outstanding search and rescue team. As a result, the 129th RQW is often tasked to utilize its refueling capability to perform long-range search and rescue missions over land and water. While performing civilian search and rescue missions, 129th crews are honing their combat mission skills. Since the 129th RQW's designation as a rescue unit in 1975, Guardsmen have saved more than 1000 lives.
The professionalism and dedication of the 129th Rescue Wing personnel has not gone unrecognized. In 2009 the 129th was selected as the recipient of the Spaatz Trophy. Awarded by the National Guard Association of the United States the Spaatz Trophy is named in honor of former Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Carl A. Spaatz and is presented to the overall outstanding flying unit in the Air National Guard. The 2008 Air Force Outstanding Unit Award was granted to the 129th for meritorious service during December 2006 to November 2008. Numerous unit members have received national-level awards, recognizing the high caliber of professionals contributing to the success of the 129th Rescue Wing's lifesaving mission.