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.
The 129th Rescue Wing Headquarters is comprised of the Command Section, Chaplain, Financial Management, Judge Advocate, Public Affairs, Military Equal Opportunity, Human Resource Advisor, Wing Inspector General, Wing Safety and Wing Plans. Each unique section provides products and services for the benefit of the entire Wing to assure the mission is being accomplished in an effective and efficient manner.
The 129th Mission Support Group is the main support function for over 940 military personnel. The Mission Support Group consists of Security Forces Squadron, Civil Engineering Flight, Logistics Readiness Squadron, Communications Flight, Force Support Flight, and the Base Contracting Office.
The 129th Operations Group is home to the 129th, 130th and 131st Rescue Squadrons and the 129th Operations Support Flight. All directly support the combat search and rescue mission and daily flying missions in the HH-60G Pave Hawk and HC-130J Combat King II.
The 129th Maintenance Group's primary mission is to provide 24/7 aircraft maintenance support of combat and peacetime search and rescue operations.
The California National Guard Counterdrug Task Force conducts drug interdiction and drug demand reduction operations throughout the state in support of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and community-based organizations in response to the changing drug threat to reduce the demand for and supply of drugs in California. The 129th Rescue Wing's Counterdrug Task Force detachment, Team Hawk, utilizes the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter, aircrew, pararescuemen and maintainers to support local law enforcement agencies in the eradication of illegal narcotics and the clean up of national forests environmentally damaged by marijuana production.
That Others May Live, the motto of the Air Force Rescue community, is appropriately chosen, as it is the motivating force of those involved in our mission. Coupled with the 129th Rescue Wing's own motto of: "In Pace et Bello, Noctem et Diem" -
"In Peace and War, During Night and Day". These mottoes serve as the 129th's guidelines and speak of our commitment: to Serve at all times and under all circumstances.
"To be our Nation's premier Air National Guard unit, unmatched in Personnel Recovery mission execution and Airmen development.
Federal: Train, prepare and conduct worldwide combat search and rescue operations, over land or water, in both hostile and permissive environments. The 129th Rescue Wing also provides Agile Combat Support capabilities to Combatant Commanders.
State: Support the Governor's office during state emergencies and contingencies by providing a wide range of capabilities, to include specialized search/rescue and aerial fire-fighting.
The Air National Guard's federal mission is to maintain well-trained, well-equipped units available for prompt mobilization during war and provide assistance during national emergencies (such as natural disasters or civil disturbances). During peacetime, the combat-ready units and support units are assigned to most Air Force major commands to carry out missions compatible with training, mobilization readiness, humanitarian and contingency operations such as Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.
When Air National Guard units are not mobilized or under federal control, they report to the governor of their respective state, territory (Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands) or the commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard. Each of the 54 National Guard organizations is supervised by the adjutant general of the state or territory. Under state law, the Air National Guard provides protection of life, property and preserves peace, order and public safety. These missions are accomplished through emergency relief support during natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes and forest fires; search and rescue operations; support to civil defense authorities; maintenance of vital public services and counterdrug operations.