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129th Rescue Wing Airmen deploy to Afghanistan, Horn of Africa

MOFFETT FEDERAL AIRFIELD, Calif. -- California Air National Guardsmen from the 129th Rescue Wing deployed to both Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa this week.

More than 100 citizen-Airmen from all over the Bay Area deployed this week from Moffett Federal Airfield for approximately four months to provide personnel recovery capability in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa. All told, approximately 200 of the wing's Airmen as well as HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft and Guardian Angel Pararescuemen deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa.

"After demonstrating our lifesaving capabilities during state side rescue missions this past year, our airmen are ready to perform our combat search and rescue mission overseas," said Col. Steven J. Butow, 129th Rescue Wing commander. "The care our Airmen take in every lifesaving mission is noteworthy, recognized by our families, our community and our country."

The primary mission of the 129th Rescue Wing is to train and be prepared to perform its wartime mission of combat search and rescue anywhere in the world. In addition to its wartime mission, the unit also works closely with the Coast Guard and various civil agencies on state missions.

Equipped with MC-130P Combat Shadow airplanes and HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopters, the 129th has performed a wide variety of civilian search and rescue missions, including assisting distressed persons aboard ships, rescuing lost or injured hikers, and medical evacuations. The total number of people saved by the unit is 957, including nearly 370 combat saves.