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California Air National Guard Conducts Rescue off Coast of Mexico

Moffett Federal Airfield, Calif. -- A team of Air National Guardsmen from the Bay Area's 129th Rescue Wing departed Moffett Federal Airfield this afternoon to conduct a complex, overwater rescue mission to save the life of an American infant on a vessel approximately 900 nautical miles off the coast of Mexico.  


The 129th RQW received a call late this morning from the U.S. Coast Guard concerning a seriously ill 1-year-old girl onboard a 36-foot sailing vessel, Rebel Heart. The infant requires treatment beyond the capabilities of those on board, and because of the vessel's remote location in the Pacific Ocean and the dire need for medical care, the 129th RQW accepted the mission.


At about 7 p.m. tonight, a team of four Guardian Angel pararescuemen from the 129th RQW will parachute into the open ocean after more than five hours in flight in an MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft to board the Rebel Heart and tend to the infant's ailments.


Two HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopters also departed this afternoon, and tomorrow morning an additional MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft will depart for San Diego. They plan to fly the aircraft to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, before flying to the vessel's location in the Pacific Ocean. The pararescuemen, already aboard Rebel Heart, will prepare the infant and hoist her onto an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter.  The infant will then be flown to a medical facility for further treatment.


The primary mission of the 129th RQW is to perform its wartime mission of personnel recovery anywhere in the world. Equipped with MC-130P Combat Shadow aircraft and HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopters, the 129th RQW has performed a wide variety of civilian-personnel recovery missions, including the rescue of distressed persons aboard ships and lost or injured hikers, and disaster response.  To date, the 129th RQW is credited with saving the lives of more than 1,000 people.


For more information, please contact 2nd Lt. Roderick B. Bersamina, 129th RQW public affairs officer, at (650) 404-7995.