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129th Rescue Wing to Support State Firefighting Operations

MOFFETT FEDERAL AIRFIELD, Calif. -- Air National Guardsmen from the 129th Rescue Wing departed here Tuesday to support suppression operations over the wildfires in California.

Two HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopters with crews and water buckets departed for Mather Air Force Base, Calif., where they will then be on standby to receive mission taskings.

"Almost immediately after receiving orders to provide support for our wildfire operations from headquarters in Sacramento, our Airmen gathered their gear and headed to Mather," said Col. Steven J. Butow, 129th RQW Commander. "As rescue professionals, we have the ability to respond rapidly to any challenge we're given, anytime and anywhere."

Crews from the 129th RQW are certified to perform water bucket operations, and last year dropped more than 250,000 gallons of water on wildfires across California.

Since its inception in 1977, the 129th RQW has saved 1,003 lives, with more than 600 of those rescues performed stateside.