920th Rescue Wing Airmen Partake In National Salute to America’s Heroes Air and Sea Show In Miami
By 920th Rescue Wing // May 28, 2018
920th RQW – nation’s only Air Force Reserve rescue unit
BREVARD COUNTY • PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, FLORIDA – Beach goers will be treated to non-stop military aircraft flybys screaming past oceanside skyscrapers, like a scene out of a Transformers movie, over South Beach, Miami this Memorial Day weekend.
Top tier U.S. military assets from around the world, including the 920th Rescue Wing, will assemble again this year in Miami May 25-27 to demonstrate air power at the National Salute to America’s Heroes Air and Sea Show.
Reserve Citizen aircrew, maintenance and support Airmen from the 920th RQW will join military personnel from active, guard and reserve units from around the nation to perform a combat rescue demonstration over the turquoise Atlantic, apropos to long-range rescues at sea and humanitarian relief efforts they conducted within the last year earning them several awards.
“The local community can expect a renewed sense of pride regarding what U.S. armed forces can and will do to protect them,” said Col. Kurt Matthews, Wing Commander, 920th RQW.
“The aerial demonstration is the perfect way to reflect this Memorial Day weekend, as we honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
The wing experienced several personnel losses over the last year, namely two heroic Airmen, Master Sgt. Bill Posch and Staff Sgt. Carl Enis, pararescuemen who died in March when their helicopter crashed in Iraq while providing live-saving combat rescue support for Inherent Resolve. Sergeant Enis was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery May 21, 2018. Posch will be laid to rest in June.
The scene was set during last year’s Memorial Day weekend with four Air Force Reserve A-10 Thunderbolt IIs flying overwatch, Rescue Warriors demonstrated combat-search-and-rescue capabilities by flying two HH-60G Pave Hawks over the Atlantic Ocean with Guardian Angel Airmen aboard performing open-water rescue drills.
“This event allowed us to demonstrate the amount of teamwork that goes into a rescue mission,” said Senior Airman Lucas Vannorsdall, pararescueman, 920th RQW. “But mostly, it was about never forgetting our brothers in arms who gave their lives that others may live.”
The demonstration ended with a 7-ship flyover of all the aircraft that participated in the rescue demonstration – Two Pave Hawks, an HC-130N King refueler and four Thunderbolts.
Sun-drenched spectators applauded as pararescuemen swam to shore after their water rescue demonstration. Parents clamored for hero shots of their children posing with the soaked Airmen.
“I thought it was spectacular,” Jose said.
“You don’t really get to see things like this on South Beach. Watching them (pararescuemen) come down and get in the water, was a memorable and personable experience.”
The 920th RQW is the nation’s only Air Force Reserve rescue unit. Its mission is to provide life-saving trauma medical support to U.S. armed forces and coalition partners.
“This is the largest gathering of military aircraft for an airshow,” said Ted Plana, Air Operations Director of the two-day event. “This will allow the community to salute the men and women who protect our freedoms.”
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