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    41 RQS, 38 RQS exemplify The Code of an Air Rescue Man with first HH‐60W rescue mission

    41 RQS, 38 RQS exemplify The Code of an Air Rescue Man with first HH‐60W rescue mission

    Photo By Staff Sgt. John Crampton | Airmen from the 38th Rescue Squadron transport a patient during the HH-60W Jolly Green...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    23rd Wing Public Affairs

    A commentary by 23rd Wing Historian, Mark "Radio" Godwin.

    In 1946, Col. Richard T. Kight, Air Rescue Service commander, penned The Code of an Air Rescue Man. “It is My duty, as a member of the Air Rescue Service, to save life and to aid the injured. I will be prepared at all times to perform my assigned duties quickly and efficiently, placing these duties before personal desires and comforts. These things I do, that others may live.” The last line in Kight’s code, “That others may live,” has become the motto of all rescue Airmen.

    On 7 September, 2022, the 41st Rescue Squadron and the 38th Rescue Squadron completed the first rescue in the new HH‐60W Jolly Green II helicopter. At 4:23 p.m., Dr. Kimberly Mackey from South Georgia Medical Center called the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, to request assistance for a patient transfer to Moffitt Magnolia Center in Tampa, Florida. At 4:27 p.m., Lt Col. Matthew “Muddy” Mustain, Air Force Rescue Coordination Center commander, alerted the 41st and 38th Rescue Squadron and gave them launch authority. The two available helicopters had just returned from a four‐hour training sortie and needed fuel and a maintenance look‐over.

    Master Sgt. Stephen Villanella, 41st Rescue Generation Squadron production superintendent, contacted the Maintenance Operation Center and requested fuel for HH‐60W tail number 19‐14490. Senior Airman Rachel Turner, 23d Logistics Readiness Squadron Fuels Controller, contacted POL Fuels Operator Airman 1st Class Javonta Smith and sent him to refuel HH‐60W, 19‐14490. Smith responded in 7 minutes, beating the average response time for the week of September 7‐13 by 50 percent, and refueled the helicopter in four minutes with 525 gallons of fuel.

    After Staff Sgt. Nicholas Cellini and Airman 1st Class Chandler Long from the 41st Rescue Generation Squadron performed their maintenance checks and look‐over on the helicopter, Staff Sgt. Stephen East launched Air Force Rescue 490.

    Once a rescue helicopter is launched for a peacetime rescue mission, its call sign becomes “Air Force Rescue” plus the last three digits in the tail number. This HH‐60W’s tail number is 19‐14490, so the call sign became “Air Force Rescue 490.”

    Air Force Rescue 490 took off from Moody Air Force Base at 5:10 p.m. en route to the soccer field between South Georgia Medical Center and the Valdosta State University softball diamond on North Ashley Street. Bottom line, the 41 RQS, 38 RQS, 41 RGS, and 23 LRS generated and launched Air Force Rescue 490 in 43 minutes.

    Air Force Rescue 490 landed at the soccer field and Capt. Cameron Elward, 38th RQS Flight Doctor, Staff Sgt. Nathan Hughes, and Senior Airman Timothy Woods, both 38th RQS pararescueman, rode in an ambulance to South Georgia Medical Center to pick up the patient, a 75th Fighter Generation Squadron Airman, and transported them back to the helicopter. Once the patient, Elward, Hughes, and Woods were secure in the helicopter, Air Force Rescue 490 took off en route to Moffitt Magnolia Center in Tampa, Florida.

    Capt. John “Jack Sparrow” O’Neill, Air Force Rescue 490 aircraft commander, said they were dodging bad weather the entire way to Tampa but made it there safely. Air Force Rescue 490 landed at a soccer field in Tampa at 7:14 p.m. where they were met by a Moffitt Magnolia Center ambulance. The patient was transported to the ambulance and taken to Moffitt Magnolia Center. Air Force Rescue 490 departed Tampa at 9 p.m. and returned to Moody Air Force Base. Mission complete. The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center credited the 41st and 38th Rescue Squadron with one save.

    The 41st and 38th Rescue Squadron completed it's first rescue mission in the new HH‐60W, but all this would not have happened without the teamwork of Turner and Smith providing the fuel for the helicopter to fly; and Villanella, Cellini, and Long maintaining the helicopter to assure mission readiness. There were other people behind the scenes that day who helped Air Force Rescue 490 become a success. Dr. Kimberly Mackey made multiple calls to several individuals in the 41st to ensure the patient was taken to the best place for treatment. Lt. Col. Thad Ronnau, 41 RQS commander, Niki Ronnau, and Chief Master Sgt. William Nabakowski gave Mackey the information she needed to contact the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center. And lastly, the person who answered the phone at the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center was Mustain, a prior 41st Rescue Squadron pilot.

    The coordination between all agencies here at Moody Air Force Base, South Georgia Medical Center, and the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center not only exemplified the motto “That Others May Live,” but echoed the charge by Col Russell Cook, 23d Wing Commander, “Tigers Lead!”



    Date Taken: 09.07.2022
    Date Posted: 10.07.2022 16:27
    Story ID: 431003
    Location: VALDOSTA, GA, US

    Web Views: 1,793
    Downloads: 8