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Posted 6/5/2015 Printable Fact Sheet

The mission of the 66th Rescue Squadron is to provide rapidly deployable, expeditionary, and agile combat search and rescue (CSAR) forces to theater combatant commanders in response to contingency operations worldwide. 

The 66 RQS conducts peacetime search and rescue (SAR) in support of the National Search and Rescue Plan and the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center.

They directly support HH-60G logistical and maintenance support requirements for the USAF Weapons School and Air Combat Command (ACC) directed operational test missions.

The 66th Rescue Squadron first took to the air on November 14, 1952 at Royal Air Base Manston, England, flying C-119 "Flying Boxcar" transports, H-19 "Chickasaw" helicopters and SA-16 "Albatross" seaplanes.  The unit deactivated on January 18, 1958 and reactivated on March 1, 1991 flying the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter.  In 1993, the 66 RQS deployed to Operation DESERT STORM, and later deployed to Operations NORTHERN and SOUTHERN WATCH.

Following the events of September 11, 2001 operations, maintenance, and Pararescue personnel combined to deploy as the 66th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron (66 ERQS) to South Central Asia in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF).  Two Silver Star medals, two Bronze Stars, and 24 Distinguished Flying Crosses were awarded to aircrew for their heroic actions during operations in Afghanistan.

In 2003, the 66 ERQS was called on again to support Operation IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF), deploying to a classified location and moving continually forward to four extremely austere forward operating locations.  The 66th was the first U.S. Air Force flying unit operating at Baghdad International Airport.  During OIF the Nellis Rescue Team conducted the first combat recovery of a downed fighter crew by a conventional combat search and rescue (CSAR) unit since the Vietnam War.

Despite the extremely high operations tempo, the 66 RQS met 100 percent of its operational taskings during two major contingencies in two years while suffering no aircraft or personnel losses.  The Pararescue team became the 58 RQS in 2002, and the 763d Maintenance Squadron stood up in 2003.  The 763d deactivated on April 10, 2012 and the 823d Maintenance Squadron was activated.  The combined efforts of these exemplary units are on duty anywhere they are needed in support of America's national interests and the global war on terrorism.  These Things We Do, That Others May Live.

Description:  The Airmen of the 66th Rescue Squadron operate the HH-60G "Pavehawk" medium-lift Combat Search and Rescue helicopter and provides rapidly deployable CSAR forces to theater commanders worldwide.  They tactically employ the HH-60G helicopter and its crew in hostile environments to recover downed aircrew and isolated personnel during day, night, or marginal weather conditions in contested airspace.  The squadron also conducts military operations other than war including; civil search and rescue, disaster relief, international aid, and emergency medical evacuations.

(Current as of June 2015)

USAF Fact Sheet
99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada 89191-7078
Phone (702) 652-2750
DSN 682-2750
FAX (702) 652-9838

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