66th RQS, 823rd MXS return from deployment
By Airman 1st Class Andrew D. Sarver, 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 21, 2018
NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. --
Members of the 66th Rescue Squadron and 823d Maintenance Squadron returned home from a four-month deployment overseas Feb. 8.
The Airmen deployed with Guardian Angel teams from the 306th Rescue Squadron at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Inherent Resolve to conduct combat search and rescue missions.
“We were constantly on alert and ready 24/7 for any personnel recovery missions,” said Lt. Col. Scott Rein, deployed commander and home-station 66th RQS Director of Operations. “We provided assurance to our fellow aircrew in theater and the Combined Forces Air Component Commander that if anything were to happen, we would get our people to safety.”
The group included HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter pilots, special missions aviators, maintainers, pararescuemen, combat rescue officers, and a small support team.
“Each deployed member is a valuable asset. From the pilots and special missions aviators to the maintenance and support staff, each individual played a specific role enabling every member to come home safely,” said Tech. Sgt. Emmanuel Martinez, 66th RQS special missions aviator.
Prior to deploying, the group went through more than a month of pre-deployment training.
“We started working with our specific crew during our pre-deployment training,” said Capt. Rebecca Bodtke, 66th RQS pilot. “We flew consistently with the same people, so throughout the deployment, we were working as a more cohesive unit the longer we were out there.”
“We all had a different job to perform,” said Martinez. “It was amazing to see everyone come together and work as a well-oiled machine.”