2011-01-14 / Milestones

Cummins Graduates National Guard

New York Air National Guard Col. Thomas J. Owens II, commander of the 106th Rescue Wing, announces the recent completion of training for members of the New York Air National Guard here at F.S. Gabreski Airport.

Technical Sergeant Sean G. Cummins from Rockaway Park, N.Y., completed the Emergency Management Apprentice course at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

“The 106th Rescue Wing is very proud of the achievements of our Airmen,” Col. Owens said. “The various training courses they complete improve not only their skills but they are then able to better our entire wing in the mission of personnel recovery, ultimately saving lives, both here at home and abroad.”

The 106th Rescue Wing operates HH-60 Pavehawk rescue helicopters and HC- 130 Hercules search and rescue aircraft from its base in Westhampton Beach on eastern Long Island. The wing’s wartime mission is to rescue American and Allied personnel lost behind enemy lines, and members of the wing have been deploying regularly to Afghanistan to support military operations there. The wing’s pararescue jumpers are trained to drop behind enemy lines to secure friendly troops, or into the ocean to rescue crewmen from a sinking ship.

The wing has a peacetime mission of providing search and rescue in the North Atlantic when requested by the United States Coast Guard and also deploys regularly to provide rescue capability in support of Space Shuttle launches. The wing’s efforts to rescue a yacht crew in a storm at sea are portrayed in the movie “A Perfect Storm” and in 1998 the wing made the longest over-water rescue in history.

“That Others May Live” is the motto of the Air Force Rescue community and is appropriately chosen, since it is the motivating force of those involved in the wing’s rescue mission.

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