106th Rescue Wing Launched HC-130J Combat King Search and Rescue Aircraft Monday, June 19
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that the New York Air National Guard's 106th Rescue Wing is assisting the United States Coast Guard search and rescue operation for a missing submersible which had been exploring the wreckage of the Titanic. Based at F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach on Long Island, the 106th is one of three Air National Guard search and rescue units in the country and the only one based on the East Coast. The 106th flies fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft and rescue helicopters and has a unit of pararescue jumpers who are trained to rescue people on sea and on land.
"The women and men of New York's Air National Guard are always ready to lend a helping hand," Governor Hochul said. "I commend the members of the 106th Rescue Wing for their efforts to assist the U.S. Coast Guard in this search and rescue operation."
On Monday, June 19, the 106th Rescue Wing launched an HC-130J Combat King search and rescue aircraft at 3:18 p.m. at the request of the Coast Guard. There were 13 Airmen on board including a team of pararescue jumpers. The aircraft flew 900 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean and searched a designated area using forward looking infrared radar and onboard observers. The plane returned to base at 2 a.m. this morning, June 20. The wing has been asked to assist in the search again this afternoon and will launch an HC-130J with the same mission around noon.
Major General Ray Shields said, "When the Coast Guard called on the New York Air National Guard's 106th Rescue Wing for assistance in this search mission, our Airmen responded quickly and professionally as they have in the past when called for other missions. Our men and women are always ready to respond when needed."
On May 20, 2022, the 106th Rescue Wing launched an aircraft which flew 1,200 miles out over the Atlantic Ocean and dropped medical supplies so a sailboat crew could treat a sailor who had been burned in an accident. On April 24, 2017, pararescue jumpers from the 106th Rescue Wing jumped into the Atlantic Ocean 1,500 miles from shore, at night, and performed emergency surgery on two seamen aboard the M/V Tamar who had been badly injured in a fire. The Airmen saved the lives of the two sailors and then treated them for two days until the ship reached the range of a rescue helicopter from the Azores.