106th Rescue Wing [106th RQW]
The 106th Rescue Wing, New York Air National Guard, is the parent organization of the Oldest Air National Guard unit in the Country, the 102nd Rescue Squadron which traces its roots back to the 1st Aero Squadron which was formed in 1908 in New York.
The peacetime mission of the 106th Rescue Wing is two-fold. Firstly, it is tasked with conducting Search and Rescue(SAR) and Medevac Operations in an area delineated from the Northeast United States, south to the Bahama Islands and east to the Azores. The unit is able to provide long range rescue due to its air refueling capability.
The 106th RQW is also tasked by the New Hampshire Fish and Wildlife Service with conducting extensive mountain search support.
Secondly, the 106th Rescue Wing provides the Airborne Mission Commander (AIRBOSS) for every shuttle launch, as well as pararescuemen on board the HC-130 for deployment in the event of a Mode VIII event. Pararescue Jumpers are ocassionally deployed to overseas locations during the launch to provide support to the Air Force.
The first female of the Air National Guard, Lt. Col. Norma Parsons-Erb, was a member of the 106th RQW.
The 106th is located in Westhampton Beach, Long Island, New York, which is approximately 80 miles east of New York City. The unit occupies one half of the Suffolk County airport named after Colonel Francis S. Gabreski, an ace of World War II and Korea who died on January 31, 2002.
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