The 56th Rescue Squadron (56 RQS) is part of the 48th Fighter Wing at RAF Lakenheath, England. It operates HH-60G Pave Hawk aircraft conducting search and rescue missions.
4 Bases stationed
5 Aircraft Operated
7 See also
The 56th Rescue Squadron is a combat-ready search and rescue squadron of HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters capable of executing all-weather search and rescue missions day or night in hostile environments in support of USAFE, USEUCOM, and NATO operations. It employs a state-of-the-art communications and navigation system along with advanced search and rescue equipment. The squadron is capable of deploying to any theater of operations in the world.
The 56th flew search and rescue, and medical evacuation, in North Africa and southern Europe from, November 1952-March 1960. It flew combat missions in Southeast Asia from, 10 July 1972 – 15 August 1973, to include search and rescue, airborne mission control, and aerial refueling. The squadron continued to perform local search and rescue until February 1975.
It flew search and rescue support to the Iceland Defense Force from, May 1988-September 2006.
On 1 April 1972 the 39th ARRS was dissolved and the aircraft and crews temporarily became part of Detachment 4 of the 3d Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Group at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base. On 8 July 1972 the Detachment was redesignated the 56th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron.
On 12 April 1975 the squadron’s HC-130Ps supported Operation Eagle Pull, the evacuation of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
On 15 October 1975 the squadron was deactivated at Korat RTAFB and its 4 remaining HC-130Ps joined the 40th ARRS.
In 2011 a detachment of helicopters from the 56th deployed on board the USS Ponce (LPD-15).
56th Air Rescue Squadron (1952–1962)
56th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (1972–1975)
56th Air Rescue Squadron (1989–1993)
56th Rescue Squadron (1993–Present)
7th Air Rescue Group (1952–1956)
Attached: 5th Air Division (14 November 1952 – 28 February 1953)
12th Air Rescue Group (1956–1958)
Air Rescue Service (1958–1960)
Attached: Detachment 3, 8th Air Rescue Group (European Rescue Operations Center) (18 February 1958 – 18 March 1959)
Attached: Detachment 3, Air Rescue Service (European Recovery Operations Center) (18 March 1959 – 18 March 1960)
3d Aerospace rescue and Recovery Group (1972)
41st Rescue and Weather Reconnaissance Wing (1972–1975)
Attached: 3d Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Group (20 August 1972 – 15 October 1975)
39th Special Operations Wing (1988–1989)
41st Rescue and Weather Reconnaissance Wing (1989)
Air Rescue Service (1989–1993)
Air Forces Iceland (1993)
35th Wing (1993–1994)
85th Group (1994–2006)
48th Fighter Wing (2006–Present)
Sidi Slimane, French Morocco (1952–1960)
Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand (1972–1975)
Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland (1988–2006)
RAF Lakenheath, England (2006–Present)
H-5 Dragonfly (1952–1953)
SA-16 Albatross (1952–1960)
SH-19 Chickasaw (1953–1960)
HC-130 Hercules (1972–1975)
HH-43 Huskie (1972–1975)
HH-60 Pave Hawk (1992–Present)