56th RQS green feet leave their mark

An HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter assigned to the 56th Rescue Squadron departs from the flightline at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Dec. 17, 2018. The 56th Rescue Squadron provides a rapidly-deployable, worldwide combat rescue and reaction force response utilizing HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters.

An HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter assigned to the 56th Rescue Squadron departs from the flightline at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Dec. 17, 2018. The 56th Rescue Squadron provides a rapidly-deployable, worldwide combat rescue and reaction force response utilizing HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters.

Airmen with the 56th Rescue Squadron prepare HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters fore takeoff at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Dec. 17, 2018. The 56th Rescue Squadron provides a rapidly-deployable, worldwide combat rescue and reaction force response utilizing HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters.

Airmen with the 56th Rescue Squadron prepare HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters fore takeoff at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Dec. 17, 2018. The 56th Rescue Squadron provides a rapidly-deployable, worldwide combat rescue and reaction force response utilizing HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters.

Airmen with the 56th Rescue Squadron prepare HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters fore takeoff at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Dec. 17, 2018. The 56th Rescue Squadron provides a rapidly-deployable, worldwide combat rescue and reaction force response utilizing HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters.

Airmen with the 56th Rescue Squadron prepare HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters fore takeoff at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Dec. 17, 2018. The 56th Rescue Squadron provides a rapidly-deployable, worldwide combat rescue and reaction force response utilizing HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters.

Airmen with the 56th Rescue Squadron prepare HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters fore takeoff at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Dec. 17, 2018. The 56th Rescue Squadron provides a rapidly-deployable, worldwide combat rescue and reaction force response utilizing HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters.

Airmen with the 56th Rescue Squadron prepare HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters fore takeoff at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Dec. 17, 2018. The 56th Rescue Squadron provides a rapidly-deployable, worldwide combat rescue and reaction force response utilizing HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters.

Two HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters assigned to the 56th Rescue Squadron prepare to takeoff at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Dec. 17, 2018. The 56th Rescue Squadron provides a rapidly-deployable, worldwide combat rescue and reaction force response utilizing HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters.

Two HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters assigned to the 56th Rescue Squadron prepare to takeoff at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Dec. 17, 2018. The 56th Rescue Squadron provides a rapidly-deployable, worldwide combat rescue and reaction force response utilizing HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters.

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy --

Stickers with a green feet logo can be found just about everywhere around Aviano Air Base these days. While it may not mean much to a passerby, to the 56th Rescue Squadron it encompasses everything they stand for. “During the Vietnam War era, the helicopters utilized to save so many people during that time would land in these rice fields and subsequently takeoff, leaving an imprint that from the sky resembled footprints,” said Air Force Capt. James Gray, 56 RQS HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter pilot. “These helicopters were also known as the Jolly Green Giants and the logo expanded from there.”

 

The 56 RQS provides a rapidly-deployable, worldwide combat rescue and reaction force response utilizing HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters. Though they are still a relatively new unit to Aviano, they bring a history and heritage with them that dates back decades.

 

“It was a mark, when you would see the imprint of the formation touching down and the footprint it left behind, you knew the jolly greens were there and it meant that we got our guy, it meant that we rescued somebody,” said Air Force Capt. Brooks Louder, 56 RQS chief of combat search and rescue tactics and HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter pilot.

 

Every year through the green feet stickers, the 56 RQS takes time reflect on the people they’ve saved, the people they’ve lost, and everything they do as a rescue community, said Air Force Staff Sgt. Forrest O’Loughlin, 56 RQS programs and training non-commissioned officer in charge.

 

“It probably means a lot to a lot of different people; it’s the logo, the mantra, the warcry, it’s everything that rescue is,” Gray said. “It’s very prevalent with our pararescuemen brethren, the C-130 community and just rescue as a whole.”

 

The rescue community may be small, but their reach has traveled far and the green feet logo can now be found all over the world.

 

Even more so, the 56 RQS green feet logo is unique with five toes on the left foot and six toes on the right foot to represent the 56th, explained O’Laughlin.

“The stickers and the logo are a sign of presence,” Louder said. “That we’re here and we’re fulfilling the mission of personnel recovery, wherever we go.”