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56th RQS/HMU return from deployment

Maintainers from the 56th Helicopter Maintenance Unit and logistics readiness specialist from the 31st Fighter Wing, load an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter into a C-17 Globemaster III, prior to a deployment, at Aviano Air Base, Italy, May 22, 2019.  The primary mission of the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter is to conduct day or night personnel recovery operations into hostile environments to recover isolated personnel during war. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ericka A. Dechane).

Maintainers from the 56th Helicopter Maintenance Unit and logistics readiness specialist from the 31st Fighter Wing, load an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter into a C-17 Globemaster III, prior to a deployment, at Aviano Air Base, Italy, May 22, 2019. The primary mission of the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter is to conduct day or night personnel recovery operations into hostile environments to recover isolated personnel during war. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ericka A. Woolever)

A U.S. Airman reunites with his family at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Oct. 8, 2019.The HH-60G is also tasked to perform military operations other than war, including civil search and rescue, medical evacuation, disaster response, humanitarian assistance, security cooperation/aviation advisory, NASA space flight support, and rescue command and control. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ericka A. Woolever

A U.S. Airman reunites with his family at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Oct. 8, 2019. The HH-60G is also tasked to perform military operations other than war, including civil search and rescue, medical evacuation, disaster response, humanitarian assistance, security cooperation/aviation advisory, NASA space flight support, and rescue command and control. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ericka A. Woolever

U.S Airmen plays with his daughter as he reunites with his family after a deployment at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Oct. 8, 2019. The HH-60G is also tasked to perform military operations other than war, including civil search and rescue, medical evacuation, disaster response, humanitarian assistance, security cooperation/aviation advisory, NASA space flight support, and rescue command and control. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ericka A. Woolever).

U.S Airmen plays with his daughter as he reunites with his family after a deployment at Aviano Air Base, Italy, Oct. 8, 2019. The HH-60G is also tasked to perform military operations other than war, including civil search and rescue, medical evacuation, disaster response, humanitarian assistance, security cooperation/aviation advisory, NASA space flight support, and rescue command and control. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ericka A. Woolever).

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy --

The 56th Rescue Squadron recently returned to Aviano Air Base after deploying downrange earlier this year. 

After officially relocating to the 31st Fighter Wing in June 2018, the rescue squadron deployed in May 2019 in support of Central Command. 

 “The primary mission of the 56th Rescue Squadron is combat search and rescue [CSAR]. The secondary mission is joint personnel recovery,” said Lt. Col. Leslie Semrau, 56th Rescue Squadron commander. “When deploying to the CENTCOM area of responsibility both of those missions come into play for us.”

The CSAR aspect includes watching all air assets that are employed in the AOR including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets, strike assets, and refuelling assets. As for joint personnel recovery, that covers members and assets working on the ground.

The 56th Helicopter Maintenance Unit deployed alongside the rescue squadron. To ensure the HH-60G Pave Hawks were ready to take off at a moment’s notice, the 56th HMU was crucial to the mission downrange. 

“Thanks to our HMU personnel,” said Master Sgt. Douglas Souza, 56th RQS operations superintendent. “Our 56th HMU [personnel] are awesome. [They] provide us safe reliable aircraft all the time.”

“From the moment the 56th Rescue Squadron had a priority to deploy in support of CENTCOM, the wing was absolutely outstanding,” said Semrau. “They were truly focused on what the actual members of the squadron needed and also what the families needed, as well.”

“Thank you to the 31st Fighter Wing and all the entities across the 31st Fighter Wing.”