Air Force special operations crews are being recognized for a daring June 22 rescue of two critically burned fishermen off the coast of Bermuda. Airmen with the 720th Special Tactics Group at Hurlburt Field, Fla., responded to a request from the US Coast Guard to assist with the rescue of a 19-member crew of a Panamanian fishing vessel that caught fire, according to an Air Force release. An Air Force HC-130J Combat King II carrying a team of pararescuemen, a combat rescue officer, a surgeon, and a critical care nurse departed Moody AFB, Ga., en route to the scene, with the help of a KC-135 from the Tennessee Air National Guard’s 134th Airlift Wing. The team evacuated the patients, who were Taiwanese nationals, to Senara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, Va., for care.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.