Members of the California Air National Guard’s 129th Rescue Wing at Moffett Federal Airfield last week rescued two fishermen requiring medical attention aboard an Ecuadorian vessel located about 1,400 miles off the coast of Acapulco, Mexico. “This mission demonstrates the adaptability of the Air National Guard to fight wildfires in California one moment, and then save the lives of civilians in the Pacific the next,” said Col. Steven Butow, 129th RQW commander, in the wing’s release. Two of the wing’s HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters, escorted by an MC-130P refueler, departed Moffett on Sept. 3 to insert several pararescuemen aboard the fishing boat. The PJs attended to the fishermen and helped extract them on the following day to the Coast Guard cutter Morgentha, which was steaming towards the Mexican coast. The HH-60s returned on Sept. 5 with a pair of MC-130s to extract the patients and PJs from the cutter for transport to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where the fisherman received further medical treatment in a hospital, states the release.
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.