News Search


106th Rescue Wing Airmen hone search and rescue skills during Agile Rage 2024

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Sean Madden
  • 106th Rescue Wing

Savannah Air National Guard Base, Ga. – Two hundred Airmen assigned to the New York Air National Guard's 106th Rescue Wing, honed their combat search and rescue skills, during Agile Rage 2024, from February 28 to March 4 at the Savannah Combat Readiness Training Center in Savannah Ga., Feb. 26 - March 8, 2024.

The goal of Agile Rage 2024 is to practice leading-edge combat in Air Operations Maritime Surface Warfare , Combat Search and Rescue , Agile Combat Employment , and advanced ground operations tactics, techniques, and procedures, according to exerciser planners.

"Agile Rage 24 is a nine-month venture, capturing vital training for three Air National Guard Wings and eight squadrons, totaling near 750 personnel,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Garett Ruby, the exercise director.

Operating locations spanned from F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base, N.Y., South to Savannah CRTC, Ga., East over the Atlantic Ocean, and further South to Avon Park, Fla.

“Our goal with Agile Rage is to prepare units for future overseas deployments, and provide readiness and integration opportunities unable to be achieved with home station training,” Ruby explained.

Other participants were the 107th Fighter Squadron of the127th Wing from Michigan , with ten A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft; the 156th Contingency Response Wing, from the Puerto Rico Air Guard, the 236th Combat Communications Squadron from Louisiana's 159th Fighter Wing, and various Air Force Special Warfare (AFSPECWAR) elements.

The 106th Rescue Wing maintenance, medical and operations groups all participated in the exercise.

While the main role of the 106 RQW was CSAR, a simulated scenario calling for the rescue of two downed U.S. Air Force pilots, other specialized preparedness training was conducted around the core mission.

Anytime multiple Air Force specialties come together for a major exercise it adds to the mission and capability, U.S. Air Force Col. Shawn Fitzgerald, 106 RQW Commander, explained.

Maintenance crews worked in three shifts for 24-hour operations, conducting critical maintenance and inspections on aircraft.

Medical personnel simulated trauma incident responses and treatment, while also playing out medical scenarios like food-born illness exercises.

Also simulated was a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive event (CBRNE) threat, which required all exercise participants to dawn their protective clothing, including gas masks, know as Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) gear.

There are two reasons events like this are important, one is to exercise the ability to accomplish the mission so the Wing is more combat effective, Fitzgerald said. The second reason is the necessity to improve how we execute these exercises, he added.

The exercise helps prepares for future Air Gaurd deployments.

“This is the new model going forward,” said U.S. Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Edward Rittberg, the senior enlisted leader of the 106 RQW. “Essentially with the Air National Guard, this is the new style of our deployments going forward, to embed with our active duty counterparts.”

Fitzgerald declared the operation 100% success from the perspective of the 106 RQW and indicated the success will include future participation in similar events.

“There’ll be more of these in the future,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s the goal, is to continue to exercise.”

The 106th Rescue Wing, based at F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach, New York, operates and maintains the HC-130J Combat King II search and rescue aircraft, and the HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopter. The 106 RQW is home to a special warfare squadron with pararescuemen, Tactical Air Control Party specialists and combat rescue officers, specializing in rescue and recovery, and deploys for domestic and overseas operations.