211th Rescue Squadron (211RQS)

The 211th Rescue Squadron is one of three flying squadrons that work together to execute the 176th Wing's search-and-rescue missions.

Specifically, the 211 RQS operates four HC-130J Combat King II aircraft. The HC-130J is a version of the well-known C-130 "Hercules" tactical transport aircraft that has been specially modified and upgraded to perform search-and-rescue missions. One of its major upgrades is the ability to refuel other aircraft in mid-air; this allows the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters of the 211th's sister squadron, the 210 RQS, to function over a greatly extended range. It is also equipped with a suite of components -- radar and night-vision goggles, for example -- that allow it to function effectively at night and in poor weather.


In 1990, rescue in the Alaska theater transferred from the Air Force's 71st Air Rescue Squadron to the Alaska Air National Guard. The Alaska Air National Guard's newly created 210th Rescue Squadron proudly traced its lineage back to World War II, when the 11th Army Air Force's 10th Emergency Boat Rescue Squadron patrolled the Aleutian chain and Alaska's coastal waters. As a tribute to these forebears, the name 210th was chosen to signify the "Second Tenth Rescue Squadron."

In 2004, the 210th Rescue Squadron divided into the 210th, 211th and 212th rescue squadrons. As noted above, the 211th flies four HC-130J search-and-rescue aircraft. The 210th flies eight HH-60G Pave Hawk search-and-rescue helicopters; and the 212th supplies highly trained pararescuemen and combat rescue Officers. Personnel from these three units work as a team to carry out their missions.

Wartime Mission

When in a theater of combat, squadron members operate at the direction of the overall theater combatant commander and the theater's commander of air forces. In these situations, the 211th is primarily assigned to conduct personnel recovery operations -- rescuing downed airmen or other isolated personnel from enemy territory, for example. In addition to combat search-and-rescue missions like these, the 211th may also conduct collateral missions: noncombatant evacuation operations, inter- and intra-theater airlift, and support of special operations forces, for example.

Peacetime Mission

Back at home, the 211th Rescue Squadron is part of a network of search-and-rescue organizations that save hundreds of lives in and around Alaska every year. This network includes not only the 211th's sister squadrons in the 176th Wing, but also such agencies as the U.S. Coast Guard, the Alaska State Troopers, the National Park Service, the Civil Air Patrol and others. Other 211th missions include non-combat search and rescue (SAR), emergency aeromedical evacuations, humanitarian relief, international aid, counter-drug activities, and support for NASA flight operations.

Parent Unit

The 211th and its sister rescue squadrons together form the 176th Operations Group, one of four groups (Operations, Maintenance, Medical and Mission Support) that in turn make up the 176th Wing.


Office phone: (907) 551-3006
DSN: (317) 551-3006


17470 Airlifter Drive
JBER, AK 99506

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