ERQSExpeditionary Rescue Squadron
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Such was the case when the 79th ERQS Desert Knights found some Marine heavy airlift helos wanting fuel but finding that their previous training attitude of "I would rather suck fumes than HAR," would on this day cost them not only mission failure, but a cold, tense night spent at an unplanned bivouac site surrounded by nonfriendlies.
Since arriving in August, the current rotation of 83rd ERQS combat rescue pilots and PJs have completed 149 combat sorties, saving nearly 20 lives.
Many of these same individuals faced a similar situation when operating from Uzbekistan as part of the 46th ERQS in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) in 2002 and 2003.
On 2 March 2002, members of the 66th ERQS were called into action in support of Operation Anaconda, a large offensive targeting Taliban and al-Qaeda strongholds in the Shah-e-Kot Valley in eastern Afghanistan.
From the remaining four missions, two were river search missions that ended without finding victims, and two were picked up by Army units before the 64 ERQS crews arrived.