Air Force Master Sgt. Eric Taylor embraces his family Tuesday after returning from a deployment to Afghanistan. Taylor is a pararescueman with the Alaska Air National Guard’s 212th Rescue Squadron and has been performing combat search and rescue missions in support of coalition forces since May. (Alaska National Guard photo/Air Force Maj. Guy Hayes)
8/3/2012 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Family members held aloft welcome home signs on a sunny Tuesday at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson as they waited for the return of 19 Airmen who completed a three-month deployment to Afghanistan.
The Alaska Air National Guard 212th Rescue Squadron Airmen performed combat search and rescue missions flying into "hot" combat zones, often under fire, to pull wounded coalition service members to safety and transport them to a medical-treatment facility within one hour.
The 212th RQS is a subordinate element of the 176th Wing at JBER, and routinely works closely with the 210th Rescue Squadron, which operates HH-60 Pavehawk helicopters, and the 211th Rescue Squadron, which operates HC-130 King aircraft.
Airmen of all three rescue squadrons provide search-and-rescue support to the state during peacetime.