ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England --
Aircrews and pararescue Airmen assigned to the 56th and 57th Rescue Squadrons conducted one final jump over the skies of Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England April 20, 2018. The event signals the final phase of the two squadrons’ relocation to Aviano Air Base, Italy, this spring.
Over the past several months, the squadrons have made preparations to gradually transition their five HH-60G Pave Hawks and nearly 350 personnel to this new duty station, which was initially announced in November 2015.
“We’ve worked hard across both squadrons to ensure a smooth transition to Aviano Air Base,” said Maj. Seth Davis, 57th Rescue Squadron commander. “We’re sad to be leaving but are incredibly proud of the work we’ve done while located at RAF Lakenheath and are excited about the squadrons’ new home in Italy.”
The 56th relocated to RAF Lakenheath in June, 2006 from Keflavik, Iceland. The 57th was established in March 2015, and named the ‘2015-2016 Rescue Squadron of the Year’ by the “That Others May Live” Foundation in October, 2016.
Both are comprised of uniquely trained support personnel dedicated to conducting personnel recovery operations across the full-range of military contingencies during all phases of joint, coalition and combined operations.
“This marks the end of an era for the 56th and 57th rescue squadrons,” said Lt. Col. Leslie Semrau, 56th Rescue Squadron commander. “But no matter where we’re located, we remain ready to deliver combat search and rescue capabilities wherever and whenever they’re needed.”
The relocation of the 56th and 57th Rescue Squadrons to Aviano is slated to be complete by the end of June 2018.