USAF Patch Rescue USAFE 56 RQS Rescue Squadron Jolly Green e
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USAF Patch Rescue USAFE 56 RQS Rescue Squadron Jolly Green e

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USAF Patch USAFE 56 RQS Rescue Squadron Jolly Green Giant CSAR HH 60G Pave Hawk Deployed 2016 RAF Lakenheath Black velcro embroidered on twill merrowed edge 100mm by 67mm three and fifteen sixteenth inches by two and five eighth inches.

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56 Air Rescue Squadron ARS was activated on 14 November 1952 with H 5 Dragonfly helicopters and SA 16 Albatross amphibious flying boats at Sidi Slimane AB French Morocco as part of 7 Air Rescue Service providing search and rescue and medical evacuation services in North Africa and Southern Europe. In 1953 the Squadron converted to SH 19 Chickasaw helicopters and added SC 47 Skytrains modified for Search Air Rescue to its inventory. The Squadron was reassigned to 12 Air Rescue Group in 1956 and then to Air Rescue Service in 1958 attached to Detachment 3 of 8 Air Rescue Group European Rescue Operations Centre from 18 February 1958 to 18 March 1959 and Det 3 Air Rescue Service European Recovery Operations Centre 18 March 1958 until 56 ARS disbanded on 18 March 1960.

The Squadron reactivated on 8 July 1972 as 56 Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron ARRS at Korat RTAB Thailand with HH 43 Huskie helicopters and HC 130 Combat King Hercules with helicopter refuelling capability as part of 41 Rescue and Weather Reconnaissance Wings RWRW 3 Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Group. The Squadron carried out combat search and rescue airborne mission control and aerial refuelling in support of operations over Vietnam until 15 August 1973 following which it performed local search and rescue missions. The Squadron supported Operation Eagle Pull the evacuation of Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 12 April 1975. 56 ARRS was inactivated on 15 October 1975.

56 ARRS reactivated on 1 May 1988 at Keflavik NAS Iceland under 39 Special Operations Wing with HH 3 Jolly Green Giant helicopters to provide search and rescue support for the Iceland Defence Force covering an area from Iceland to the North Pole. The Squadron was reassigned to 41 Rescue and Weather Reconnaissance Wing on 1 April 1989 then to Air Rescue Service on 1 August 1989 and redesignated 56 Air Rescue Squadron ARS at the same time. 56 ARS reequipped with HH 60 Pave Hawk helicopters in 1992 and was redesignated 56 Rescue Squadron RS and reassigned to Air Forces Iceland on 1 February 1993. 56 RS was reassigned to 35 Operations Group on 31 May 1993 and 85 Operations Group on 1 October 1994.

56 Rescue Squadron relocated to RAF Lakenheath and was reassigned to 48 Fighter Wing on 1 June 2006 to provide Combat Search and Rescue CSAR missions in all weather day or night deploying with its maintenance element 56 Aircraft Maintenance Unit AMU to hostile environments in support of USAFE United States European Command EUCOM and NATO. In addition the Squadron undertakes humanitarian search and rescue missions including the long range civilian recovery of a distressed Burmese mariner 250 miles off the coast of Ireland.

The Squadron began regular rotational deployments to Afghanistan in 2009 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom conducting CSAR Combat Search and Rescue missions using the call sign Pedro. 56 AMU with 493 AMU were combined and reassigned from 48 Aircraft Maintenance Squadron AMXS to form 748 Aircraft Maintenance Squadron in November 2009. 56 AMU was renamed 56 Helicopter Maintenance Unit HMU. A week after its return from three months deployment as 83 Expeditionary Rescue Squadron at Bagram AB Afghanistan in April 2011 the Squadron deployed on a six month detachment on board USS Ponce LPD 15 and the Royal Navys HMS Ocean with 845 NAS Commando Squadron to support Operation Odyssey Dawn and Unified Protector off the Libyan coast. The Squadron deployed assets to RNAS Yeovilton and RFA Argus for joint exercises with the 845 Naval Air Squadron in May 2012 and deployed to Bagram Afghanistan for CSAR from May to September 2013.

56 RQS lost four crewmembers of Jolly 22 HH 60G Pave Hawk which crashed during low level training on the Norfolk coast on 7 January 2014. The Squadron retired the Jolly 22 callsign in honour of the airmen. The Squadrons Pararescue personnel were split from 56 RQS and used to activate the Pararescue dedicated 57 Rescue Squadron on 18 February 2015. 56 and 57 RQS are scheduled to relocate to Aviano AB Italy in 2017.

The Squadrons Green Feet emblem has five toes on the left foot and six toes on the right foot.



This patch dates from 2016.








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