GARC: The First Military Rescue Mission

OKINAWA, Japan: On October 5, 2014 three airmen working at the Kadena Air Force Base were swept into the sea during Typhoon Phanfone, a category-4 storm with winds reaching 150 miles an hour and estimated 15-30 foot high waves. A joint rescue mission, launched by the 31st Air Rescue Squadron stationed at Kadena and the 11th Division of the Japanese Coast Guard and local fire department, began shortly thereafter, deploying two GARCs and six jetskis. Within hours, however, the jetskis were disabled, unable to handle the waves and the breaking…