VALDOSTA -- About 30 Moody Air Force Base airmen deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom arrived at the Valdosta Regional Airport at about 1 a.m. Tuesday, a 347th Public Affairs official said.

The returning airmen are assigned to the 41st Rescue Squadron and the 347th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. They were preceded in arriving home by other members of the 41st RQS who returned last week.

The 41st has been in Afghanistan since March 2002 and has rotated members from its squadron about every 90 days.

Consisting of HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters, the 41st is part of the 347th Rescue Wing and works with its sister squadrons -- the 38th RQS (pararescuemen) and the 71st RQS (HC-130 aircraft). Since its involvement in Afghanistan, the 41st working with the 38th and 71st has been responsible for saving 57 lives and counting, consisting of U.S. and allied military personnel and Afghanistan civilians.

Last month, the 41st made national news when one of its helicopters crashed, killing its four crewmen and two 38th RQS pararescuemen. The six airmen were en route to evacuate two Afghan children who were seriously injured.



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