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36th RQF flies to squadron level

Lt. Col. Jason Snyder, 36th Rescue Squadron commander, receives his first salute from his squadron Aug. 14, 2015, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. Snyder was the commander for the 36th Rescue Flight prior to the unit becoming a squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Taylor Bourgeous)

Lt. Col. Jason Snyder, 36th Rescue Squadron commander, receives his first salute from his squadron Aug. 14, 2015, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. Snyder was the commander for the 36th Rescue Flight prior to the unit becoming a squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Taylor Bourgeous)

Col. Dagvin Anderson, 58th Special Operations Wing commander, and Col. Jonathan Duncan, 336th Training Group commander, furl the 36th Rescue Flight guidon Aug. 14, 2015, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. The furling of the flight guidon flag symbolizes the end of the unit's status as a flight. The flight was then re-designated as a squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Taylor Bourgeous)

Col. Dagvin Anderson, 58th Special Operations Wing commander, and Col. Jonathan Duncan, 336th Training Group commander, furl the 36th Rescue Flight guidon Aug. 14, 2015, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. The furling of the flight guidon flag symbolizes the end of the unit's status as a flight. The flight was then re-designated as a squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Taylor Bourgeous)

Col. Dagvin Anderson, 58th Special Operations Wing commander, Col. Jonathan Duncan, 336th Training Group commander, Col. Shelley Rodriguez, 58th Operations Group commander and Lt. Col. Jason Snyder, 36th Rescue Squadron commander, salute while the national anthem is played Aug. 14, 2015, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. The commanders were gathered for the 36th RQS re-designation ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Taylor Bourgeous)

Col. Dagvin Anderson, 58th Special Operations Wing commander, Col. Jonathan Duncan, 336th Training Group commander, Col. Shelley Rodriguez, 58th Operations Group commander and Lt. Col. Jason Snyder, 36th Rescue Squadron commander, salute while the national anthem is played Aug. 14, 2015, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Wash. The commanders were gathered for the 36th RQS re-designation ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Taylor Bourgeous)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- The 36th Rescue Flight has officially been designated as a Squadron as of Aug. 14, at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington.

The squadron was first activated at Fairchild, in 1971 as the 48th Aerospace and Recovery Squadron. It has changed hands multiple times, finally ending up as the 36th Rescue Flight residing under the 336th Training Group at the Survival School at Fairchild until the recent re-designation to the 36th RQS.

"The primary mission is to support the survival school," said Capt. Faith Sanders-Walker, 36th RQS chief of scheduling.

Part of the mission of the 36th RQS is to help medically evacuate injured personnel from remote training areas and get them the medical attention they need.

"We also do other support, such as hoist training, parachute drop demonstrations, and even some missions that are not in support of the Survival School," said Sanders-Walker.

Since 1971 the Squadron has saved 689 military and civilian lives, earning them many Major Command and Air Force-level awards.

In May of 2014, the squadron assisted the state of Washington in a medical evacuation mission to save the life of a fallen rock climber suffering from two broken legs. This save resulted in being awarded the Jolly Green Association 2014 Rescue Mission of the Year Award.

The Jolly Green award is presented to the rescue mission crew that best exemplifies extraordinary courage and bravery when in the field.

"The flight has been preforming at a squadron level for years," said Lt. Col. Jason Snyder, 36th RQS commander. "This is a great accomplishment for us, and well deserved."