106th Rescue Wing hosts media briefing this morning about May 20 emergency medical supply mission

Media Advisory

WESTHAMPTON BEACH, NEW YORK (05/23/2022) (readMedia)-- The New York Air National Guard's 106th Rescue Wing flew emergency medical supplies to the three-person Spanish-speaking crew of a 32-foot sailboat 1,200 miles from the coast of Long Island on Friday, May 20 at the request of the U.S. Coast Guard.

The 11-Airman crew of the HC-130J successfully delivered the package into the Atlantic Ocean and returned to Gabreski Air National Guard Base.

The 106th Rescue Wing will hold a media briefing this moring, Monday, May 23 to provide details of the mission to interested reportrs.


• Col Shawn Fitzgerald, the commander of the 106th Rescue Wing.

• Lt. Col. Sean Garell, the aircraft commander

• Senior Airmen Jocelyn Tapia-Puma, who served as a Spanish language translator

• Other airmen who were on the mission will be available as well.

WHAT: A media briefing during which reporters will be able to speak to Airmen involved in the mission and b-roll opportunities of aircraft as well. Still imagery and video taken by a 106th Rescue Wing photojournalist will be made available to reporters.

WHEN: 10:30 at gate on Monday, May 23, for an 11 am. media availability

WHERE: F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base, Moen St. Westhampton Beach, New York

Members of the press must contact Major Michael O'Hagan at 609-234-2636 for access to F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base no later 10 a.m. on May 23 and must have valid photo ID and press credentials. Be prepared to wait at the gate until ID can be vetted by our security forces for escorted entry.

A 3 minute B-Roll video package can be downloaded from the 106th Rescue Wing YouTube Channel here: https://youtu.be/SuJiMElt8QU

Photos from the mission can be downloaded from our New York National Guard Flickr page: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjzR5rp


On Thursday, May 19, the Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center located in Boston was notified of a 23-year-old female on a 32-foot sailboat named "Namah", en route to St. Jean de Luz, France from Panama, with second and third degree burns on her abdomen and leg from boiling water.

Three people were on-board the French flagged vessel, one female and two males. The whole crew are Spanish-speaking. The injured female patient is Columbian.

106th Rescue Wing member, Senior Airman Jocelyn Tapia-Puma, an aviation resource manager in the wing's 102nd Rescue Squadron, joined the crew to act as a translator for the mission.

Upon tasking, New York Air National guardsmen of the 106th Rescue Wing worked together to create a plan to deliver medical bundles with supplies needed to treat the patient.

The team launched from F.S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base in Westhampton Beach, Long Island, New York on Friday, May 20 at approximately 8 a.m. The medical bundles were successfully delivered by air drop to the vessel at approximately noon and recovered by the crew via kayak to be used to treat the patient.

The crew has been in email contact since the incident and has provided an update every 6 to 8 hours to the rescue coordination center. At last update, the patient was continuing to improve with only two remaining blisters that are expected to break on their own.

They are en route to the Azores with an anticipated arrival of approximately June 3rd, based on the 3 knot speed of their vessel and their distance from the destination.

The 106th Rescue Wing is tasked with providing search and rescue capabilities to retreive downed Airmen and other militqry personnel and provide medical care as required, The wing operates the HC-130J search and rescue aircraft and the HH-60 Pave Hawk search and rescue helicopter. The wings para-rescue airman and Combat Rescue Officers are trained to parachute onto both land and sea to conduct rescue and medical assistance operations.