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The 126th Medical Company (Air Ambulance) had its first drill in Sacramento, California in March of 1974. At that time, the unit's mission was to provide emergency lifesaving support for the training activities of units of the California National Guard as well as a fully qualified helicopter MEDical EVACuation (MEDEVAC) unit to the State for civil disasters and other emergencies. Yet another mission was to be available to replace a MEDEVAC unit in the active forces, in the event of a national emergency where the active unit was deployed overseas.
Since then, the 126th Med Co has enjoyed one of the richest histories of any Army aviation unit, having been constantly involved in lifesaving, search and rescue, firefighting, and relief operations throughout the State and many places in the world. The 126th has been activated twice, once to be deployed to Ft. Sam Houston, Texas (1990-1991) to replace a unit being sent to the Mid-East during the Gulf war and more recently to Bosnia (1998-1999) to provide MEDEVAC support for NATO forces.
The pilots and crewmembers of the 126th Med Co are among the most qualified in the world of aeromedical evacuation. The everyday mission of the 126th is 100% real-world in that the unit maintains fully equipped, mission-ready aircraft on constant standby for emergencies of all types. Because of its ongoing missions and continuous employment in California, the 126th Med Co is considered by many to be the "most utilized helicopter MEDEVAC unit in existence," exceeding that of the active forces.
The pages below contain images and captions about the people and times of the 126th Med Co. They're intended to tell a story while at the same time stirring recollections among viewers who may have been a part of the unit during that era. Any of the images can be downloaded by simply right-clicking on them, once displayed. This site will continue growing and expanding so keep checking back.
If you have any additional information or photos you'd like to see posted, please contact me:
David Rosenthal, 126th Med Co Historian, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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