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A Call for Unification

In September 1963, Det 3 PARC commander Major Alan Saunders submitted a comprehensive study outlining the need for a professional rescue service in SEA.

Saunders also requested that the US Air Force be the responsible service for conducting all SAR missions during the war.

Agreeing with Saunders’ study, the JCS approved sending ARS helicopters and personnel to SEA and assigned the SAR mission to the USAF. 

Following the Gulf of Tonkin Incident in August 1964, four ARS detachments arrived in SEA, two in South Vietnam and two in Thailand. This marked the beginning of what would become the most advanced SAR force in the world.

In January 1966, the Air Rescue Service was renamed the Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service (ARRS) to better define is world-wide rescue and recovery responsibilities. 

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