For the Irish Air Corps, November 26th marked the 50th anniversary of helicopter aviation.
Their first Search and Rescue mission was on December 23rd, 1963, only three weeks after the service had gone operational (November 26th, 1963).
Since these first life-saving missions the Helicopter Wing, now called No. 3 Operations Wing, have performed over 2,300 SAR missions and 4,000 air ambulances, saving countless lives.
In December 2008 the Air Corps pioneered the introduction of Night Vision aided flight to the State. They now use Night Vision Goggles to assist on its national and international air ambulance transfer service which it operates 24/7. It is the only service in the State that has this leading edge capability.
Over the past 50 years the Air Corps has been an invaluable support to the wider Defence Forces and has made a significant contribution to the security of the State and the common good of Irish society.
Original press release: http://www.military.ie/