Objective and Purpose

The Washoe County Sheriff's Air Squadron is a quick-responding resource reporting to the Sheriff of Washoe County. The primary mission is aerial search for lost, overdue or missing people and property.


The Washoe County Sheriff's Aero Squadron was organized by the late Sheriff Ray J. Root in the spring of 1937 with 11 members. It continued until his death in December 1951. Sheriff C. W. Bud Young re-activated the Squadron with 16 members on July 20 1953. Valuable service was provided until August 1979. Sheriff Vincent G. Swinney re-activated the current Washoe County Sheriff's Air Squadron, Inc., on February 21, 1983. The Air Squadron is the senior volunteer group within the Search and Rescue arm of the Sheriff's Office. The squadron currently has 29 active members, made up of pilots and observers. All aircraft are owned by the volunteer pilots who fly them.

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