WESTHAMPTON BEACH - The final NASA space shuttle is scheduled to blast off from the Kennedy Space Center this week, with some Long Islanders standing by to help with the historic flight.

Members of the 106th Rescue Wing of the Air National Guard in Westhampton Beach headed to Florida today, where the space shuttle Atlantis will be taking off for its 135th and final mission.

The local group specializes in water rescues and has been helping out on shuttle launches since the 1980s. They'll be watching closely, ready to act fast in case of an emergency during the launch.

To see more on the 106th Rescue Wing and its role in the NASA shuttle launch, go to channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.

Air National Guard