HULLAVINGTON AIRFIELD, England - The 56th Rescue Squadron
provides rapid, deployable, worldwide combat search and
rescue in support of humanitarian assistance, non-combatant
evacuation and disaster relief capability for the U.S.
European Command combatant commander and the Joint Chiefs of
Staff in peacetime.
"Because of the nature of our
primary mission, we train a lot and take everything very
seriously," said Staff Sgt. Joseph Bland, 56th RQS special
The rescue unit's key tool to
complete their mission is the HH-60G Pave Hawk.
An HH-60G Pave Hawk from the
56th Rescue Squadron prepares to land during exercise Voijek Valour
at Salisbury Plain, England, March 4, 2016. The 56th RQS provides
humanitarian assistance, non-combatant evacuation and disaster
relief capability for the U.S. European Command combatant commander
and the Joint Chiefs of Staff in peacetime. (U.S. Air Force photo by
SSgt. Emerson Nu�ez)
“Search and rescue adopted the Black Hawk and threw
everything on it that could make it the best search and
rescue platform,” said 1st Lt. Andrej Pulver, 56th RQS
co-pilot. “The Pave Hawk is a really capable aircraft, to
begin with, and has been designed, from the ground up, to
find someone who is in danger and save their life.”
Pave Hawk features for CSAR include an automatic flight
control system, forward-looking infrared system, color
weather radar and an engine/rotor blade anti-ice system that
assists with finding and rescuing personnel anytime during
the day or night.
Pave Hawks are also equipped with a
retractable, in-flight refueling probe, as well as internal
auxiliary fuel tanks, which enable the aircraft to fly
longer distances. The two crew-served 7.62mm or .50-caliber
machineguns provide defense for the aircraft, while the
8,000-pound capacity cargo hook can lift personnel into the
The Pave Hawk has proven itself in CSAR
missions since Operation Desert Storm and still remains the
Air Force's CSAR platform.
"Its maneuverability is
one of its best aspects," Bland said. "The best feature of
the ‘60, which makes it as versatile as it is, is the fact
that it has a refueling probe. We can extend our flight duty
day all the way up to crew fatigue, if necessary, because of
With the variety of missions the HH-60G can
support, there are also different variants of the aircraft
serving in different branches of the military.
as versatile as a C-130, but with a more exciting mission,
because of its capabilities," Pulver said.
than 20 years of service, the Pave Hawk has been an
essential tool for pararescue units worldwide. Today, the
HH-60G continues the legacy of rescue operations for the Air
More photos available below
By U.S. Air Force SSgt. Emerson Nu�ez
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