Jolly Vihar 23 "The Deuce"
by U.S. Air Force Airman Synsere Howard
The U.S. Air Force 56th Rescue Squadron and the 56th
Rescue Generation Squadron assigned to Aviano Air Base, participated
in the bilateral training exercise Jolly Vihar 23-2 at Pápa Air
Base, Hungary June 26 through July 7, 2023.
Vihar is aimed to enhance the U.S. and Hungarian forces’ ability to
conduct integrated combat search and rescue scenarios and perform
maintenance operations. This exercise benefits the 56th RQS and 56th
RGS along with NATO Ally and partner nations by enhancing
interoperability, while learning each other’s techniques, strategies
“The purpose of exercise Jolly Vihar for the
56th Rescue Squadron is terminal employment,” said U.S. Air Force
Tech. Sgt. Kayleigh Jones, 56th RQS special missions aviator
instructor. “This is a great time for aircrew to practice factor
threat analysis because we never know what squadron or unit we're
going to be working with. The more we integrate the better we can
facilitate personnel recovery across Europe.”
Three U.S. Air
Force HH-60G Pave Hawks flew to Pápa Air Base for exercise Jolly
Vihar. During the two-week exercise, a large portion of the training
was live fire and search and rescue missions. Airman assigned to
Aviano Air Base and Pápa Air Base act as red cells during the search
and rescue missions. Red cells are role players whose purpose is to
present problems that the aircrew must solve as a team.
June 28, 2023 - A U.S. Air
Force HH-60G Pave Hawk assigned to the 56th Rescue
Generation Squadron from Aviano Air Base lands to pick up
survivors during exercise Jolly Vihar at a training range
near Pápa Air Base, Hungary. The 56th Rescue Squadron
provides a rapidly deployable, worldwide combat rescue and
reaction force response. (Image created by USA
Patriotism! from U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Synsere
Norwegian forces were on each aircraft fulfilling the role of a
pararescue team, helping to mitigate threats and safely
recover red cells with information relayed to them and the aircrew.
According to Jones, working with the Norwegian forces improves their
cohesion with the knowledge learned from one another, this can also
be applied to real-world situations.
“We're out here working
with NATO Allies and partner nations such as the Norwegians and the
Hungarians,” said Jones. “We’re working on interoperability and
learning their techniques and procedures while sharing ours with
There were various agencies involved for the purpose of
creating the most realistic training environment.
to Jones, there are a lot of moving pieces in an exercise of this
magnitude. The mission cannot be accomplished without other
agencies, such as maintenance personnel, aviation resource managers,
communications technicians and aircrew flight equipment specialists.
“These personnel are essential to making sure this exercise is
executed safely and efficiently,” said Jones.
aims to advance and support rescue capability in European Command
and NATO. Training with NATO Allies and partners in exercises like
Jolly Vihar strengthens partnerships, reduces tensions between
nations and helps address potential conflicts before they start.
“We're trying to build this network to increase our partner
building capabilities,” said Jones. “We can’t do this alone.”
without impacting facts.
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