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Airmen hone search, rescue skills during exercise

Tech. Sgt. Brendan Proctor, 3d Airlift Squadron loadmaster, and Staff Sgt. Sean O’Neill, 723d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit crew chief assigned to Moody Air Force Base, Ga., ensure proper block placement prior to loading an HH-60G Pave Hawk search and rescue helicopter onto a 3d AS C-17 Globemaster III May 15, 2017, at Moody AFB. Special care was taken to not damage either aircraft when loading. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aaron J. Jenne)

Tech. Sgt. Brendan Proctor, a 3rd Airlift Squadron loadmaster, and Staff Sgt. Sean O’Neill, a 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit crew chief assigned to Moody Air Force Base, Ga., ensure proper block placement prior to loading an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter onto a C-17 Globemaster III May 15, 2017, at Moody AFB. Special care was taken to not damage either aircraft when loading. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Aaron J. Jenne)

Members of the 723d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit assigned to Moody Air Force Base, Ga., position an HH-60G Pave Hawk search and rescue helicopter May 15, 2017, on a 3d Airlift Squadron C-17 Globemaster III at Moody AFB. The maintainers loaded two HH-60 aircraft, which were flown to Langley Air Force Base, Va., for Exercise Rapid Rescue on May 17. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Senior Airman Aaron J. Jenne)

Members of the 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit assigned to Moody Air Force Base, Ga., position an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter May 15, 2017, on a C-17 Globemaster III at Moody AFB. The maintainers loaded two HH-60 aircraft, which were flown to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., for exercise Rapid Rescue. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Aaron J. Jenne)

Airman 1st Class Isaac Schuler, 723d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit electronic warfare technician assigned to Moody Air Force Base, Ga., guides an HH-60G Pave Hawk search and rescue helicopter May 16, 2017, as it is offloaded from a 3d Airlift Squadron C-17 Globemaster III at Langley Air Force Base, Va. The Airmen worked in unison to ensure the helicopter was safely off-loaded. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aaron J. Jenne)

Airman 1st Class Isaac Schuler, a 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit electronic warfare technician assigned to Moody Air Force Base, Ga., guides an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter May 16, 2017, as it is offloaded from a C-17 Globemaster III at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. The Airmen worked in unison to ensure the helicopter was safely off loaded. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Aaron J. Jenne)

One of Team Dover’s C-17 Globemaster IIIs sets on the flightline as an HH-60G Pave Hawk search and rescue helicopter is offloaded May 16, 2017, at Langley Air Force Base, Va. The C-17 transported 2 helicopters and 40 Airmen from Moody AFB, Ga., to Langley AFB where they participated in Exercise RAPID RESCUE. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aaron J. Jenne)

A C-17 Globemaster III, from Dover Air Force Base, Del., sits on the flightline as an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter is offloaded May 16, 2017, at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. The C-17 transported two helicopters and 40 Airmen from Moody AFB, Ga., to JB Langley-Eustis where they participated in exercise Rapid Rescue RAPID RESCUE. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Aaron J. Jenne)

From left, Staff Sgt. Robert Hall, Staff Sgt. Travis Lester, and Senior Airman Eddie Judge, 38th Rescue Squadron pararescuemen assigned to Moody Air Force Base, Ga., carry an Airman with simulated injuries toward a 3d Airlift Squadron C-17 Globemaster III May 17, 2017, during Exercise RAPID RESCUE at Langley AFB, Va. The C-17 was prepped and ready to takeoff for a simulated aeromedical evacuation flight when the search and rescue team arrived. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aaron J. Jenne)

From left, Staff Sgts. Robert Hall and Travis Lester, and Senior Airman Eddie Judge, 38th Rescue Squadron pararescuemen assigned to Moody Air Force Base, Ga., carry an Airman with simulated injuries toward a C-17 Globemaster III May 17, 2017, during exercise Rapid Rescue at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va. The C-17 was prepped and ready to takeoff for a simulated aeromedical evacuation flight when the search and rescue team arrived. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Aaron J. Jenne)

Members of the 38th Rescue Squadron assigned to Moody Air Force Base, Ga., carry an Airman with simulated injuries May 17, 2017, aboard a 3d Airlift Squadron C-17 Globemaster III during Exercise RAPID RESCUE. A few minutes later, the aircraft departed from Langley AFB, Va., simulating an aeromedical evacuation for three injured Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aaron J. Jenne)

Members of the 38th Rescue Squadron assigned to Moody Air Force Base, Ga., carry an Airman with simulated injuries May 17, 2017, aboard a C-17 Globemaster III during exercise Rapid Rescue. A few minutes later, the aircraft departed from Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., simulating an aeromedical evacuation for three injured Airmen. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Aaron J. Jenne)

Senior Airman Jay Vinehout, 38th Rescue Squadron pararescueman assigned to Moody Air Force Base, Ga., hangs an IV bag for a simulated patient May 17, 2017, during Exercise RAPID RESCUE aboard a 3d Airlift Squadron C-17 Globemaster III. The plane flew around the coast of Va. for an hour while the 38th RS members practiced advanced medical techniques intended to stabilize patients with severe injuries. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aaron J. Jenne)

Senior Airman Jay Vinehout, a 38th Rescue Squadron pararescueman assigned to Moody Air Force Base, Ga., hangs an IV bag for a simulated patient May 17, 2017, during exercise Rapid Rescue aboard a C-17 Globemaster III. The plane flew around the coast of Virginia for an hour while the 38th RS members practiced advanced medical techniques intended to stabilize patients with severe injuries. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Aaron J. Jenne)

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. (AFNS) -- The 3rd Airlift Squadron supported exercise Rapid Rescue May 15–18, 2017, providing transportation and simulated aeromedical evacuation along the East Coast.

The exercise showcased search and rescue techniques, as well as aeromedical evacuation capabilities of the 38th Rescue Squadron from Moody Air Force Base, Georgia.

“This was a great opportunity for our crew to not only see the execution of combat search and rescue operations first hand but directly coordinate with our Combat Air Force partners at the 1st Fighter Wing,” said Capt. Jeff Hogan, a 3rd AS pilot. “It was key for us to identify how our roles and responsibilities complement each other and where we can better integrate to effectively accomplish operations in a high risk environment across multiple major weapons systems.”

During the exercise, members of the 41st Helicopter Maintenance Unit loaded two HH-60G Pave Hawk search and rescue helicopters aboard the C-17 at Moody AFB, where it was then sent to Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.

The next morning, two combat search and rescue teams flew out over the Atlantic Ocean aboard their helicopters to rescue members of a simulated incident. Shortly thereafter, three personnel, who suffered simulated injuries, were retrieved and transported to the C-17 awaiting rapid aeromedical evacuation. The 38th RQS pararescuemen practiced various in-flight medical procedures to stabilize the simulated patients, while coordinating with the C-17 aircrew during the hour-long flight.

“I’ve never actually done a casualty evacuation on a C-17, and I’m almost positive nobody else on my team has either,” said Tech. Sgt. Eric Braddock, the 38th RQS pararescue team leader. “It was extremely eye-opening for us. It was a very good experience for us to see the amount of space we have available and how the stanchions are laid out. The crew really helped us out too. By the time we got there, they had everything ready for us, and we were airborne in no time. I hope we get even more training opportunities like this.”

Later that day, the C-17 aircrew flew under the protection of a four-ship F-22 Raptor formation. Once over the Atlantic, the escort called for the cargo plane to make a tactical decent to 500 feet, nearly skimming the water, when simulated aggressors entered the air space. For the next 30 minutes, the smaller, more nimble Raptors engaged in a dogfight with the aggressive T-38 Talons as the bulky C-17 safely flew along the ocean surface. Several times the Globemaster crew responded to maneuvering commands from the escorts, banking 60-degree turns toward new headings dodging air and sea threats while maintaining low level flight.

“It was impressive to see how quickly they implemented their tactics, techniques and procedures in response to our maneuvers,” Hogan said. "I’m confident that everyone on the crew is more prepared to respond effectively to a real-world situation. In a C-17, we don’t get a lot of opportunities to work across obility Air Forces and Combat Air Forces lines, so it’s a great opportunity to further refine our TTPs and reinforce key relationships with our combat partners at the 1st Fighter Wing.”

Another takeaway from the exercise included maintainers learning the safest procedures to load helicopters onto C-17s. Loading the 65-foot-long, 8-ton HH-60Gs required coordinated effort from about 10 people pulling, pushing and watching for any indication of possible collision.

“Loading oversized cargo is complicated,” said Tech. Sgt. Brendan Proctor, a 3rd AS loadmaster. “If you aren’t careful, it’s very easy to damage either the cargo or the plane. It’s always good to give Airmen who may load a plane someday the opportunity to get some hands-on experience.”

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