HomeNewsArticle Display

920th RQW Airmen prepare for human spaceflight

Medical evacuation exercise

Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing revalidate their response time in the event of a catastrophic, life-threatening occurrence within the capsule of a human space flight launch, Oct. 25, 2018, at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. This exercise marked the first time that the Department of Defense, NASA and commercial providers have exercised this type of event utilizing twelve live patients and the full array of air assets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kelly Goonan)

Medical evacuation exercise

Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing revalidate their response time in the event of a catastrophic, life-threatening occurrence within the capsule of a human space flight launch, Oct. 25, 2018, at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. This exercise marked the first time that the Department of Defense, NASA and commercial providers have exercised this type of event utilizing twelve live patients and the full array of air assets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kelly Goonan)

Medical evacuation exercise

Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing revalidate their response time in the event of a catastrophic, life-threatening occurrence within the capsule of a human space flight launch, Oct. 25, 2018, at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. This exercise marked the first time that the Department of Defense, NASA and commercial providers have exercised this type of event utilizing twelve live patients and the full array of air assets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kelly Goonan)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- To prepare for the arrival of human space flight tests next year, the 920th Rescue Wing along with the DoD Human Space Flight Support Office, NASA and SpaceX personnel joined forces to plan and execute a realistic medical evacuation exercise at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Oct. 25.

Their mission was to respond to a simulated emergency incident that required DoD support and expertise. The exercise included twelve participants role-playing various injuries after a launch pad emergency. The DoD HSFS Office planned and coordinated 920th RQW assets which included two HH-60G helicopters from the 301st Rescue Squadron, four pararescuemen from the 308th RQS and two flight surgeons from the DoD HSFS Office.

This exercise revalidated the response time of the Airmen and aircraft from Patrick Air Force Base, to Kennedy Space Center in the event of a catastrophic, life-threatening occurrence within the capsule of a human spaceflight launch. This was also the first time the DoD, NASA and commercial providers have exercised this type of event utilizing live patients and the full array of air assets, according to HSFS.

“With our partners at NASA, these exercises are important in developing a foundational understanding of our capabilities and integrating our procedures to better the mission. While today’s exercise was generic, we will continue to build into more advanced rescue scenarios,” said Staff Sgt. Gregg Forshaw, 308th Rescue Squadron pararescueman. “Today is a great example of how we, as Citizen Airmen, provide our expertise, while reflecting on our long history of supporting the NASA.”

Pararescuemen hold a unique position in combat-search-and-rescue missions. Each pararescueman is trained and equipped to conduct both conventional and unconventional recovery missions. Their motto, “That others may live,” and their trauma medicine capabilities combined with battlefield skills make them unique within the special operations community.

Since the inception of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, the DoD has provided Human Space Flight Support to NASA.

“The HSFS Office has provided support to NASA's Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle programs,” explained Brent Maney, HSFS Space Medical Contingency Specialist. “It continues to provide support for Soyuz, Orion, and commercial crew programs (CCPs) because we’re the principle liaison for human spaceflight support operations.”

Maney explained that the DoD HSFS Office assists CCPs with unique DoD capabilities ensuring the global rescue and recovery of NASA and NASA-sponsored astronauts.

“It’s a unique orchestra between NASA, the Air Force Reserve and active duty; to see everything come together,” Lt. Col. Dave Mahan, DoD HSFS CCP division chief said. “The 920th has supported human spaceflight for the last 50 years and we look forward to continuing those trusted relationships long into the future.”

For every human mission launching from Kennedy Space Center for the next fiscal year, 920th RQW Airmen will be present to not only clear the range, but also remain on standby in the event of a mishap.

“Our hope is to not ever be needed,” said Lt. Col. Paul Carpenter, 301st Rescue Squadron pilot. “But we’re ready to respond if something were to happen during any launch.”

Carpenter explained that aircraft and crews as well as teams of pararescuemen will be pre-positioned, ready and waiting should something happen that necessitates rescue operations.

“I know that NASA has had a long relationship with the 920th and 45th Space Wing when we were operating shuttles here and we’re looking forward to working with them again,” said Kjell Lindgren, NASA astronaut. “Being able to rely on their assets, people and professionalism really puts our minds at ease that we are all on the same team as we are continuing to march forward with human space exploration.”

When the final mission of the American Space Shuttle Program, Space Transportation System - 135, launched in July 2011, it marked the end of an era not only for NASA but also for the 920th Rescue Wing Reserve Citizen Airmen who had served as guardians of the NASA astronauts for five decades. That seven-year hiatus will come to an end next summer.

Patrick is being used as the primary staging location due to its vicinity to Kennedy Space Center and the support provided by Patrick AFB. While rescue is the primary mission of the rescue forces, they can be called on for medevac if the need arises. The exercise was proof of concept.

With highly trained rescue personnel, the 920th RQW remains ready to support the next era of human space flight, willing to meet the needs of NASA’s unique, evolving missions.

Engage

Twitter
.@POTUS to #Airmen during his visit to @RAFMildenhall: "You’re the best of our country. Less than 1% of Americans… https://t.co/VlmUkvizpY
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: High energy lasers kill one target at a time, & high powered microwaves can kill groups or swarms, which is one reason that TH…
Twitter
Check out the latest #AirForce Week in Photos! Which one is your favorite? See the rest at https://t.co/PUTukgX3Qe https://t.co/bWyy06fZ3k
Twitter
RT @AFGlobalStrike: 10 cadets and midshipmen from the @WestPoint_USMA, the @NavalAcademy and the @AF_Academy visited @90thMissileWing as pa…
Twitter
#ABMS will deliver decision superiority to the @usairforce & @SpaceForceDoD. This is all-domain command and contr… https://t.co/52J0YQEQhn
Twitter
The 2-week training will focus on @GenCQBrownJr's #AccelerateChange Action Order C: Competition by dissecting the g… https://t.co/J97obvYz10
Twitter
Building on women’s hair updates announced in February 2021, beginning June 25 when hair is secured behind the head… https://t.co/kjocdaU8Co
Twitter
“When you look at the numbers, 500,000 is a lot of [#COVID19] vaccinations. That reflects every #Soldier and… https://t.co/0hDKneUwUU
Twitter
The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is sponsoring a research project with the @WitchitaState's National Inst… https://t.co/r1SZzmLUGo
Twitter
.@NellisAFB recently hosted an #AirForce Weapons School Integration exercise that taught graduate-level instructor… https://t.co/sdRcG9Tqle
Twitter
Industry and government operators, engineers, and test professionals assessed the ability to do medical evacuation,… https://t.co/GosqQbx3Ac
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: As part of the @UTNationalGuard's state partnership with Morocco, @UtahAirGuard Airmen are taking part in African Lion 21…
Twitter
“This office is the first organization that will stand-up from an enterprise-wide perspective to address digital ne… https://t.co/94P7CNFxGj
Twitter
"Multi-capable #Airmen is a series of training events designed to engage Airmen in developing a combat skillset out… https://t.co/7b4VFMb9cm
Twitter
"I'm probably not the first to be qualified, but the first to have the opportunity." @GenCQBrownJr sat down with… https://t.co/vh14QdB6sp
Twitter
#CitizenAirmen from the 30th Aerial Port Squadron & @AFRC_433, loaded supplies onto a C-5 Galaxy, to deliver suppli… https://t.co/MDSVEtQbZm
Twitter
.@59_MDW medics assisted a hospital in #Honduras during Exercise Resolute Sentinel 21, where they performed life-ch… https://t.co/DRGyg4NOhL
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: A/SecAF Roth at today's SAC-D hearing: "Our nation’s competitive strategic advantage relies on air and space superiority…
Twitter
To maintain open lines of communication with #AirForce allies and African partners, CMSgt Brion Blais, @HQUSAFEAFAFhttps://t.co/4nGOtWJnLp
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,346,402
Follow Us