Between Jan 19 and 20, the U.S. Air Force’s 920th Rescue Wing from Patrick Air Force Base deployed several of its HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters and approximately 70 helicopter crew, maintenance, operations and support personnel to the Horn of Africa.
The group of Reserve Airmen and their combat choppers were ferried to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, by U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemasters from the 315th Airlift Wing from Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina,
As part of the air brigde, the airlifters made a stopover at Rota, in Spain.
The HH-60G of the only Air Force Reserve combat rescue unit will support Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa to provide “both conventional and unconventional combat-rescue operations”.
Even if some Air Force’s Pave Hawk helicopters, like the one which crashed in the UK some weeks ago, have been operating in the Horn of Africa for anti-piracy tasks for some time, and few helicopters were spotted at Camp Lemonnier in the past, the deployment marks a significant increase in the amount of CSAR assets in a region characterized by a drone-led Shadow War in Yemen and threated by the unstable ceasefire in South Sudan.
Image credit: U.S. Air Force