U.S. Air Force ramps up presence in the Horn of Africa

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

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.