HH-60 Helicopter refuels from HC-130 in one of the most awesome aerial refueling photos ever!

Helicopter Air to Air Refueling as you’ve (probably) never seen it.

The image in this post was taken during a training Helicopter Air-to-Air Refueling (HAAR) mission over Alaska.

It was taken from a 210th Rescue Squadron HH-60 Pave Hawk as it refuels from a 211th Rescue Squadron HC-130N.

Both aircraft belong to the 176th Wing (176 WG), a unit of the Alaska Air National Guard, stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER), Anchorage, Alaska, and they are tasked with combat search-and-rescue missions.

The point of view and the stunning background make the photo awesome. By the way,  this video provides another pretty unique point of view, whereas this one shows how difficult HAAR can really be (hence the need to practice a lot).

Image credit: MSgt Sean Mitchell via AFSOC FB page


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.


  1. There are three squadrons of Pedros in Alaska, and the units are amongst the most storied in the USAF/ANG.
    They’ve also pulled off some pretty incredible rescues in Alaska as well as their ‘usual’ faire in Iraq and Afghanistan, as we suffer weather issues, making the superior avionics of HH60Gs necessary.
    May God bless and watch over these brave souls.

  2. i was searching for kadena afb earlier on google maps. i saw a few cool things. some f-22s parked outside. not much. but not far from those was an f-15 taxing, and just above it, is one of his buddies in an f-15, in a flat turn. looked really cool. also. its strange, but there is a part of kadena that seems to be covered by clouds. a tiny part of the entire sky that just so happens to be over kadena that day? im really wondering whats under those taxiways that its covering :) im mean seriously though, THE ENTIRE SKY for miles and miles and miles and miles is clear except for this one part over kadena. just thought id share these cool little finds.

  3. Not AFSOC, USAF Rescue is part of Air Combat Command. Similar capability, but employs through air component, supports all components, including SOF.

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