With the support of C-130J aircraft from the 86th Airlift Wing, 57th Rescue Squadron made a rare jump onto Aviano airbase.
Although it is scheduled to complete the move, along with the 56th, from RAF Lakenheath, UK, to Aviano AB, Italy, by the end of June 2018, the 57th RS has started getting acquainted with its new duty station located in northeastern Italy.
On Feb. 15 and 16, 2018, with the support of the Super Hercules aircraft from Ramstein Air Base’s 86th Airlift Wing, the Squadron’s pararescuemen jumped onto the base, home of the 31st Fighter Wing, the first in more than two decades.
Aviano has the U.S. military’s largest heavy drop facility in Europe and is the launching pad for the Vicenza-based 173rd Airborne Brigade, whose members routinely jump from C-130s onto the “Juliet” landing zone located at Maniago, about 15 miles from the base.
The 56th and 57th RS will bring their five HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters to Aviano in a few months, but they are also expected to train with the 173rd and Italian allies in various aircraft: with easy access to the Alps, Adriatic Sea and various Italian training ranges, their new airbase is considered very well suited for the training activities of the squadrons pararescuemen.
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.
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