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Wed, Apr 30, 2008

Moody Airmen Rescue Cuban Migrants At Sea

10-Hour Operation Lifts Six From Stricken Raft

Airmen from the 23rd Wing at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia recently performed a maritime rescue in the Gulf of Mexico that saved six lives.

The wing received the support request April 25 from the Joint Personnel Recovery Center at Tyndall AFB, FL around 11oo EDT. The request was in response to a report the Coast Guard received from the Eos, an 800-foot Panamanian-flagged tanker ship operating in the Gulf of Mexico. The Eos discovered and assisted a life raft with migrants in distress.

Moody airmen responded by providing two HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters from the 41st Rescue Squadron, a 71st RQS HC-130P King and pararescue assets from the 38th RQS.
The crew of the Pave Hawks performed a 10-hour mission, supported by the aerial refueling and command and control capabilities of the HC-130, and retrieved six of the stranded individuals from the tanker 260 miles south of New Orleans.

The response required four sets of aerial refueling and the close coordination of members from the 23rd Wing, JPRC, Coast Guard and medical facilities in Louisiana.

Upon the Pave Hawks' arrival to the Eos, pararescuemen from the 38th RQS were lowered from the helicopters to medically assess and treat the individuals. Subsequently, five adults and one child were hoisted from the tanker and transported to a hospital in New Orleans.

Following the rescue, all Moody-assigned units returned safely.

The 23rd Wing is responsible for all Air Force active duty combat search and rescue assets in the continental United States and routinely supports civilian rescue assets around the country.

Nice job, guys.

FMI: www.af.mil

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