AWACS Crew Coordinates Rescue In Afghanistan | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 03.02.15

Airborne 03.03.15

Airborne 03.04.15

Airborne 03.05.15

Airborne 03.06.15

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 03.02.15

Airborne 03.03.15

Airborne 03.04.15

Airborne 03.05.15

Airborne 03.06.15

Thu, Jan 12, 2012

AWACS Crew Coordinates Rescue In Afghanistan

Helo Pilots Brought Home Safely With Help Of Multiple Aircraft

Helping rescue downed pilots isn't something Airmen aboard an E-3 Sentry do regularly, but that's exactly what happened to one crew from the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing Dec. 30. Two hours into the Sentry crew's planned mission, they received a mayday call, relayed through a KC-135 Stratotanker, from an AH-64 Apache. The Apache pilots' wingmen had crashed in northern Afghanistan. The two pilots were okay, but they were going to need help getting back to base.

That's when the E-3 Airmen diverted from their scheduled flight plan. After all, lives were at stake, said Maj. Paul Lankes, the mission crew senior director.
 
According to Lankes, rescuing the Soldiers was going to take the combined effort from several elements, but command and control is what Sentry crews do best. The E-3 is an airborne warning and control system, or AWACS, aircraft. With the advanced radar and computer systems aboard the plane, the crews are able to manage a battlespace of more than 250 miles around them.
 
The Sentry Airmen coordinated actions of several crews engaged in the rescue: the pilots on the ground, the Apache still airborne, senior leaders at the Combined Air and Space Operations Center and even a pair of coalition F-16 Falcons nearby.
 
"We knew the guys on the ground were going to need armed overwatch, so we called in the F-16s, who were at the end of their patrol, but they flew out to look out for the Soldiers," said Lankes, who is assigned to the 964th Expeditionary Airborne Air Control Squadron. "They told us they were low on fuel, so that meant we'd need a tanker. Fortunately, there was one close and available."

File Photo

The Sentry team called the KC-135 crew who took the initial distress call to see if they were able to refuel the F-16s, officials said. Two other tankers from the 376th Air Expeditionary Wing took over refueling duties for other jets in the area, so the original crew was free to help the F-16s. Once they were ready again, the F-16s helped the remaining Apache crew provide air cover until a convoy from a nearby outpost arrived to collect the crew. Additional helicopters landed and troops recovered the AH-64 wreckage.

"Eventually the F-16s had to return to base, so a pair of A-10 (Thunderbolt II)s took their place, and then we needed an additional tanker, so another KC-135 joined in as well," explained Capt. Joel Doss, the E-3 electronic combat officer. "Really it all came down to a team effort on everyone's part. We had all the components of our crew, the folks on the ground, the CAOC and all of the other aircrews flying in support. But that kind of orchestration is what we do."

FMI: www.af.mil

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 03.05.15: AW609 Milestone, EASA Cert: S-76D, UAVs Coming To Oshkosh!

Also: SAFE, PC-12 Theft Thwarted, MyGoFlight Heli Solutions, Updated: Bell 412EPI, Big Bell 'Relentless' Deal The AgustaWestland AW609 TiltRotor program has achieved a key mileston>[...]

Harrison Ford Injured In Forced Landing

Actor, Pilot, And Aviation Advocate Went Down On A California Golf Course Harrison Ford sustained moderate injuries Thursday when the the airplane he was piloting ... which appears>[...]

AeroSports Update: The Only Ice Runway In The Lower 48 Is Open

Winter Weather Can Sometimes Put A Crimp On Recreational Flying Unless You Have Snow Skis, Tundra Tires, Or An Ice Runway The question is; what does Alton Bay, NH have in common wi>[...]

Delta Jet Slides Off Runway At LaGuardia Airport

No Injuries Among The 127 Passengers Aboard The MD-88 A Delta Airlines MD-88 with 127 passengers and five crew on board arriving from Atlanta skidded off the runway at LaGuardia Ai>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (03.06.15)

Flying Stuart Little's Airplane Got a little one at home? Try your tyke out on the free online airplane game, "Flying Stuart Little's Aeroplane.">[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2015 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC