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 07.18.16

Airborne 07.19.16

Airborne 07.20.16

Airborne 07.21.16

Airborne 07.22.16

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 07.18.16

Airborne 07.19.16

Airborne 07.20.16

Airborne 07.21.16

Airborne 07.22.16

Tweet Us The Coolest Things You See @OSH16!
#OSH16Coolest!

It's Alive!: AirVenture 2016 Innovation Preview on Vimeo!

It's Alive!: AirVenture 2016 Innovation Preview on YouTube!

 

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 07.21.16: KC46 Update, Fly A P40 at AirVenture?, Runway Conditions

Also: ANN 2016 Oshkosh Schedule, Airplane Efficiency, Federal Excise Tax, A320neo, Jet Demos, 100+ Exoplanets, CFM's $8.2B Deal The KC-46 Pegasus aerial tanker program moved closer>[...]

Teens With Drone Help Solve Boat Theft

Followed The Suspects As Far As They Could And Alerted Police Two teenagers with a camera-equipped UAV helped police catch some suspected boat thieves this week on Camano Island in>[...]

Airborne 07.22.16: ONE Aviation New Jet, Drone Pilot Nabbed, Stemme Twin Voyager

Also: AEA Giveaway, 44 Trips To OSH, Airbus Drones, Future Pilots, NTSB Training, Air BP, Boeing Forecast, ALPA Milestone ONE Aviation has provided ANN with the initial outline for>[...]

EAA Raises The Bar -- Accessible Safety STC Adds More Aircraft, More Devices

STC Can Be Ordered Online Starting Right Now We knew it was coming and we're glad to see it coming along so well and siwiftly... EAA has announced several much anticipated updates >[...]

Airborne 07.22.16: ONE Aviation New Jet, Drone Pilot Nabbed, Stemme Twin Voyager

Also: AEA Giveaway, 44 Trips To OSH, Airbus Drones, Future Pilots, NTSB Training, Air BP, Boeing Forecast, ALPA Milestone ONE Aviation has provided ANN with the initial outline for>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2016 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC