U.S. Air Force Demo exposes cadets to CSAR mission
Helicopters, transport and fighter aircraft soared above the terrazzo here Oct. 17 during a combat search and rescue airpower demonstration to expose and motivate cadets to apply for rated career fields upon commissioning in the Air Force.
Combat rescue officers and a pararescueman from the 23rd Wing, Moody AFB, Ga., and the 58th Rescue Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., flew HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, a HC-130J Combat King II and A-10 Thunderbolt II jets over the cadet area, displaying CSAR capabilities and training for their mission.
During the demonstration, two helicopters landed in the cadet area to “rescue” Commandant of Cadets Brig. Gen. Stephen Williams and two cadets. The CROs retrieved the three participants and transported them in helicopters until the end of the event.
“This is a great way to help motivate our cadets for the airpower opportunities they’ll have as commissioned officers,” Williams said. “It lets them see rescue operations firsthand and gets them excited for what’s to come after they commission as second lieutenants.”
Following the demonstration, cadets were able to check out the helicopters and speak to CROs who graduated from the Academy.
“I love how motivated the cadets are,” said Staff Sgt. Kristofer Darrow, a pararescueman assigned to the 23rd wing. “It’s neat to be able to give them exposure to CSAR operations and tell them more about the relationship of pararescuemen and CROs. I’ve enjoyed sharing details with them on training, our mission and how we help people.”
Darrow has been a PJ for about 10 years. He said his career is fun but demanding.
“We’re gone over half of the year – which is hard on families,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed the medical aspect of the job and just got accepted into a physician assistant program.”
Cadet Wing vice commander Cadet 1st Class Erin Crow was “rescued” in the demonstration. She said she’d never flown in a helicopter prior to the event.
“The mission of CSAR is really unique,” she said. “It was neat to take part in the demo. I’ve received a pilot slot and hope to fly A-10C Thunderbolt IIs.”
The 58th RQS is a geographically separated unit attached to the 23d Wing; its mission is to train and prepare Airmen to conduct precision attack, personnel recovery and combat support in deployed locations.
“This event allows training for the CSAR crews,” Williams said. “Their wing and group commanders are watching and evaluating them while here. It’s great the Academy is able to take part in the demonstration. It gives them training as well as displays a capability of our airpower.”
Source: U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo – By by Amber Baillie / U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs – October 21, 2014 (usafa.af.mil)