DVIDS – News – NY Air Guard rescue experts participate in exercise in Azores
LAJES, Portugal – Fifteen Airmen from the 106th Rescue Wing of the New York Air National Guard participated in a NATO search and rescue exercise in the Azores led by the Portuguese Air Force from 27 to July 30.
Known as ASAREX 2021 (Advanced Search and Rescue Exercise), the exercise included elements of the U.S. Coast Guard, Royal Canadian Air Force and Portuguese Maritime Police, National Guard, border police and the Civil Protection Force, as well as the Portuguese Air Force. .
Airmen from Pararescue and an HC-130J Combat King II search and rescue aircraft from the 106th took part in the exercise, which was based at Portuguese Air Base No.4 in Lajes on the island of Terceira.
Located in a key location in the Atlantic, the island chain is part of Portugal.
The Coast Guard also sent an HC-130J Hercules, and the Canadians sent a CC-130H search and rescue aircraft with Canadian search and rescue technicians on board.
The Portuguese supplied a P-3 Orion ocean reconnaissance aircraft, the C-295M. C-130 H and UH-101 Merlin helicopters as well as a destroyer, the NRP Viana Do Castelo.
“I was very impressed with the amount of resources the Portuguese had devoted to this exercise,” said Master Sgt. Ryan Dush, a Pararescueman with 103 Wing Rescue Squadron.
The invitation of the 106th to participate in the week-long search and rescue exercise is a result of the wing’s key role in working with the Portuguese Air Force in 2018 in rescuing members MV Tamar’s injured crew in April 2017, the squadron leaders mentioned.
A fire aboard the ship left two dead and two seriously injured.
Paratroopers of the 106th parachuted into the Ocean 1700 at sea to provide medical attention to injured sailors, then worked with the Portuguese Air Force to rescue them as the ship approached the Azores.
The training scenarios for ASAREX 2021, provided new challenges for Airmen of the 106th, participants said.
Instead of looking for a ship, they had to locate a 20-man life raft.
“It was a much more precise search for patients,” Dush explained.
ASAREX 2021 was a two-part exercise for the 106th Rescue Wing Airmen.
First, two Pararescuemen boarded the HC-130 Combat King II at FS Gabreski Air National Guard base on Long Island and flew 6 hours to the Azores.
Once there, the crew had to locate the target liferaft and the two “survivors” on board. Once the raft was located, the crew coordinated with the Pararescuemen for the jump out of the plane.
Dush, acting as the drop zone security officer, was aboard the Portuguese naval destroyer to make sure the area was safe for the Pararescuemen to parachute into the water.
Then the Parasescuemen simulated the medical treatment of the survivors aboard the raft and coordinated with a rescue boat for transport to safety.
For the crew of the 106th HC-130J during the rescue, this exercise was an opportunity to train the coordination with the Pararescuemen jumping and also the deployment of an MA-2 Sea Rescue Kit, said Major Ian D ‘ Amico, the HC-130 pilot for the mission.
The MA-2 Sea Rescue Kit is a five-pack set that connects two 20-man life rafts with 210 feet of rope designed to be dropped from a survivor’s windward plane into the water.
Wind and current push the rope and rafts towards the survivor, framing them and allowing them to pull themselves towards either liferaft. In addition, the lots contain emergency medical supplies and radio equipment.
“We don’t often get the opportunity to deploy MA-2 kits, so this was a great opportunity for our flight crew to pack them up and for us to deploy them,” D’Amico explained, a pilot from the 102nd Rescue Squadron.
“It was perfectly executed. We dropped the package 200 feet and it landed 50 feet downwind of the subject and it bracketed them as intended, ”he said.
D’Amico said the exercise was a great preparation workout.
“Training our own long-range rescue capabilities and coordinating search and rescue with other countries has been a huge opportunity for us,” D’Amico said. “When it comes to search and rescue, it’s all about preparation.
Ultimately, this exercise was an opportunity to exchange experiences and knowledge at the multinational level, according to Master Sgt. Matthew Zimmer, 103rd Pararescueman Rescue Squadron and jumpmaster during exercise.
“It’s really valuable to be able to simulate a real world scenario and to work together with other countries involved in search and rescue,” Zimmer said.
“Cooperation and interoperability between international rescue operations is vital and everyone involved in this exercise has taken the necessary steps to ensure this cohesion,” Zimmer added.
|Date posted:||08.11.2021 11:51|
|Place:||LAJES, 20, PT|
|Hometown:||WESTHAMPTON BEACH, NY, United States|
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