920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs
3/20/2013 - CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- Air
Force Reserve combat-search-and-rescue Airmen from the 920th Rescue
Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., supported the successful launch of a
United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying a Space Based Infrared
System GEO-2 satellite, Tuesday at 5:21 p.m., from Launch Complex 41
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The launch of SBIRS GEO-2 continues the replacement of the Defense
Support Program (DSP) constellation, which has been in operation since
1960. The SBIRS GEO-1 was launched May 7, 2011, also from Cape Canaveral
A combined team of military, government civilians and contractors from
Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., and Cape Canaveral AFS provided vital
support to this launch, including weather forecasts, launch and range
operations, security, safety and public affairs.
Rescue Wing Airmen who pilot the HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter take to
flight several hours before all scheduled launches from Cape Canaveral
AFS to secure the Eastern Range. They patrol the stretch of the Atlantic
Ocean beneath the launch trajectory ensuring no mariners veer into
harm's way of potential rocket debris hazards.
Range clearing is one of the many tasks that the Airmen of the 920th RQW
are charged with. The premier combat-search-and-rescue wing Airmen are
trained to provide search and rescue services in humanitarian and combat