Science and Technology News

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Rescue Wing supports successful rocket launch

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 AFS.

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 environments.

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