Posts Tagged ‘Pave Low’

Multinational recovery exercise kicks off at Davis-Monthan

December 14, 2008

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More than 850 ground recovery forces and 51 aircraft from the Department of Defense and numerous other countries kicked off a personnel recovery and combat search and rescue exercise Dec. 8 at Davis-Monthan AFB (Arizona).

The two week-long Angel Thunder 2008 exercise allows U.S. and international military forces and numerous national, multinational and interagency personnel recovery assets to train through the full spectrum of personnel recovery capabilities — preparation, planning, execution and adaptation.

“Angel Thunder is a very unique program, built by the combat search and rescue community from the grass roots level, that incorporates the lessons we’ve collectively learned from our experiences,” said Maj. Brett Hartnett, the Angel Thunder Project Officer assigned to the 563rd Operational Support Squadron here. “This exercise helps to eliminate the idea that personnel recovery can be done independent of other agencies, because from experience, we know that each service and government agency must work together to make successful recoveries at home and abroad.”

Personnel recovery is the sum of military, civil, and political operations needed to gain the release or rescue of military personnel from uncertain or hostile environments, and civilians during combat, disaster and relief operations.

The exercise takes rescue personnel through a number of scenarios that emulate real-world rescue operations that have happened or have the possibility of happening. The mountainous regions of Southern Arizona and New Mexico are being used because they mirror the landscapes found throughout Iraq and Afghanistan and other locations around the world.

The recovery forces see the benefit of learning and making mistakes during exercises like Angel Thunder, versus on the battlefield where lives are on the line. 

“It’s better to exercise this now than it would be when bullets are flying in a real combat situation,” said Master Sgt. Chad Watts, the superintendent of combat survival training at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado. 

More than 30 volunteers from Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and Air Force ROTC cadets from the University of Arizona served as survivors to add another level of realism to this exercise, Sergeant Watts said. “We need something tangible to look for, something to bring home. Ultimately, without a survivor you don’t have an exercise.” 

Other key players participating in Angel Thunder included rescue forces from Chile, Colombia and Germany who are working alongside American forces throughout each phase of the exercise.

Personnel recovery operations require a precise mix of ground air forces to aid in successful rescues. Angel Thunder 2008 integrates combat aircrew forces, guardian angel and intelligence personnel, battle managers, and joint search and rescue center personnel. Because ground recovery forces routinely operate with forces from sister services, and other national, international and interagencies that may communicate, and respond in slightly different ways, Angel Thunder 2008 was designed to facilitate interoperability, cross-culture sharing of tactics and procedures.

“Everybody has their own tactics, techniques and procedures and having everybody come together allows us to work through some of the communication differences, and allows us to share lessons learned with each other,” Sergeant Watts said.

Aircraft participating in Angel Thunder 2008 include the HH-60G Pave Hawk, the MC-130P Combat Shadow, C-130 Hercules, the AH-64D Longbow, the UH-1N Huey, C-17 Globemaster III, the KC-135 Stratotanker, the HC-130P/N, EC-130H Compass Call, the E-3 Sentry, the A-10 Thunderbolt II, and the German air force Tornado.

Angel Thunder 2008, hosted by Air Combat Command officials, is the third joint personnel recovery and combat rescue exercise conducted at Davis-Monthan AFB. American participation in this exercise include members from the Air Force, Army, the Department of Justice, the National Reconnaissance Office, the State Department, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Joint Forces Command with multinational observers from Mexico, Canada and Pakistan.

Kerry Jackson (AFNS)

MH-53 Pave Low — 41 Years of Special Operations Action

December 2, 2008

The MH-53J/M Pave Low helicopter was flown by the US Air Force Special Operations Command or AFSOC from 1967 until retirement in 2008. The Pave Low’s mission was low-level, long-range, undetected penetration into denied areas by day or night. It served honorably in Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, the first Gulf War, and the entire gamut of anti-terrorist operations since 9/11.

Find this and other exciting images as posters, framed art prints, 2009 calendars, and greeting card sets. Visit the PatriArt Gallery today — your one-stop shopping site for military and patriotic themed holiday gifts. Worldwide delivery available.

U.S. Army Wants New ARH Requirements by January

October 24, 2008
AFSOC MH-53 Pave Low

AFSOC MH-53 Pave Low

The US Air Force Special Operations Command AFSOC retired its MH-53 Pave Low special operations helicopters in September 2008. You can still own one of these legendary MH-53 Pave Low special operations helicopters. Choose the poster, a framed art print, a 12-month 2009 calendar, or even a greeting card set. Find all your MH-53 Pave Low art gifts at The PatriArt Gallery. Or if you prefer the AFSOC MH-53 tee-shirt, beer stein, or other souvenir items, visit The Military Chest.

The U.S. Defense Department’s cancellation of the Army’s Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) program has set off a flurry of activity within the service, reports Aviation Week.

The Army’s operations director, Lt. Gen. James Thurman, told reporters early Oct. 17 that he will do everything he can to push new requirements back to DOD’s high-level Joint Requirements Oversight Council by January 2009 and re-open competition for an aircraft.

“The Army has an enduring requirement [for manned, armed reconnaissance],” Thurman said at a hastily arranged Pentagon roundtable. “We will move as fast as possible to replace [the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior].”

Thurman promised that his “priority every day” will be to re-validate ARH requirements as quickly as possible so a new competition can commence. By Oct. 20 he will personally take a written document that pushes for a requirements review to the Training and Doctrine Command, he declared.

Pentagon acquisition chief John Young announced late Oct. 16 that he had decided not to re-certify ARH, which incurred a Nunn-McCurdy breach due to cost and schedule overruns. The announcement cited Bell’s cost estimates, which ballooned from $359 million for development to $942 million, and from $8.56 million per unit to $14.48 million. Deliveries originally scheduled for next year had slipped to 2013.

“This was not a surprise,” according to Lt. Gen. Ross Thompson, Army acquisition chief, who spoke at the roundtable. “All the triggers in the acquisition process have been pulled… We got to the point where [the Bell ARH] was no longer the right decision.”

Read the full article at Aviation Week

MH-53 Pave Low Special Operations Helicopter

September 22, 2008
MH-53 Pave Low

MH-53 Pave Low

Find the AFSOC MH-53 Pave Low tee-shirt or browse our collection of AFSOC MH-53 souvenirs at The Military Chest.
Or visit The PatriArt Gallery and choose the AFSOC MH-53 Pave Low poster, framed art print, 12-month calendar, or greeting card set.

The MH-53J/M Pave Low’s mission is low-level, long-range, undetected penetration into denied areas, day or night, in adverse weather, for infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces (Air Force Special Operations Command — AFSOC).

Features
The MH-53J/M Pave Low IV medium-lift helicopter is the largest, most powerful and technologically advanced helicopter in the Air Force inventory. The terrain-following and terrain-avoidance radar, forward-looking infrared sensor, inertial navigation system with global positioning system, along with a projected map display enable the crew to follow terrain contours. It also enables the crew to avoid obstacles in adverse weather, making low-level tactical penetration possible.

The MH-53M Pave Low IV is a J-model that has been modified with the Interactive Defensive Avionics System/Multi-Mission Advanced Tactical Terminal. This system greatly enhances present defensive capabilities of the Pave Low. It provides instant access to the total battlefield situation, using near real-time electronic Order of Battle updates. It also provides a new level of detection avoidance with near real-time threat broadcasts over-the-horizon, so crews can avoid and defeat threats, and replan en route if needed. 

Background
Under the Pave Low III program, the Air Force modified nine MH-53Hs and 32 HH-53s for night and adverse weather operations. Modifications included forward-looking infrared, inertial global positioning system, Doppler navigation systems, terrain-following and terrain-avoidance radar, an on-board computer, and integrated avionics to enable precise navigation to and from target areas. The Air Force designated these modified versions as MH-53Js. 

Since they entered the Air Force inventory, Pave Lows, with their unique special operations mission and capabilities, have supported several campaigns. In 1990, Pave Lows from the 20th Special Operations Squadron led the way for Army AH-64 Apaches during an air strike, thus opening the air war in Operation Desert Storm. Most recently, Pave Lows have played a crucial role in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

General Characteristics
Primary Function: Long-range infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces in day, night or adverse weather conditions
Contractor: Sikorsky
Power Plant: Two General Electric T64-GE-100 engines
Thrust: 4,330 shaft horsepower per engine
Rotary Diameter: 72 feet (21.9 meters)
Length: 88 feet (28 meters)
Height: 25 feet (7.6 meters)
Speed: 165 mph (at sea level)
Ceiling: 16,000 feet (4,876 meters)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 46,000 pounds (Emergency War Plan allows for 50,000 pounds)
Range: 600 nautical miles 
Armament: Combination of three 7.62 mini guns or three .50 caliber machine guns
Crew:  Two pilots (officers);  two flight engineers and two aerial gunners (enlisted)
Date Deployed: 1981
Unit Costs: $40 million (fiscal 2001 constant dollars)

The MH-53 Pave Low helicopter will be retired from active service with the US Air Force effective the end of September 2008.

Data courtesy USAF

MH-53 Pave Low

August 30, 2008
MH-53 Pave Low

MH-53 Pave Low

The MH-53 Pave Low helicopter flown by the US Air Force Special Operations Command AFSOC can hover on your wall too. Find the calendar, framed art print, and poster at The PatriArt Gallery.

The MH-53J/M Pave Low’s mission is low-level, long-range, undetected penetration into denied areas, day or night, in adverse weather, for infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces.

Features
The MH-53J/M Pave Low IV medium-lift helicopter is the largest, most powerful and technologically advanced helicopter in the Air Force inventory. The terrain-following and terrain-avoidance radar, forward-looking infrared sensor, inertial navigation system with global positioning system, along with a projected map display enable the crew to follow terrain contours. It also enables the crew to avoid obstacles in adverse weather, making low-level tactical penetration possible.

The MH-53M Pave Low IV is a J-model that has been modified with the Interactive Defensive Avionics System/Multi-Mission Advanced Tactical Terminal. This system greatly enhances present defensive capabilities of the Pave Low. It provides instant access to the total battlefield situation, using near real-time electronic Order of Battle updates. It also provides a new level of detection avoidance with near real-time threat broadcasts over-the-horizon, so crews can avoid and defeat threats, and replan en route if needed. 

Background
Under the Pave Low III program, the Air Force modified nine MH-53Hs and 32 HH-53s for night and adverse weather operations. Modifications included forward-looking infrared, inertial global positioning system, Doppler navigation systems, terrain-following and terrain-avoidance radar, an on-board computer, and integrated avionics to enable precise navigation to and from target areas. The Air Force designated these modified versions as MH-53Js. 

Since they entered the Air Force inventory, Pave Lows, with their unique special operations mission and capabilities, have supported several campaigns. In 1990, Pave Lows from the 20th Special Operations Squadron led the way for Army AH-64 Apaches during an air strike, thus opening the air war in Operation Desert Storm. Most recently, Pave Lows have played a crucial role in Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

General Characteristics
Primary Function: Long-range infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces in day, night or adverse weather conditions
Contractor: Sikorsky
Power Plant: Two General Electric T64-GE-100 engines
Thrust: 4,330 shaft horsepower per engine
Rotary Diameter: 72 feet (21.9 meters)
Length: 88 feet (28 meters)
Height: 25 feet (7.6 meters)
Speed: 165 mph (at sea level)
Ceiling: 16,000 feet (4,876 meters)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 46,000 pounds (Emergency War Plan allows for 50,000 pounds)
Range: 600 nautical miles 
Armament: Combination of three 7.62 mini guns or three .50 caliber machine guns
Crew:  Two pilots (officers);  two flight engineers and two aerial gunners (enlisted)
Date Deployed: 1981
Unit Costs: $40 million (fiscal 2001 constant dollars)
Air Force Inventory: Active force, 2 MH-53J’s, 20 MH-53M’s; Reserve, 0; ANG, 0