Two A-10 Thunderbolt II combat aircraft from the 59th and 422nd Test and Assessment Squadrons at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, participating in Exercise Rescue Edge, were able to arrive at Vandenberg Space Force Base on August 24, 2021.
A-10s are an unusual sight in Vandenberg, but the airline and its staff were more than ready to be team players and support the exercise in a joint military function.
Most people are familiar with the iconic sound of the A-10s Gatling cannon and its role in air-to-ground support. But the Rescue Edge exercise, operated by the 88th Test and Assessment Squadron, integrates and tests the A-10’s capabilities in search and rescue missions, especially at sea.
US Air Force Capt. Randall Ott, 59th and 422d TES A-10 Instructor Pilot, said, “We had several people in the water simulating a real life survival event. First and foremost, we looked at the long-range search capabilities with hardware and systems on the plane and then moved on to a visual search. Then we passed this information on and protected them until they could be saved. “
The location and facilities of Vandenberg were exactly what the A-10 needed, said Ott.
US Air Force Engineering Sgt Michael Miller, assistant airfield manager, 30th Operational Support Squadron, said, “We don’t normally get fighter jets very often, but we have the potential to assist in possible unexpected in-flight emergencies and potential fuel diversions. Vandenberg offers a variety of services, planning and coordination for such events. This includes everything from the maintenance of certain aircraft, flight planning, airspace clearance, airport inspections, flight safety controls and refueling, to name a few. ”
The A-10 pilots also took the opportunity to build relationships. “We also wanted to integrate into the operational test people for ICBMs down here,” said Ott.
Vandenberg’s mission is to “start and test beyond the rest”. The 576th Flight Test Squadron is a component of the Air Force Global Strike Command and is based in Vandenberg on a mission to test, measure and improve the country’s ICBM capabilities.
Ott admitted that although their units are very different, as a test squadron they can still learn a lot from each other.
“The 576th is under a completely different command with completely different assets, almost as contradictory as it gets,” said Ott. “But they got in touch so we can learn from each other’s missions, discuss questions from the testing company, share some highlights, and share best practices. It gives us different perspectives and different ways of approaching our own problems. Every integration is always helpful. “
Supporting Rescue Edge shows how the Space Force’s priority to develop joint war fighters and world-class teams strengthens our military and prepares it to face adversaries and emergencies everywhere.
|Release Date:||09/15/2021 1:31 PM|
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