by Senior Airman Chris Massey
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
12/16/2015 - FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. -- The
563rd Operations Support Squadron and 79th Rescue Squadron, from
Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, conducted aerial delivery and recovery
training at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, Dec. 9.
The HC-130J can drop a wide range of equipment to enhance personnel recovery operations.
A rigged 9,720-pound Humvee and a 3,500-pound heavy equipment training
load were successfully airdropped from a 79th RQS HC-130J Combat King II
onto the Humor Drop Zone.
The training marked the first time that any rescue operations support
squadron packaged and rigged a heavy vehicle without external assistance
and the first time a heavy vehicle was dropped by the 79th RQS.
"The legacy fixed wing rescue aircraft, the HC-130P, was unable to
deliver heavy equipment," said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Russell Cook,
563rd OSS commander. "With the HC-130J, aerial delivery of heavy
equipment is now possible and has added the ability to provide
pararescue forces with additional mobility options."
The 563d OSS is now fully capable of rigging heavy vehicles for airdrop.
In order to achieve this, the OSS had to conduct facility upgrades,
acquire equipment and receive joint training from units across the
"The airdropping of heavy equipment and vehicles is an emergent
capability among Air Force Personnel Recovery forces," cook said. "Not
only does it bring a wide range of new capabilities to combatant
commanders, it marks a new area of endeavor for Air Force Rescue. The
potential is enormous to increase both the ability to recover isolated
personnel and deliver combat power throughout a large theater."