TSgt. Pat Englishby, 39th Rescue Squadron Load
Master, prepares the HC-130N Combat King aircraft to respond to the
combined federal, Defense Department, state, and local rescue mission
for a missing airman in the Gulf of Mexico on Nov. 6, 2019. Air
Force video still by TSgt. Kelly Goonan.
More USAF units have joined the search for the special tactics airman who fell out of a C-130 into the waters off the coast of Florida on Nov. 5.
The airman, who is assigned to the 24th Special Operations Wing, fell into the Gulf of Mexico about four miles south of Hurlburt Field, Fla., during a planned static line jump. The search began around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, shortly after the incident, with USAF aircraft joining local emergency officials, as well as Coast Guard helicopters and boats. Crews are searching an area about 700 square miles south of Destin and Fort Walton Beach.
“We appreciate the support we are receiving from our fellow services, partner agencies, and the local community,” Air Force Special Operations Command said in a statement. “We ask anyone on the water to please stay vigilant and to contact US Coast Guard Sector Mobile at (251) 441-6211.”
Reserve rescue airmen, two HH-60G Pave Hawks, and one HC-130 Combat King from the 920th Rescue Wing at Patrick AFB, Fla., joined in on the search, with additional scanners and rescue gear, according to a release.
“We will search as much as the crew duty day, gas, and conditions allow us until we find our brother in arms,” Lt. Col. Chad Senior, deputy group commander of the 920th, said in the release.
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