Lawmakers Eye Rescue Helo Replacement

Air Force officials continue to push the need to acquire a replacement aircraft for the service’s fleet of worn-down HH-60 combat search and rescue helicopters. Maj. Gen. Stanley Gorenc, the air staff’s director of operational capability requirements, told lawmakers yesterday that the new CSAR force must have greater range and improved survivability, not to mention room for more passengers. At the House Armed Services subcommittee hearing on tactical air, Gorenc asserted, “We really do need that capability.” Congress late last year indicated it was not sold on USAF’s approach and directed the service to provide a detailed report of “cost and schedule estimates.” Pentagon acquisition guru Ken Krieg also wants to see the big picture. Gorenc said the 2007 budget requests money for block 0 aircraft—not the full-up capability. That comes later. (Read his written testimony here.)