In case anyone had doubts, Air Force rescue crews are fully engaged in operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. To ensure the word gets out, the US Central Command Air Forces has begun listing, in its summaries of airpower activities, the number of helicopter rescue missions flown. In the first two such reports, CENTAF says that USAF HH-60 Pave Hawks flew five rescues on May 25 and two on May 24. The releases also noted, “Three patients with life-threatening injuries were saved as a result of these missions.”
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.