Members of the Georgia Air National Guard’s 116th Air Control Wing and the state’s Army Guard earlier this month combined their respective annual water survival training and extractions training in a first-time joint effort at Lake Tobesofkee in Macon, according to a wing release. An Atlanta-based Army UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter plucked Air Guardsmen from the water during the Aug. 4 training as the helicopter was en route to Fort Stewart, Ga., states the Aug. 8 release. During each iteration, the Army helicopter crew provided a safety briefing to the airmen, practiced crew interaction, operated the helicopter’s hoist, and flew the airmen to the side of the lake. The airmen were from the wing’s 128th Airborne Command and Control Squadron at Robins Air Force Base. They are part of the force that operates the Air Force’s fleet of E-8C JSTARS ground-surveillance aircraft. Officials with the squadron said the joint training was successful and the wing would look at ways to develop a formal course that incorporates it.
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.