Members of the 56th Rescue Squadron from RAF Lakenheath, Britain, parachuted with European combat rescue forces in a crash-recovery scenario, capping a week of joint training. The European Air Group Combined Joint Personnel Standardization Course “has been held for the last five years,” said MSgt. Louis Distelzweig, 56th RQS pararescue superintendent. This year is “the first time PJs have been involved,” he added, referring to pararescue jumpers. After several days of cooperating in mock scenarios and exchanging tactics, US, Polish, and Spanish forces jumped from a C-130J into a simulated crash zone. Special forces from four European countries flew in Italian and Spanish aircraft to evacuate the wounded. While coordination was challenging, we “and the Americans got along well,” noted Swedish Capt. Hans Siljelo. (Lakenheath report by MSgt. Dwayne Gordon)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.