Rescue Ready in Djibouti

US and French rescue forces pre-positioned at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, conducted a combined personnel recovery exercise in the Grand Bara Desert earlier this month. Alaska Air National Guard HC-130s established a forward refueling point to hot-pit refuel HH-60G Pave Hawks, French air force Puma rescue helos, and army Gazelle light attack choppers on March 12. “By joining capabilities with the other PR Task Force partners … we have the ability to go out, pick up a survivor, and bring them back for advanced care” across a 2.4 million square mile AOR, said 81st ERQS Commander Lt. Col. Eric Budd in a release. The Alaska ANG’s 81st Expeditionary Rescue Squadron is currently deployed alongside HH-60s of Air Force Reserve Command’s 303rd ERQS, and guardian angels of the 82nd ERQS, providing rotational support to Joint Task Force Horn of Africa.