Rescue Unit Stays Sharp

With less rescue missions taking place in Iraq as stability sets in, members of the 64th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron, an HH-60 helicopter unit operating from Joint Base Balad, are using their time in order to train and keep their skills sharp. All the while, they have an eye on possible future deployments to much more restive Afghanistan. “We don’t really get a chance to launch on a lot of actual rescue and recovery missions [here],” said Capt. Jay Humphrey, a pilot with the unit. He added, “So it’s more of a chance to get out and fly about two times a week to stay on top of our game.” The unit still trains in scenarios involving threats to the Pave Hawks, even though, as Humphrey notes, the threat levels have “decreased significantly” over the past several years. (Balad report by Kali L. Gradishar)