45th Space Wing, 920th Rescue Wing Participate in Joint Exercise
By , 45th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 05, 2013
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The 45th Space Wing and 920th Rescue Wing participated in a joint exercise Jan. 25, to practice responding to a crashed or damaged aircraft.
This exercise demonstrated a joint capability to effectively recover a damaged or disabled aircraft in a timely manner.
As this was the first joint exercise between the 45th Space Wing and 920th Rescue Wing, it also benchmarked their current capability and set a path for a more efficient recovery program.
"The 920th brought a lot of maintenance expertise to the table and the 45th Space Wing provided a lot of the necessary equipment and manpower for a successful recovery," said Capt. Ryan White, 45th Operations Support Squadron Airfield Operations flight commander
"This paves the way for us to work together in the future."
During the exercise, the base fire department and 45th Security Forces Squadron established a cordon around the damaged aircraft, and the wings' Crash Damaged or Disabled Aircraft Recovery teams worked together for two hours in response to a simulated nose gear collapse on a C-130.
To lift the aircraft, the teams used specialized airbags. The airbags, known as 26-ton lifting bags, were placed next to the plane and inflated to simulate lifting an aircraft with damaged nose gear.
Once the airbags were inflated, the C-130 was secured and prepared to be towed to its parking spot on the flightline.
This exercise simulated the emergency response and recovery actions necessary to safely move a damaged aircraft, and marks the first time the two wings have worked together for an aircraft recovery exercise at Patrick AFB.
"All team members were enthusiastic, motivated and willing to pitch in when given an assignment," Captain White said. "The team work was evident in every area from build-up to tear-down."