WATCH: U.S. Air Force 301st Rescue Squadron Pavehawk Helicopter Performs Air-to-Air Refueling Off Florida Coast

By  //  October 12, 2020

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301st first of five rescue squadrons established by Continental Air Command in the Air Force Reserve in the 1950s

ABOVE VIDEO: An HH-60G Pavehawk helicopter from the 301st Rescue Squadron performs a nighttime Helicopter Air-to-Air Refuel.

(920th Rescue Wing) – An HH-60G Pavehawk helicopter from the 301st Rescue Squadron, performs a nighttime Helicopter Air-to-Air Refuel (HAAR) with a 39th Rescue Squadron HC-130J Combat King II aircraft during a night training flight off the Florida coast on Oct. 8.

The training allowed pilots for both airframes to remain current on their qualifications for night-time HAARs.

The 301st was originally activated in August 1956 at Miami International Airport, Florida as an amphibious aircraft unit, equipped with the SA-16 (later HU-16) Albatross and began training for combat search-and-rescue missions.

The 301st performed search and rescue and medical evacuation missions primarily over land areas and in the Atlantic and Caribbean waters off Florida.

It was the first of five rescue squadrons established by Continental Air Command in the Air Force Reserve in the 1950s.

In January 1957, the squadron performed the first rescue by a reserve unit.

In 1960, the Air Force moved its Air Force Reserve units from Miami International Airport, which had become one of the busiest commercial airports in the world, to nearby Homestead Air Force Base, located south of Miami.

From Homestead, the squadron began participating in NASA’s manned space flight rescue contingency operations for Project Mercury at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station beginning with Freedom 7, the first manned Mercury launch, in 1961.

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