Behind-the-scenes with the USAF 56th Rescue Squadron

As the 56th RQS is on the verge of a new deployment to the Middle East, Ludo Mennes and Frank Visser visit the squadron for an update on its activities.

Aviano Airbase in North-east Italy has been a strategic location for the US Armed Forces for many years. Due to its proximity to the Balkans, the base played a major role in the conflicts caused by the break-up of the former Republic of Yugoslavia in the nineties.

A HH-60G Pave Hawk from the 56th RQS hovers high above the Dolomites Italy while conducting patient hoist training with a stretcher. The mountainous area close to Aviano Air Base is a wonderful training ground for rescue crews.  Northern Skies Aviation

The 31st Fighter Wing (FW), operating two F-16 squadrons, has called Aviano its home since 1994. However, since July 2018, another flying unit has been based at Aviano. The 56th Rescue Squadron (RQS). The squadron fly the HH-60G “Pave Hawk” helicopter and is responsible for the Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) of airmen and personnel recovery.

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