The U.S. Air Force has obtained the first Operational Loss Replacement HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter, which in turn is a restored low-hour U.S. Military UH-60L Black Hawk.
The first 210th RQS Operational Loss Replacement HH-60G Pave Hawk was released by Alaska Air National Guard Maj. Paul Rauenhorst and Capt. Seth Peterson on August 5 to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
The HH-60 is the Division of Defense’s sole combat-search-and-rescue helicopter. The OLR plan will repair the Pave Hawk line to its approved size, changing aircraft lost in almost 18 years of deployed combat activities since 9/11, along with the tragic loss of a 210th RQS helicopter and all seven onboard in Iraq March 2018.
Chief Master Sgt. Eric Chester, 176th Plane Maintenance Squadron superintendent, said the OLR HH-60Gs would support the line until the fielding of an all-new HH-60W Combat Rescue Helicopter, which will not be fielded in the 210th RQS until at least 2027.
Chester said the OLRs are a bit different compared to earlier Pave Hawks as a result of some of the helicopter’s programs are not made now. For example, the legacy analog intercoms program was replaced by a wireless digital model, and a more recent HD display was mounted for the weather radar.
Chief Master Sgt. Robert Carte, 176th Operations Group director, stated he expects advanced flight efficiency from the OLRs because of lower hours and the elimination of hundreds of pounds of excessive wiring from the airframe.
With fewer hours, Chester said the OLRs would require less maintenance and fixtures, leading to a significantly higher availability rate for the line.