Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Feedback September 2010
U.S. Air Force Pedros
I received the August 2010 Rotor & Wing today and enjoyed reading Andrew Drwiega’s USMC and JHF(A) article. I just wanted to point out that the HH-60 aircraft/crews involved in the March 31 market bomb incident belong to the USAF, and not the U.S. Army. The “Pedros” are the most well known and by far the busiest medevac/casevac assets in Helmand Province. This is a very common mistake, and many people (including many USAF personnel) don’t even know the USAF has helicopters. Other than that, it was a great article, and I look forward to reading more of Mr. Drwiega’s work.
Andrew Drwiega’s article in the August issue, “USMC and JHF(A) Unite in War on Taliban,” contained some errors. The U.S. Army does not fly under the callsign “Pedro” nor does it fly HH-60G Pavehawk Helicopters. That would be the U.S. Air Force.
The Air Force is the primary combat search and rescue force in Afghanistan flying under the callsign of “Pedro.” He writes that the U.S. Army “Pedros” fly with trained para-jumpers. That particular specialty has its heritage in one branch—the Air Force. Para-rescue Jumpers known as “PJs” fly with a crew of four assigned to an HH60G which includes two pilots, a flight engineer and aerial gunner. This airframe is the only airframe in the USAF inventory trained to meet the call of CSAR, CAS-EVAC, SOF support, and other missions in the AOR, not just RC South.
I’m extremely disappointed he could have missed such a key element on the operations going on in Helmand and RC South. Not only does his article only mention our HH-60 crews as being tasked to aid the British MERT teams, he leaves out the fact that “Pedros” have answered the call where the MERT teams have failed. I’ve always made it an issue to read your magazine, but yet again journalism can’t always be trusted to report with accuracy.
Meanwhile, those of us in the U.S. Air Force CSAR community who live, and breathe the motto “These things we do … that others may live” will continue to perform superbly and quietly, even while we pay the ultimate sacrifice for the war on terror. Thank you.
Christian Corella, Staff Sergeant, USAF
HH-60G Evaluator Aerial Gunner
To the U.S. Air Force Pedros, we here at Rotor & Wing offer a sincere apology for letting that error slip by. Please look for an upcoming article illuminating the amazing work of the U.S. Air Force Pedros.
I just received Rotor & Wing for August. I love it and read it an detail—and the details matter. I wish to offer a correction—in the Contents section on page 7, under “Featured Videos,” the second item erroneously identifies Greg Feith (who is a friend and an excellent accident investigator) as a “former NTSB board member,” which he is not. Greg was a senior air accident investigator and a well-known Investigator In Charge (IIC). He is an excellent accident investigator; and a very solid safety person. Board members are Presidential nominees; and, when confirmed by the Senate, they are “appointed” and sworn in. In addition to myself, other “former board members” include John Lauber, John Goglia, Bob Francis, Jim Hall, etc. So far, there have only been about 40 NTSB board members.
Former NTSB Board Member
I have been reading R&W for years. I am as stuck to it as much as any other habit. I became an instructor pilot for the Army in 1993. This happened after flying UH-60 Black Hawks since 1986. The way the flying world worked out for me and three other classmates was that in the fall of 1985, we started in the TH-55, proceeded to the UH-1 and when graduation happened in July of ’86 we transitioned into the UH-60 Black Hawk. Learning the Black Hawk was something that taught me during that summer that it is possible to fall in love with an aircraft.
I have never been disappointed by R&W, instead of disappointment I have usually found an article that made me glad that I had the magazine. I simply wanted to tell you that your Editor’s Notebook called “Room for Improvement” (see August 2010, page 4) was awesome. As I was reading it, I was reminded of things that I went through in learning the helicopter world, as well as learning the fixed-wing world. Many comments you made are totally accurate, valuable, and contain great points. Those of us that spend time in command of an aircraft have a business that we share in spite of the aircraft involved.
Ford Hall▶ R&W’s Question of the Month:
Where should EMS/SAR units draw the line with high-risk missions in remote locations?
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