Reserve Citizen Airmen support resupply rocket launch
By Maj Jennifer Pearson, 920th Rescue Wing
/ Published April 08, 2018
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla -- Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing supported the Space-X Falcon 9 rocket launch during its resupply mission to the International Space Station, April 2.
Working closely with NASA’s launch control, the 301st Rescue Squadron’s Airmen, attached to the 920th RQW, patrolled the path of the rocket in an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter. The Airmen were responsible for clearing maritime traffic should an anomaly occur.
“Every launch support provides members of the 301st RQS opportunities to maintain proficiency while keeping their skills sharp”, said Lt. Col. Marty Payne, 301st RQS flight commander.
As a traditional reservist, Payne appreciates having the opportunity to support a space mission during his monthly drill weekend. He described the peacetime mission of safety and security surveillance as an interesting part of the 920th RQW’s overall mission.
According to the Space-X website, the resupply capsule “Dragon [was] filled with about 5,800 pounds of supplies, payloads and vehicle hardware, including critical materials to directly support science and research investigations that will occur onboard the orbiting laboratory.”
The coordinated effort between launch control and the 301st RQS results in increased familiarity and coordination as NASA prepares for the return to manned space flights.