Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Rescue unit to support space shuttle launch tonight

Aircraft maintainters from the 943rd Maintenance Squadron prepare to load a HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter onto a C-17 Globemaster III March 7 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. Two helicopters were loaded onto the C-17 from McChord Air Force Base, Wash, and deployed to Patrick AFB, Fla., to augment the launch of the Space Shuttle Discovery. Twenty reservists from the 943rd Rescue Group are supporting this mission. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Ruby Zarzyczny)

by Master Sgt. Ruby Zarzcyzny, 943rd Rescue Group Public Affairs

Members of the 943rd Rescue Group here deployed March 7 to Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., to support the upcoming Space Shuttle Discovery launch mission.

The Air Force Reserve rescue group deployed two HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, nine maintainers and four pararescuemen to augment its parent unit, the 920th Rescue Wing at Patrick AFB for the scheduled March 11 space shuttle launch.

The Space Shuttle Discovery is set for liftoff March 11 at 9:20 p.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

The Discovery crew is set to fly the S6 truss segment and install the final set of power-generating solar arrays to the International Space Station. The S6 truss will complete the backbone of the station and provide one-fourth of the total power needed to support a crew of six on the International Space Station.

The helicopters were loaded onto a C-17 Globemaster III March 7 at Davis-Monthan AFB and then flown to Patrick AFB. The C-17 was from McChord AFB, Wash. The reservists are scheduled to return to Davis-Monthan AFB April 3.