A Day in the Life

Airmen of the 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, performed a daring mountainside rescue last month after an Army helicopter crashed in a valley about 20 miles from the base. During the intense, multi-hour mission, the two HH-60G Pave Hawk aircrews—Pedro 83 and Pedro 84—and the pararescuejumpers they carried, endured intense enemy ground fire to rescue one injured pilot, recover the body of the second pilot, and retrieve a wounded ground soldier. Along the way, Pedro 84’s flight engineer was shot in the leg and Pedro 83 had to switch to a second HH-60 airframe after hostile gunfire put its first helicopter out of action. “There was no way he wasn’t coming back,” said SSgt. Zachary Kline, one of the PJs who went in to retrieve the fallen pilot’s body. For the full account of the April 23 mission, read Capt. Erick Saks’ on-scene report.