European-Based CSAR Shifting to Aviano

The Air Force is moving its European-based combat search and rescue capability from RAF Lakenheath, Britain, to Aviano AB, Italy, to more quickly respond to needs across Europe, Africa, and Southwest Asia. HH-60 Pave H?awks of the 56th Rescue Squadron and Guardian Angels of the 57th RQS, will relocate to Aviano in 2017, according to a US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa release. “Moving to Italy, where we’re better postured to provide rescue capabilities quickly and effectively, just makes sense,” explained 57th RQS Commander Lt. Col. Jose Cabrera. The shift also gives the units greater access to training airspace and opportunities with regional partners and allies, according to the release. USAFE-AFAFRICA announced earlier this year that it is also moving CV-22s and MC-130s of the 352nd Special Operations Wing out of Britain to Spangdahlem AB, Germany, as part of an overall infrastructure review. During the same review, leaders identified Aviano as having excess capacity, making it the ideal site to absorb the five HH-60s and some 350 pilots, maintainers, Guardian Angels, and support personnel currently at Lakenheath, according to a second release.