The first set of Guardian Angel Air-Deployable Rescue Vehicles to enter the Air Force’s inventory last week arrived at Nellis AFB, Nev., for testing by the 88th Test and Evaluation Squadron. GAARV operational testing is scheduled to start in March to gauge the vehicle’s suitability and effectiveness, according to Nellis’ Nov. 15 release. “This delivery marks the first vehicles delivered for operational testing of a new combat search and rescue capability that ultimately may enhance the Air Force’s personnel recovery core function,” said MSgt. Michael Butler, the squadron’s Guardian Angel test division section chief. The GAARV is designed to give pararescuemen a robust means of moving in rugged, difficult terrain to recover isolated military personnel. These vehicles could also support humanitarian-assistance and disaster-relief activities by transporting survivors and rescue equipment, states the release. (Nellis report by A1C Jason Couillard)
The F-35 Joint Program Office has officially announced plans to issue multiple sole-source contracts to Pratt & Whitney to upgrade the fighter’s F135 engine—a widely expected move after Pentagon officials indicated they would do so earlier this year instead of developing an entirely new engine.