US Air Force and Royal Air Force airmen conducted joint close air support and combat search and rescue training exercises in England, according to a US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa release. The March 5 training event simulated a CSAR scenario that featured US HH-60 Pave Hawks from RAF Lakenheath, England, working with RAF GR-4 Tornado crews as armed escorts and forward observers. The scenario features suppression of simulated enemies, on-scene command by the GR-4, the successful insertion of rescue crews, and the extraction of isolated personnel in the hilly terrain of Hinderclay, said USAF Maj. Jason Bartels, who is serving a tour as an exchange pilot with the RAF. CSAR is already a complex mission, but training with coalition partners ensures success with “these vital missions prior to using them,” said RAF Wing Commander James Freeborough, of 31 Squadron. The US Air Force is moving out on plans to recapitalize its HH-60 fleet, and retool its concepts of operation for CSAR in more challenged combat environments, Air Combat Command boss Gen. Hawk Carlisle said earlier this month.
President Joe Biden is nominating Air Force Lt. Gen. Gregory M. Guillot to add a fourth star and succeed Gen. Glen D. VanHerck as the head of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)—one of several high-level nominations the Pentagon announced May 31.