Refueling rodeo enhances 39th Rescue Squadron mission capabilities Published July 19, 2023 By Staff Sgt. Darius Sostre-Miroir 920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL JETPORT, Maine -- The wing's 39th Rescue Squadron recently participated in a joint air-to-air refueling rodeo training exercise off the Gulf of Maine July 9-14. AAR is the process of transferring fuel from one aircraft to another in flight. The HC-130J Combat King II aircraft’s ability to receive fuel in flight extends its range, increases its flexibility, and improves its operability in the wing’s Personnel Recovery Task Force design. During the AAR rodeo, the 39th RQS trained alongside the 157th Air Refueling Wing where they connected with their KC-135 Stratotanker and KC-46 Pegasus aircraft mid-air during day, low-visibility, and night events. During the training exercises, aircrew performed refueling procedures that included safety and communication protocols and coordination with the other aircraft involved in the refueling process. The training is designed to ensure the aircrew effectively perform AAR operations in various scenarios and environments. “This training was essential for our squadron because it allowed us to practice refueling in different environments and at times of low-visibility conditions. By training and building relationships with other refueling units, we can enhance our combat search and rescue capabilities in strategic locations like the Indo-Pacific region,” said Lt. Col. Paul Golando, 39th RQS commander. The HC-130J Combat King II is a long range, multi-mission aircraft that is used for CSAR missions in austere environments around the world. The aircraft also regularly conduct rescue training and can be used in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts. The 39th RQS operates the HC-130J to carry out the 920th Rescue Wing’s mission to plan, lead, and conduct military rescue operations and missions that deny competitors and adversaries the exploitation of isolated personnel.