The finer points of firepower

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- Lt. Col. Phillip "Hoss" Kennedy, director of operations for the helicopter squadron here, was one of many 920th Rescue Wing members who welcomed the commanding general of 10th Air Force, Brig. Gen. Thomas Coon, during a visit to the wing here today. After meeting with wing commander Col. Steve Kirkpatrick, the general toured the 920th aeromedical and pararescue squadrons before suiting up with Colonel Kennedy to fly one of the 920th Rescue Wing's HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters. Before the flight, the general received a tour of the aircraft from Colonel Kennedy, seen here explaining the finer points of a .50-caliber machine gun. General Coon, a command pilot with more than 4,000 hours experience flying fighters like the F-16, spoke about what he hoped to gain from experiencing a flight from the point of view of a rescue pilot. "It'll be great to see how they do their missions," he said. "As a fighter guy, it gives me a lot more situational awareness. I'm looking forward to it." The general also spoke of wing's mission of combat and civil search and rescue as one that inspires a real sense of accomplishment in wing Airmen. "This mission is one of the greatest around," he said. "It's really something these people can be proud of." The 920th Rescue Wing, based in Portland, Ore., Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., and here at Patrick, is the only rescue unit in the Air Force Reserve. The unit has the wartime mission of locating and recovering U.S. servicemembers shot down or trapped in hostile territory. Back in Florida, the wing performs civil search and rescue, humanitarian relief (hurricanes, floods, etc.) and also provides emergency-response support for all NASA space shuttle and rocket launches. Tenth Air Force is one of three numbered air forces in Air Force Reserve Command, and is responsible for command supervision of fighter, bomber, special operations, rescue, airborne warning and control, flying training, combat air op

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