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AMC Answers Call to Help Rescue Russian Sailors

AMC Answers Call to Help Rescue Russian Sailors

By Tech. Sgt. Mark Diamond, Air Mobility Command Public Affairs.

Scott Air Force Base, Illinois -- (AFPN) August 5, 2005 -- Air Mobility Command was called upon Aug. 5 to assist in the rescue effort to save seven Russian sailors stranded aboard a submarine off Russia's Pacific coast.

San Diego -- A C-5 Galaxy assigned to Travis Air Force Base, Calif., is loaded with people and equipment from the Deep Submergence Unit, Naval Base Coronado. The C-5 is bringing two Super Scorpio robotic rescue vehicles to Russia to assist in the rescue of seven Russian sailors trapped in a minisubmarine off the Kamchatka peninsula. (U.S. Navy photo by Geoffrey Patrick).

 U.S. Navy photo by Geoffrey Patrick

The minisubmarine, an AS-28, became tangled in a fishing net Aug. 4 during a military exercise near the Kamchatka peninsula in Siberia.

AMC has generated several airlift and air refueling missions supporting the ongoing rescue effort.

Col. Kathy Cosand, a senior controller with the Tanker Airlift Control Center here, said a C-5 Galaxy returning to Travis Air Force Base, Calif., was diverted to Naval Air Station North Island, Calif., to pick up a team of Sailors and two unmanned rescue vehicles, called Super Scorpios. Once the Sailors and equipment were loaded, the C-5 continued to Russia nonstop with the help of Air Force aerial refueling aircraft.

The C-5 will land at an airport on the Kamchatka peninsula and the Sailors and their equipment will be loaded onto waiting Russian ships and taken to the spot where the stranded submarine now lies.

“Lives are on the line, and we’re ready to aid however we can,” said Col. Michael Cassidy, 60th Operations Group commander at Travis. “Our mission right now is to get the equipment and personnel over there as fast as possible so our Sailors can get their Russian counterparts out of there alive.”

The colonel said their hearts go out to the friends and families of those men inside the sub.

“If there’s anyone who can get the job done, though, it’s America’s military,” the colonel added.

A second airlifter, a C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the Mississippi Air National Guard, is slated to pick up more rescue equipment from Morgan City, La., and begin its nonstop flight to Russia.

A third airlifter, a C-17 assigned to Charleston AFB, S.C., is scheduled to pick up a deep sea drone at Andrews AFB, Md. After a quick crew change at McChord AFB, Wash., the Charleston C-17 will also proceed to Russia.

Colonel Cosand said Air Force aerial refueling aircraft will be used during each airlift mission to extend the range of the airlift aircraft and expedite the delivery of the rescue equipment.

She said the AMC Airmen have been working nonstop since receiving the request to help.

"There has been a lot of coordination and a lot of people leaning forward on this and people are going all out to help the Russian sailors," Colonel Cosand said. "There's been a lot of great thinking from a lot of great people to make this happen. And the folks here are getting the job done with no complaints. The Russian sailors are in trouble and that's all they need to know."

The colonel said it is clear to her why AMC was called upon.

"We have the aircraft and people capable of responding quickly and transporting the necessary cargo anywhere in the world," Colonel Cosand said.

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).

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