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News > Missile mission: Reserve Airmen support successful Navy test launch
Story at a Glance
 A U.S. Navy submerged submarine launched an unarmed Trident II D5 missile in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Cape Canaveral.
 Prior to the launch, Rescue Wing aircrew used two HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters to secure the Eastern Range
 Rescue Wing Airmen are tasked with securing the Eastern Range during all launches from the Space Coast.
 
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Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., cleared the launch path of mariners in an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter off the nearby coast of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to allow the safe launch of D-5 Trident Missile Feb. 22. The U.S. Navy's USS Tennessee, an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, underwent demonstration and shakedown operations (DASO) and successfully fired the D-5 Trident test missile off the coast of Cape Canaveral Feb. 22. (U.S. Air Force photo/Capt. Cathleen Snow)
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Reserve Airmen support successful Navy test launch

Posted 3/7/2012   Updated 3/8/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by By Capt. Cathleen Snow
920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs


3/7/2012 - PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Airmen from the 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., joined forces with the Naval Ordinance Test Unit, out of Port Canaveral during a test launch of a Trident missile Feb. 22.

To see a slide show of pre-launch through post-launch operations, click here.

The U.S. Navy Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, the USS Tennessee, launched an unarmed Trident II D5 missile in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Cape Canaveral to conclude the boat's Demonstration and Shakedown Operation.

Prior to the launch, Rescue Wing aircrew used two HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters to secure the Eastern Range. Using special equipment the Airmen detected the course of ships and boats and were able to communicate with any that might be headed toward the launch hazard area to have them change course.

The purpose of the DASO was to ensure that the submarine's crew could safely meet the stringent requirements for handling, maintaining and operating her strategic weapons system.

It also confirmed that the submarine's crew was able to target and launch her submarine-launched ballistic missiles correctly and certified that the crew and submarine were ready for operational patrol.

Additionally, system performance data was collected about the weapons system and submarine while in an operational environment, which evaluates the readiness and performance of the weapon system.

Rescue Wing Airmen are tasked with securing the Eastern Range during all launches from the Space Coast. Currently, the 920th RQW is celebrating 50 years of space shuttle support as they served as guardians to the astronauts during all lift offs and landings from Kennedy Space Center. The space transportation system came to an end in July 2011.

The history of the Eastern Range began on October 1, 1940 with the activation of the Banana River Naval Air Station where PAFB is located now, which supported antisubmarine sea-patrol planes during World War II. The station was deactivated and put into a caretaker status on September 1, 1947.

For more information on the 920th Rescue Wing follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Naval information in this article was provided by Mr. Stephen McConnell, NOTU's public affairs officer.



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