HomeMediaArticle Display

Soaring Angel prepares 129 RQW for ORI

Maj. Mathew Wenthe, the assistant director of operations for weapons and tactics with the 129th Rescue Squadron, briefs members of the Rescue Operations Center at the forward operating base set up for exercise Soaring Angel 10-2 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Oct. 2, 2010 about the hostage recovery scenario being conducted by members from the 129th Rescue Squadron's HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopter teams, the 130th Rescue Squadron C-130P Combat Shadow crews and the 131st Rescue Squadron's guardian angel players. Soaring Angel is the 129 Rescue Wings tactical training exercise in preparation for their upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection in Dec. 2011. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Green)

Maj. Mathew Wenthe, the assistant director of operations for weapons and tactics with the 129th Rescue Squadron, briefs members of the Rescue Operations Center at the forward operating base set up for exercise Soaring Angel 10-2 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Oct. 2, 2010 about the hostage recovery scenario being conducted by members from the 129th Rescue Squadron's HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopter teams, the 130th Rescue Squadron C-130P Combat Shadow crews and the 131st Rescue Squadron's guardian angel players. Soaring Angel is the 129 Rescue Wings tactical training exercise in preparation for their upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection in Dec. 2011. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Green)

Two HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopters land outside an urban assault course at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Oct. 2, 2010 to pick up a hostage during a recovery scenario as part of Soaring Angel 10-2. Soaring Angel is the 129 Rescue Wings tactical training exercise in preparation for their upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection in Dec. 2011. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Green)

Two HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopters land outside an urban assault course at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Oct. 2, 2010 to pick up a hostage during a recovery scenario as part of Soaring Angel 10-2. Soaring Angel is the 129 Rescue Wings tactical training exercise in preparation for their upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection in Dec. 2011. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Green)

Pararescuemen from the 131st Rescue Squadron ride to the landing zone outside an urban assault course at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Oct. 2, 2010 to authenticate their position to HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopters enroute to pick up a hostage during a recovery scenario as part of Soaring Angel 10-2. Soaring Angel is the 129 Rescue Wings tactical training exercise in preparation for their upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection in Dec. 2011. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Green)

Pararescuemen from the 131st Rescue Squadron ride to the landing zone outside an urban assault course at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Oct. 2, 2010 to authenticate their position to HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopters enroute to pick up a hostage during a recovery scenario as part of Soaring Angel 10-2. Soaring Angel is the 129 Rescue Wings tactical training exercise in preparation for their upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection in Dec. 2011. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Green)

A pararescueman from the 131st Rescue Squadron provides cover for his wingman during a hostage recovery scenario as part of exercise Soaring Angel 10-2 Oct. 1, 2010 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Soaring Angel is the 129th Rescue Wing's tactical training exercise that prepares Airmen for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Green)

A pararescueman from the 131st Rescue Squadron provides cover for his wingman during a hostage recovery scenario as part of exercise Soaring Angel 10-2 Oct. 1, 2010 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Soaring Angel is the 129th Rescue Wing's tactical training exercise that prepares Airmen for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Green)

Pararescuemen from the 131st Rescue Squadron provide cover for fellow pararescuemen during a hostage recovery scenario as part of exercise Soaring Angel 10-2 Oct. 1, 2010 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Soaring Angel is the 129th Rescue Wing's tactical training exercise that prepares Airmen for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Green)

Pararescuemen from the 131st Rescue Squadron provide cover for fellow pararescuemen during a hostage recovery scenario as part of exercise Soaring Angel 10-2 Oct. 1, 2010 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Soaring Angel is the 129th Rescue Wing's tactical training exercise that prepares Airmen for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Green)

A pararescueman from the 131st Rescue Squadron rides an ATV through an urban assault course during a hostage recovery scenario as part of exercise Soaring Angel 10-2 Oct. 1, 2010 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Soaring Angel is the 129th Rescue Wing's tactical training exercise that prepares Airmen for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Green)

A pararescueman from the 131st Rescue Squadron rides an ATV through an urban assault course during a hostage recovery scenario as part of exercise Soaring Angel 10-2 Oct. 1, 2010 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Soaring Angel is the 129th Rescue Wing's tactical training exercise that prepares Airmen for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Green)

Staff Sgt. Kenneth Ringlein and Staff Sgt. Michelle Masso, aerospace medical service journeymen from the 129th Rescue Wing, role play as local villagers in a search and rescue scenario during exercise Soaring Angel 10-2 Oct. 1, 2010 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Soaring Angel is the 129th Rescue Wing's tactical training exercise that prepares Airmen for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Green)

Staff Sgt. Kenneth Ringlein and Staff Sgt. Michelle Masso, aerospace medical service journeymen from the 129th Rescue Wing, role play as local villagers in a search and rescue scenario during exercise Soaring Angel 10-2 Oct. 1, 2010 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Soaring Angel is the 129th Rescue Wing's tactical training exercise that prepares Airmen for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Green)

Pararescuemen from the 131st Rescue Squadron plan for an upcoming rescue scenario outside an urban assault course during exercise Soaring Angel 10-2 Oct. 1, 2010 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Soaring Angel is the 129th Rescue Wing's tactical training exercise that prepares Airmen for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Green)

Pararescuemen from the 131st Rescue Squadron plan for an upcoming rescue scenario outside an urban assault course during exercise Soaring Angel 10-2 Oct. 1, 2010 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Soaring Angel is the 129th Rescue Wing's tactical training exercise that prepares Airmen for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Green)

Pararescuemen from the 131st Rescue Squadron gather at an urban assault course during exercise Soaring Angel 10-2 Oct. 1, 2010 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Soaring Angel is the 129th Rescue Wing's tactical training exercise that prepares Airmen for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Green)

Pararescuemen from the 131st Rescue Squadron gather at an urban assault course during exercise Soaring Angel 10-2 Oct. 1, 2010 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Soaring Angel is the 129th Rescue Wing's tactical training exercise that prepares Airmen for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Green)

130th Rescue Squadron crews land a C-130P Combat Shadow aircraft at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Oct. 2, 2010 during exercise Soaring Angel 10-2. The aircraft transported additional support personnel from Moffett Federal Airfield, Calif. to participate in the exercise. Soaring Angel is the 129th Rescue Wing's tactical training exercise that prepares Airmen for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Green)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 10 of 14

130th Rescue Squadron crews land a C-130P Combat Shadow aircraft at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Oct. 2, 2010 during exercise Soaring Angel 10-2. The aircraft transported additional support personnel from Moffett Federal Airfield, Calif. to participate in the exercise. Soaring Angel is the 129th Rescue Wing's tactical training exercise that prepares Airmen for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. (Air National Guard photo by Airman 1st Class Jessica Green)

129th Rescue Squadron operators take off in an HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopter in response to a search and rescue scenario during exercise Soaring Angel 10-2 Oct. 1, 2010 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Soaring Angel is the 129th Rescue Wing's tactical training exercise that prepares Airmen for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dan Kacir)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 11 of 14

129th Rescue Squadron operators take off in an HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopter in response to a search and rescue scenario during exercise Soaring Angel 10-2 Oct. 1, 2010 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Soaring Angel is the 129th Rescue Wing's tactical training exercise that prepares Airmen for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dan Kacir)

129th Rescue Squadron operators land an HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopter after responding to a hostage recovery scenario during exercise Soaring Angel 10-2 Oct. 1, 2010 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Soaring Angel is the 129th Rescue Wing's tactical training exercise that prepares Airmen for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dan Kacir)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 12 of 14

129th Rescue Squadron operators land an HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopter after responding to a hostage recovery scenario during exercise Soaring Angel 10-2 Oct. 1, 2010 at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. Soaring Angel is the 129th Rescue Wing's tactical training exercise that prepares Airmen for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dan Kacir)

Aerial gunners and flight engineers from the 129th Rescue Squadron shoot live rounds from .50 machine guns mounted on HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopters at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. while conducting a search and rescue scenario Oct. 1, 2010 in support of exercise Soaring Angel 10-2. Soaring Angel is the 129th Rescue Wing's tactical training exercise that prepares Airmen for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dan Kacir)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 13 of 14

Aerial gunners and flight engineers from the 129th Rescue Squadron shoot live rounds from .50 machine guns mounted on HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopters at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. while conducting a search and rescue scenario Oct. 1, 2010 in support of exercise Soaring Angel 10-2. Soaring Angel is the 129th Rescue Wing's tactical training exercise that prepares Airmen for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dan Kacir)

An unmanned aerial vehicle from the California Army National Guard sits before take-off during the 129th Rescue Wing's Soaring Angel exercise at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., Oct. 1, 2010. The tactical unmanned aerial system asset is being used to enhance situational awareness and terminal area survivability during personnel recovery scenarios. Soaring Angel is the 129th Rescue Wing's tactical training exercise that prepares Airmen for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dan Kacir)
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 14 of 14

An unmanned aerial vehicle from the California Army National Guard sits before take-off during the 129th Rescue Wing's Soaring Angel exercise at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif., Oct. 1, 2010. The tactical unmanned aerial system asset is being used to enhance situational awareness and terminal area survivability during personnel recovery scenarios. Soaring Angel is the 129th Rescue Wing's tactical training exercise that prepares Airmen for an upcoming Operational Readiness Inspection. (Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Dan Kacir)

MOFFETT FEDERAL AIRFIELD, Calif. -- The 129th Rescue Wing hosted Soaring Angel 10-2, a tactical training exercise operation, held at Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif. from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3, 2010 in preparation for their impending operational readiness inspection slated for Dec. 2011.

The objectives successfully completed for this exercise were to rapidly deploy and operate from an organic forward operating base, more than 140 miles away from their home station at Moffett Federal Airfield, to improve interoperability in areas of communication, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to be evaluated during their ORI.

The ORI is an inspection in which the Air Combat Command inspector general evaluates the combat readiness of the 129th RQW and validates their ability to execute assigned missions and tasks against a defined standard as part of ACC forces.

Soaring Angel conducted multiple live scenarios to include critical casualty care for ground personnel, terrorist camp embedment and a call for live fire, all while training and preparing for overseas contingency operations, said Lt. Col. Andrew Ferguson, the 129th Operations Group plans officer and Unit Control Center Officer for Soaring Angel.

With more than 165,000 acres of undisturbed mountains, valleys, rivers, and plains, Fort Hunter Liggett's Urban Assault course and Multipurpose Range Complex provides a realistic training environment and ideal maneuver areas for training requirements and the scenarios of Soaring Angel.

"The nice thing about the range here is that there is a control tower operator that positions their pop up and mobile targets around to simulate tanks, cars, or groups of people," said Capt. Nathan Nowaski, an HH-60G Pave Hawk rescue helicopter pilot with the 129th Rescue Squadron and flight lead for all night missions at Soaring Angel. "It's a lot more realistic than going to a range with stationary targets."

The 129th RQW was also able to get support from a local Army National Guards Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, as a supporting asset to their Pave Hawks and C-130 Combat Shadows, to provide capabilities not normally available during training exercises, said Capt. Nowaski.

"Were a good unit in the fact that we have the resources a full rescue wing needs to be readily available," said the pilot. "We're able to put our whole package together and put on an exercise like this by ourselves and that is really good training."

Chaos is always to be expected when conducting exercises involving such in-depth scenarios and dealing with real world issues, however there is always a good lesson learned, Capt. Nowaski shared.

"We're starting to work out all of the kinks with the new Situational Awareness Data Link and Smart Multifunction Color Displays we've got," he said. "Most people aren't very proficient with them, so doing these exercises and building that proficiency will make future missions and the ORI run a lot more smoothly."

For the ORI, the 129th RQW force is going to almost double in size with more players in the exercises, to include members from the 129th Mission Support Group, and the approximate 40 army personnel assisting with the UAV and within the Rescue Control Center, Lt Col. Ferguson said.

"I think it was a really good exercise, I think it will help a lot of the inspection next year," said Colonel Ferguson. "It's sort of a mind set and attitude you bring into exercises like this to expose everyone to what's expected during an inspection."

Exercises like Soaring Angel allow wingmen to spend some time with one another and build better relationships and get to know the facilities, participation and coordination required to work as a team, Colonel Ferguson said.

With a little bit of something for everyone, Soaring Angel conducted scenarios allowing aerial gunners and flight engineers to train on their .50 caliber machine guns mounted on the Pave Hawk when rescue forces were under enemy attack while Pararescuemen with the 131st Rescue Squadron provided medical assistance to survivor players and assisted in hostage recovery scenarios.

The 129th RQS proves itself to be a fully capable rapidly employing and operating personnel recovery force from austere and minimally supported forward operating bases during homeland emergency response and overseas contingency operations.