News Search

Jolly Green II brings ACC’s CSAR mission into the future

  • Published
  • By Jaylin Glover
  • Air Combat Command Public Affairs

Air Combat Command’s newest Combat Search and Rescue helicopter, the HH-60W Jolly Green II, will be fully operational in fall of 2022 to replace its predecessor, the HH-60G Pave Hawk, to better serve the personnel recovery mission in the future fight. 

The HH-60W program of record includes up to 113 helicopters to support the PR mission. The first units currently fielding the aircraft are the 41st Rescue Squadron at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia and the 512th Rescue Squadron, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico.

“The HH-60W incorporates the reliable and battle-tested HH-60 CSAR platform with new technology and capabilities to decrease workloads for pilots, crew members and maintainers to allow them to focus on their mission and the task at hand,” said Lt. Col. John Larson, ACC’s Combat Rescue Helicopter System Management Office Branch Chief.

The HH-60W is designed from the ground up with integrated mission systems that improve situational awareness for aircrews conducting the CSAR mission in contested environments. The helicopter features new multi-function displays to provide pilots with critical flight information.

“As a young HH-60G pilot, I had to carry a Panasonic Toughbook for a moving map and translate data from onboard aircraft systems onto a paper map I carried with me,” said Larson. “This is no longer needed in the HH-60W, as you have all the information you need in the cockpit integrated onto the same display.”

An updated flight director, the pilot’s navigation tool, enables greater automation than the previous model to lower crew workloads.

“The flight director has authority to automate some aspects of hovering,” said Larson. “You can command the flight director to maintain a hover, move in a direction at a user-defined low airspeed, or even engage a go-around mode and let the aircraft fly relatively hands-free.”

According to Larson, although the HH-60G looks similar externally to the HH-60W, the Pave Hawk has been heavily utilized for decades. The HH-60W will increase mission-capable rates over the HH-60G just by virtue of being a new helicopter.

“The CSAR mission is one that we must always be prepared for. At the end of the day, we hold a sacred promise that if you are injured, you should have faith that someone is coming to save you,” Larson said. “The HH-60W provides an advanced, reliable platform to accomplish that mission.”