04/24/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 04/24/2018 12:48
In this nocturne painting, Tech. Sgt. Katie Justen, 459th ARW, public affairs specialist, and artist for Air Force Reserve Office of History and Heritage, highlights Reserve Citizen Airmen maintainers from the 459th ARW performing routine engine maintenance on a KC-135 at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland.
On the left in this painting, today's Airmen from the 8th and 2nd Space Warning Squadrons operate the Space Based Infrared System mission that includes providing a seamless operational transition from the Defense Support Program to the nation's next-generation overhead persistent Infrared sensors. This mission supports missile early warning, missile defense, battlespace awareness, and technical intelligence. On the bottom left, Airmen from the 26th and 527th Space Aggressor Squadrons conduct space operations in GPS ramp jamming to train Airmen in defensive space operations. On the lower right, Airmen from the 16th and 380th Space Control Squadrons de-conflict friendly electromagnetic interference and identify adversaries. Once identified, platforms such as an MQ-9 Reaper are used to eliminate the threat. Innovation is an integral part of our future, and it comes from the diverse experiences our Citizen Airmen bring to the mission from various communities and industries across the nation.
In the early morning hours of November 21, 1980, a large fire rapidly spread throughout the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Unable to help numerous people trapped on the upper floors of the 26-story luxury hotel, civilian authorities called the contacted the command post on Nellis AFB, Nevada, to ask for assistance. Fortunately, highly skilled rescue personnel assigned to the Air Force Reserve's 302nd Special Operations Squadron were at Nellis AFB to participate in an exercise. Having already noticed smoke on the horizon and hearing reports on the radio, the members of the 302nd SOS quickly responded. Using the hoist system on their CH-3E helicopters, the Reservists rode the sling down, climbed onto the hotel balconies, and strapped the survivors in place so that they could be hoisted into the helicopters. The 302nd SOS were joined by active-duty Air Force personnel and six UH-1N helicopters assigned to the 57th Fighter Weapons Wing, Indian Springs AFS, Nevada, and the 1st Special Operations Wing, Hurlburt Field, Florida. Together, the three units rescued 93 survivors over the course of 38 trips. Their efforts, as well the devastating impact of the fire taking the lives of 85 people and injuring another 650, received national attention.