The Pave Hawk is how the American military calls the variant of the Black Hawk meant to be used for recovery of personnel from behind enemy lines or other dangerous situations. Dating back to the 1980s, it’s on its way out the door, slotted to be replaced by the equally Black Hawk-based Jolly Green II (HH-60W), but is still capable of incredible feats, as demonstrated in this most recent photo of it released by the U.S. Air Force.
It shows a Pave Hawk deployed with the 55th Rescue Squadron based at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona. Well, not exactly the entire Pave Hawk, as most of the shot shows the menacing red helmet with black visor of a Special Missions Aviator flying in it.
Dangling halfway out of the helicopter, this helmeted face is the first thing one sees when being extracted from a dangerous situation. In this case, someone taking part in a civilian search and rescue simulation in Flagstaff, Arizona, at the beginning of January.
According to the profile of the mission, the 55th Rescue Squadron was deployed “to an austere location in high elevation” in order to simulate “combat search and rescue missions in an arctic-like environment.”
We’re not informed how the exercise went, but we’re still left with this amazing shot, worthy of our Photo of the Day section.