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U.S. Marines in Floating Embrace Under a HH-60 Pave Hawk Is This Week’s Finest Illusion

For a while now we here at autoevolution have been covering military machines. In doing so, we discovered that the U.S. Air Force not only has fearsome fighters and hardware, but also very talented and imaginative photographers, people capable of shedding an entirely new light on what being in the military means.
HH-60 Pave Hawk on hoist training mission 9 photos
Jolly Green II Rescue HelicopterJolly Green II Rescue HelicopterJolly Green II Rescue HelicopterJolly Green II Rescue HelicopterJolly Green II Rescue HelicopterJolly Green II Rescue HelicopterJolly Green II Rescue HelicopterJolly Green II Rescue Helicopter
Seeing that, we’ve even decided to include these pics the Air Force releases from time to time in a special section. We call it Photo of the Day, and we’ve seen there over the past few months some incredible visual creations. Few of them are, however, as intimate as the one we have here.

The photo was captured by an Airman 1st Class back in September and recently released by the USAF. It shows the shadowy figure of a hovering HH-60 Pave Hawk deployed with the 33rd Rescue Squadron based at Kadena Air Base in Japan. It also the shadowy figures of a couple of U.S. Marines in an apparent mid-air embrace, floating right under the helicopter.

If you look close enough (click main photo to enlarge) you can see a cable that connects the two to the helicopter. That’s because, unlike what the eyes would tell you, the two are not floating aimlessly under the helicopter, but are being hoisted up during a training mission.

The op took place at Camp Gonsalves in Japan and involved the usual trials and tribulations: low-level flying, hoisting, water operations and entering contested environments. All are operations the Pave Hawk is perfectly suited to perform.

Tracing its lineage back to the 1980s, the helicopter (HH-60G) was born to operate behind enemy lines, being capable of flying at speeds of 221 mph (357 kph) and repelling enemy forces using M2 Browning machine guns.

As is, the Pave Hawk is slowly exiting the scene, as the American military is planning to replace it with the new, Black Hawk-based Jolly Green II (HH-60W).

Editor's note: Gallery shows Jolly Green II.

 
 
 
 
 

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