HH-60Ws move to Kadena

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jonathan R. Sifuentes
  • 18th Wing Public Affairs

The HH-60W Jolly Green IIs from the 55th Rescue Generation Squadron, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, arrived at their new duty station, Kadena Air Base, Japan, January 26, 2024.

The HH-60W is the successor to the HH-60G “Pave Hawk” and built on the established framework of the UH-60M “Black Hawk” production model.

Alternatively known as the “Whiskey” model, the HH-60W is designed from the ground up with integrated mission systems that improve situational awareness for aircrews conducting the combat search and rescue missions in contested environments.

“The new avionics systems and multifunctional displays provide the pilots with critical flight data,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Anthony Canlas, 718th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron HH-60 dedicated crew chief. “These new models will improve our continued search and rescue missions throughout the Pacific.”

The HH-60W is intended for a variety of mission critical operations to include recovering isolated personnel from hostile or denied territory, day or night, in adverse weather, and in a variety of threat environments from terrorist to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats.

Its capabilities also include humanitarian missions, civil search and rescue, disaster relief, medical evacuation, and non-combatant evacuations.

With water rescues being an ever-present reality for Okinawa, these new aircraft will allow Kadena Airmen to be better equipped to save not just American lives, but also Okinawan lives.

“These models are the new standard for combat search and rescue operations for PACAF and nationwide,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Bryan Donnelly, 718th AMXS, 33rd Helicopter Maintenance Unit production superintendent. “All HH-60G models will be replaced on Kadena.” 

The name “Jolly Green II” designated to the HH-60W was coined in a ceremony in February of 2020. It honors Jolly Green crews of previous generations who set the precedent for the AF combat rescue crews who operate today.