Thursday, January 17, 2013

Innovation at One of Its Finest Hours

A courageous quest in search and rescue
by William K.

This is a true story about innovation. This story is about two Air Force Reservists, who in the face of austere funding, deterrence and of obstructions, designed and built a handcraft communications vehicle called Rescue 621. Eventual recognition as Free World’s most versatile communication system could not have come if it weren’t for two different Air Reserve Rescue Squadrons that flew the Lockheed HC-130H and P models.
Rescue 621 valuable communication resources to the Atomic Energy Commission and the U.S. Department of State. The Lockheed aircraft provided transportation to such historical events as the 1979 aftermath of the Wichita Falls tornado disaster, the aftermath of the Mount Saint Helens eruption, the San Francisco and Loma Preita earthquakes and Hurricane Andrew.
Rescue 621 and the Air Force Reserve Lockheed HC-130H and P models found themselves in Argentina, Panama and Peru. Although Rescue 621’s communications suite was designed somewhat after the HC-130H aircraft communications suite, it had one single advantage. That advantage was the use of two different NASA experimental voice satellites. This was provided through the relentless and courageous quest of Lois Clark McCoy, current president of the National Association for Urban Search and Rescue.

No challenge is too big for the Hercules.