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Local veteran hopes for helicopter funding

Posted on Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Joshua Moles was a crew chief with 332, a Combat Rescue group in need of new helicopters.

Joshua Moles was a crew chief with 332, a Combat Rescue group in need of new helicopters.

With the partisan divide growing bigger by the day, the U.S. Congress doesn’t appear to be getting any closer to agreeing on a critical defense spending bill.
This failure is of particular concern to Vandalia Senior Airman Joshua Moles.
That’s because the future of the combat rescue helicopter program he was once apart of is now at an uncertain crossroads.
The USAF Combat Rescue initiative is in need of more newer helicopters.
The need is due to the outdated aircraft fleet and large amount of taxpayer money needed to keep the old aircraft operational.
Moles was a crew chief who provided maintenance on the fleet from 2006-2011.
He worked very closely with the 332 group as part of the 23 AMXS.
“I hope these guys get what they need from the government to continue the search and rescue team,” Moles said.
Moles served with the group overseas in Iraq.
According to the website, the only thing needed is approval by the office of the Secretary of Defense.
Combat Search and Rescue is led by helicopters and their ability to operate in a hostile territory at night, in bad weather, and anywhere around the world.
The missions are typically dangerous ones.
Its legacy speaks for itself.
More than 1,000 were rescued in combat in World War II, 996 rescued by helicopter in the Korean War, 4,120 rescued in Vietnam, and more than 470 rescued in Iraq/Afghanistan.
“No single capability is as important to US forces achieving the ‘golden hour’ in recovering injured US and allied personnel from the battlefield as the Air Force’s rescue forces,” said 18th USAF Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley.
“The capabilities that will be provided under CRH will ensure our sons and daughters who serve our country in war will not be left behind.”
Moles is encouraging area residents to contact local legislators to show support for this effort.
With the consequences of things like sequestration law, it’s unclear if the mission can operate as effecient as it could with a more modern fleet. Moles said he’s concerned for the safety of the group with outdated equipment.