Desert Lightning Team Combat Search & Rescue (CSAR) Demo


Two airmen have ejected into hostile territory from a downed aircraft… Time is of the essence as these airmen depend on the quick response of the Combat Search & Rescue (CSAR) team to come to their aid and save their lives!

This year’s Thunder & Lightning Over Arizona Air Show will feature a realistic demonstration of the aircraft and techniques used in a CSAR exercise. It’s gonna be loud and explosive! Highlights from this exciting demonstration include:

  • The demonstration will begin with two Pararescuemen (PJ’s) jumping from a HC-130J Combat King to simulate downed airmen from a jet that was just shot down.
  • A four-ship formation of A-10 Thunderbolts will roll onto the scene and take control of the communications, which will be broadcast to the crowd. Comms will be broadcast throughout the demo.
  • The lead A-10 will call in a two-ship of HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters to pick-up the downed airmen.
  • The HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters will need more gas to make it through the rescue so a HC-130J will fly in formation with the helicopters to perform in-air refueling while the A-10s fly a protection formation around them.
  • The A-10’s will suppress a threat with two strafing runs that will include pyrotechnic displays
  • The HH-60 Pave Hawk Helicopters will infil two PJ’s with a “fast rope” to stabilize and protect the downed airmen.
  • The A-10’s will protect the helicopter, PJ’s and downed airmen with bomb runs that will use pyrotechnic displays.
  • The HH-60 Pave Hawk will hoist the PJ’s and downed airmen into the helicopter and all aircraft will depart.

We’re calling this CSAR Demo “The Desert Lightning Team (DLT) CSAR Demo” to highlight the interoperability of the attack and rescue functions in the 355th Wing. Major Josh “Nomar” Geidel will lead the CSAR Demo as the Rescue Mission Commander known as "Sandy 1".