An MH-60G Pave Hawk, tail number 009, piloted by Capt. Tanner Bennett, MH-60G aircraft commander, took off from the 66th Rescue Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., and touched down in Pensacola Naval Air Station, Fla., for a very special send off.
Maj. Gen. Chad P. Franks, 15th Air Force commander, took command of MH-60G 009 at Pensacola NAS and flew the final flight to Hurlburt Field, Fla. Both he and 009 have a history together when then Captain Franks flew combat search and rescue missions in 1999 during Operation Allied Force.
“This Pave Hawk represents the hard work and accomplishments of the men and women of the 55th Special Operations Squadron who took great care of 009 when I flew it in ‘99,” Franks said. “It is an honor for me to fly this retirement flight.”
The 55th SOS originated as the 55th Air Rescue Squadron in 1952. In 1966, it was redesignated as the 55th Air Rescue and Recovery Squadron. The MH-60G began its operations in 1982 under the 55th ARRS, which later became the 55th Special Operations Squadron in 1988. While under the 55th SOS, the MH-60G was flown during operation Just Cause, Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Provide Comfort, Northern Watch, Allied Force and various other special operations missions.
The 55th SOS received several decorations and recognitions while operating the MH-60G, which continued the legacy of the 40 years of distinguished lineage that preceded the 55th SOS. The final flight represents the heritage and lineage of those that operated and maintained this helicopter.
— Aerotech News (@Aerotechnews86) May 13, 2021