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Mobility Airmen support Argentine submarine search effort

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. April Lapetoda
  • Air Mobility Command Public Affairs

Mobility Airmen are enabling international assistance through delivering equipment and personnel to aid the government of Argentina in its ongoing search for the A.R.A. San Juan, an Argentine navy submarine.

Air Mobility Command deployed six C-17 Globemaster IIIs and three C-5M Super Galaxies, said Oliver Winter, 618th Air Operations Center Operational Analysis Division project manager. Those aircraft flew 17 sorties, onloaded 76 Sailors assigned to the Undersea Rescue Command, and 764,000 pounds of equipment.

The submarine went missing in the southern Atlantic Ocean on Nov. 15 and AMC deployed its first aircraft in support of the effort Nov. 18.

Mobility Airmen launched a C-17, assigned to the 437th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Charleston, South Carolina, carrying a tow bar, a Tunner 60K Aircraft Cargo Loader and three members of the 437th Aerial Port Squadron Nov. 18. While on the ground in Argentina, the team conducted runway assessments prior to other equipment arriving in country.

One of the C-5s, assigned to the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis AFB, California, flew to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California. From there, they transported the first rescue system, the Submarine Rescue Chamber (SRC) and underwater intervention Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) to Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina, Nov. 19.

The second rescue system, the Pressurized Rescue Module (PRM) and supporting equipment, is scheduled to arrive in Argentina Nov. 20.

“Helping others is in Air Mobility Command's DNA,” said Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II, AMC commander. “Our Airmen recognize the critical nature of the mission and as requirements expanded we moved to expedite delivery of increased capability to the U.S. Navy and our Argentine friends.”

In addition to the aircraft listed above the 436th Airlift Wing at Dover AFB, Delaware, the 62nd Airlift Wing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, and the 176th Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, deployed aircraft to support in the effort as well. Additional missions are planned to continue to provide needed equipment, to include Sonar.

The SRC is a McCann rescue chamber designed during World War II and still used today. SRC can rescue up to six people at a time and reach a bottomed submarine at depths of 850 feet. The PRM can submerge up to 2,000 feet for docking and mating with a submarine settled on the ocean floor up to 45-degree angle in both pitch and roll. The PRM can rescue up to 16 personnel at a time.

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