Aircraft

Rescue Raptor

Posted 9 January 2012
Photo by SrA John D. Strong II

Two hikers lost at White Sands National Monument, New Mexico, 9 January 2012 used a cell phone to call for help. While two Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crews were dispatched  from Fort Bliss, Texas,  officials at nearby Holloman AFB diverted an F-22 Raptor from a training mission to the search area. The Raptor pilot was able to positively locate the couple from the air. The hikers, along with their three dogs, were then airlifted by the Blackhawks to the National Park Service command post where they were examined for exposure to the sub-freezing night temperatures. During their outing, one hiker, Russell Vandameer, proposed to the other hiker, Karen Renshaw. The newly engaged couple has invited the Blackhawk crew to the wedding.

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