Moody improves search and rescue - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Moody improves search and rescue

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October 13, 2006

Valdosta - Airmen at Moody spent a month assisting in rescue operations when Katrina devastated the gulf coast.

Over a year later, they are looking back to see what they can do to be more prepared if a similar disaster occurs in the future.  "For Katrina, with all the water rescues that we had and all the flooding, we saw that there was a lack of capability to send a fully inflated zodiac boat with supplies and equipment," says Lt. Col. Lee Pera, Deputy Commander of the 347th Rescue Group.

So they resurrected an old practice, known as Kangaroo Duck or K-Duck.  Here they will strap a fully inflated zodiac to the bottom of the HH-60 Rescue Helicopter instead of bundling it in the chopper's cabin.

This will free up more room for supplies and cut back on the time consuming process of inflating the boat.  "Now that it's on the outside we're able to bring more equipment, more medical supplies, and more food and water because its  all stored inside the fully inflated boat," said Commander of the 38th Rescue Squadron, Lt. Col. Terry Johnson.

The airmen recently returned from the Florida Coast where they tested the K-Duck.  As seen here from the helicopters infrared camera, they tested its seaworthiness and the helicopter's maneuverability.  "The tests went great.  The boat flew all the way up to the air speeds we were testing, up to 120 knots and pretty much all flight regimes," Lt. Col Pera adds.

The airmen will now implement this new life saving capability and work to get other bases to do the same.

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