A USAF HH-60G Pave Hawk launches on an alert scramble from an operating base in Afghanistan with only moments notice to rescue critically wounded soldiers from the battlefield during an active fire fi
"I was deployed as an HH-60G PaveHawk pilot with a unit providing around-the-clock combat search-and-rescue and casualty evacuation coverage to southern Afghanistan," says McDonald. "My crew had just come off a shift during which we had flown a mission to rescue a critically wounded foreign soldier. Shortly after swapping-out with our other shift, a mission dropped in support of critically wounded U.S. Marines in an area of significant enemy fire. This mission drove a 'scramble' launch in which the aircraft were airborne within a matter of minutes, and headed immediately into a hostile location. Hearing the scramble call come over the radio, I ran to the nearest defensive fight position—also known as a foxhole—to get a lower perspective, while the crews sprinted to the aircraft. I wanted to document the aggressive power-pull and nose-over to expedite the launch."