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Air Platforms

US seeks airborne rescue and recovery for SOF in Yemen

01 May 2018
The M28 twin-turboprop is one of a number of platforms that would satisfy the fixed-wing portion of the RFI to provide personnel recovery, MEDEVAC, and CASEVAC services to US special operations forces operating in and around Yemen. Source: IHS Markit/Gareth Jennings

The US military is looking for contractors to provide personnel recovery, as well as airborne casualty and medical evacuation services, for special forces personnel operating in and around Yemen.

The United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) issued a request for information (RFI) on 30 April for third parties that are capable of undertaking aircraft- and helicopter-based personnel recovery, casualty evacuation (CASEVAC), and medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) duties within the Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility (AOR) in general, and within Yemen in particular.

“Market research is being conducted to identify air carriers with fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft capable of providing airlift, MEDEVAC, and CASEVAC support within the CENTCOM AOR primarily within Yemen. The Yemen AOR for this requirement is defined as [but not limited to] the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Sultanate Oman, Republic of Djibouti, United Arab Emirates, State of Qatar, Kingdom of Bahrain, and locations supporting Yemen Joint Special Operations Area [JSOA],” the solicitation, which was issued on behalf of Special Operations Command Forward – Yemen, said.

The RFI lists required performance parameters for fixed- and rotary-winged platforms, which for the former include being able to operate from a 3,000 ft unprepared strip; having a range of more than 500 n miles; being night-vision goggle- (NVG-) compatible; being able to carry no fewer than eight passengers or 4,000 lb (1,814 kg) of cargo; and which can be hot-refuelled (while the engine is still running). For the latter, the requirements include a minimum 400 n miles range; NVG operations; ability to carry eight passengers and/or 3,500 lb (1,587 kg) of cargo; hot-refuelling; and a rescue hoist capability. For fixed- and rotary-winged platforms, the RFI notes that the cockpit and the main cabin will be retrofitted with ballistic protection.

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