Image of the Air Force wings with the museum name underneath

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Increasing the Odds

OPERATION HIGH DRINK, along with the invention of helicopter aerial refueling, enabled US Air Force search and rescue units in Southeast Asia to recover downed Airmen in any location.

Helicopters no longer had range or weight limits based on fuel. Beginning in 1967, rescue forces and tankers established four primary orbit areas where they would fly during high combat activity.

The orbit areas were relatively safe locations that ensured a quick reaction by the rescue force in case a friendly aircraft was shot down, maximizing the odds of a successful rescue.

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