25th CAB helos land on Navy ships

| August 2, 2013 | 0 Comments
An UH-60 Black Hawk from the 25th CAB, 25th ID, comes in for a landing on the stern helipad of the U.S. Navy  replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe (T-AO-200) as the ship is underway during deck landing qualification, July 15. (Photo by Capt. Richard Barker, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

An UH-60 Black Hawk from the 25th CAB, 25th ID, comes in for a landing on the stern helipad of the U.S. Navy replenishment oiler USNS Guadalupe (T-AO-200) as the ship is underway during deck landing qualification, July 15. (Photo by Capt. Richard Barker, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Capt. Richard Barker and 1st Lt. Stuart Latham
25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

Pilots and flight crews with the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, worked closely with the Navy to conduct deck landing qualifications aboard the USS Chafee (DDG-90), USS Hopper (DDG-70), USS Guadalupe (AO-32) and USS Tarawa (LHA-1) in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii, July 15-19.

More than 25 pilots from 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment; 2nd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regt.; and 3rd Bn., 25th Avn. Regt., qualified during the training, which certifies them to land and launch from the decks of moving Navy vessels during operations.

“We bring a capability that has mostly been land based in nature,” said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Joseph Roland, senior warrant officer, 25th CAB. “Being protectors of the Pacific, it is important we are capable of working in an overwater environment.”

A CH-47 Chinook on approach to a moving landing zone.

A CH-47 Chinook on approach to a moving landing zone.

In preparation for the deck landings, during the previous week, the aircrews attended academic classes and performed field deck landing practices on ground and in simulators in order to ensure the pilots and crews were as prepared as possible before heading out to the Navy ships.

Many of the limits terrain places on aviation assets were bypassed through joint integration with the Navy.

“With the capability to launch from Navy ships, operational planners can insert aviation assets into locations that were otherwise limited,” said Maj. Aaron Elliott, operations officer, 25th CAB. “Now, we can operate across every coast in the Pacific.”

Deck landing qualifications were conducted with UH-60 Black Hawks, OH-58 Kiowa Warriors and CH-47 Chinooks. Qualifying pilots across the three airframes opened up mission capabilities, to include heavy and medium lift, reconnaissance, attack, air assaults and medevac support.

An UH-60 Black Hawk from the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, lands on the back of the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Hopper (DDG-70) during deck qualification in the Pacific Ocean, July 15. (Photo by 2nd Lt. Stuart Latham, 3rd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Avn. Brigade Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

An UH-60 Black Hawk from the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, lands on the back of the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Hopper (DDG-70) during deck qualification in the Pacific Ocean, July 15. (Photo by 2nd Lt. Stuart Latham, 3rd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Avn. Brigade Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

“By successfully executing deck-landing qualifications in our OH-58D, UH-60 and CH-47 aircraft types, we significantly expanded Pacific Command’s maritime operational capabilities at a strategic level,” said Lt. Col. Hunter Marshall, commander, 3rd Bn.

The training provided added value to the Navy on both an operational and individual level.

“This joint operation increases the capabilities for 5th Fleet throughout the Central Command area of responsibility,” said Navy Lt. Travis Anderson, operations officer, USS Hoper. “This extends our ability to track and reach out and touch someone.”

The joint operation also provided experience to Navy personnel who have active roles to play during helicopter operations, to include helicopter controllers, flight deck crews and crash and salvage teams, according to Anderson.

“For the Navy and Army to have the ability to strike quickly against a foe or respond for humanitarian aid to a foreign country here in the Pacific Region, this training allows for both branches to meet and accomplish that mission,” said Chief Petty Officer Tian Henry, chief operations specialist, USS Chafee. “We need to keep proficiency on both sides and continually challenge each other and grow in our capabilities as a task force.”

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Category: News, Sustainability, Training

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