3-25th validates aircrews on gunnery, water survival

| December 4, 2015 | 0 Comments
Soldiers from Bravo and Echo Companies, 3-25th Avn. Regt., conduct "Fat Cow" operations at Landing Zone Kanes during maritime operations.

Soldiers from Bravo and Echo Companies, 3-25th Avn. Regt., conduct “Fat Cow” operations at Landing Zone Kanes during maritime operations.

1st Lt. Samantha Jewell
3rd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment Public Affairs
25th Combat Aviation Brigade
25th Infantry Division

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — Leaders of 3rd Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment, 25th Combat Avn. Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, trained more than 40 Soldiers and aircrews during a weeklong maritime operation validation exercise on Oahu, Nov. 16-20.

The exercise began with aerial gunnery approximately five miles offshore of the Turtle Bay Resort, Nov. 17. Aircrews from three companies successfully completed aerial gunnery over water with different helicopters.

Companies E and F, at Landing Zone Kanes, supported the aircrews. Echo Co. executed a jump forward arming and refueling point employing a “Fat Cow” (a CH-47 Chinook helicopter) carrying over 15,000 pounds of JP-8 to refuel aircraft, and Fox Co. set up an air traffic control tower to coordinate airspace de-confliction for all aircraft in and out of LZ Kanes.IMG1

“This training is critical to ensure that our aircrews have the skills and experience necessary to operate safely in a maritime environment,” said Lt. Col. Andrew Graham, commander, 3-25th Avn. Regt.

Soldiers were further tested during training at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, which included helocast, caving ladder and overwater hoist certifying 3-25th Avn. Regt.’s Phase IV of the Water Survivability Training program.

Air operations were conducted by 3-25th Black Hawk and Chinook aircrews, with cast masters from 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regt., and a rescue boat crew provided by Kaneohe Bay Waterfront Operations.

Each Soldier completed two helocast jumps and recovered with caving ladder and jungle hoist extractions. Immediately following training, Soldiers from Co. D completed required corrosion preventative maintenance on all aircraft due to the close proximity to saltwater.

Helocasting

Helocasting

Prior to executing training, Soldiers and aircrews from 3-25th underwent rigorous Water Survival Training (WST) at Richardson Pool, Schofield Barracks; Pyramid Rock Beach, MCBH, K-Bay; and Hickam Air Force Base while being evaluated by the Water Survivability trainers. The Water Survivability Training program was first launched by 3-25th in February 2014, initiating the first WST program in the 25th CAB and 25th ID. The program was designed to enhance aircrews’ survivability in the event of an over-water aircraft ditching.

In future training, the regiment hopes to expand on the WST and conduct company-level helocast operations quarterly.

“We have the framework set up to maintain maritime training as part of 3-25th Avn. Regt.’s ongoing exercises,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Anya Sharman, WST officer in charge. “3-25th Avn. Regt. has a proven baseline to build a sustainable WST program that will ensure our aviation battalions maintain maritime proficiency.”

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