2-6th Cavalry pilots train with Coast Guard rescue

| February 26, 2016 | 0 Comments
Pilots of 2-6 Cavalry Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade enter the ocean off the coast of Honolulu from a Coast Guard rescue boat Feb 17. The Soldiers conducted training with Coast Guard rescue teams to prepare them for rescue operations in the event of a downed aircraft over water.

Pilots of 2-6th Cavalry Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, enter the ocean off the coast of Honolulu from a Coast Guard rescue boat Feb 17. The aviators conducted training with Coast Guard rescue teams to prepare them for rescue operations in the event of a downed aircraft over water.

 

Sgt. Daniel K. Johnson
25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

HONOLULU — Soldiers of 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, plus Coast Guardsman of the Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point and Coast Guard Boat Station Honolulu conducted joint over water rescue training off the coast, here, Feb. 16.

The training was conducted to prepare Army pilots for interacting with Coast Guard rescue teams in the event of a downed Army aircraft over water.

Knowing the Coast Guard’s processes and procedures are paramount to ensuring a swift and safe recovery.

“This training was for us to cross-train with the Coast Guard and for the aviators to get familiar with their aviation life support equipment as it would be used in a real-world situation,” said 1st Lt. Eric Bowerman, an operations planner and Kiowa pilot with 2-6th.

“For them to train on this is a relatively low stress environment; it will help them be more prepared should this happen,” said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kyle Swope, planner of the exercise.

Cav pilots float in the ocean awaiting "rescue"off the coast of Honolulu, Feb 17.

Cav pilots float in the ocean awaiting “rescue”off the coast of Honolulu, Feb 17.

As aviation officers, they need to be familiar with rescue operations to ensure the Soldiers at their command can be properly trained.

“To be the leader of pilots and troops we need to be familiar and comfortable enough with our equipment to be able to use it in an emergency situation,” said Bowerman. “We also need to be familiar with their processes to sustain you in the water and extract you.”

“Rehearsals pay off big dividends,” said Coast Guard Lt. Ron Green, lead instructor pilot, USCG Air Station Barbers Point. “If you get to practice what may actually happen, you’re that much better prepared if something goes wrong along the way. If the helicopter crashes in the water, you know about what to expect when the Coast Guard arrives on scene to get you out of the water.”

One of the major differences between an Army and a Coast Guard extraction from water is the inclusion of a dedicated rescue swimmer.

“The biggest lesson learned is to trust the rescue swimmer that is in the water,” said Bowerman. “Take all orders from them; they are the experts in getting you from the water into the air.”

This type of realistic training is invaluable for Army pilots located in the Pacific theatre. Over-water missions are common occurrences and being prepared for the worst-case scenario helps to bolster the pilot’s confidence and ability to execute.

“I think this brings a level of realism to the training. In an actual emergency situation, these are the people who are going to arrive, and this is really their whole mission,” said Lt. Col. Aaron Martin, commander, 2-6th Cav. “It exercises their capability, and it helps us see exactly how they work as opposed to the Army extraction and Army rescue systems.”

A Coast Guard rescue team from Coast Guard Station Barbers Point extracts U.S. Army pilots of 2-6th Cavalry Regiment from the ocean a mile off the coast of Honolulu, Feb 17.

A Coast Guard rescue team from Coast Guard Station Barbers Point extracts U.S. Army pilots of 2-6th Cavalry Regiment from the ocean a mile off the coast of Honolulu, Feb 17.

Tags: , , , ,

Category: News, Training

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *