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Exercise MG23 supports real-world search and rescue mission with U.S. Navy

  • Published
  • By Rachel Sansano, Air Mobility Command Public Affairs

A U.S. Navy helicopter participating in Exercise Mobility Guardian 23 flew a real-world search and rescue mission in Guam on July 18. The Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 crew was diverted from their multinational Maritime Personnel Recovery training event to rescue a hiker who had fallen off a mountainside.

The initial distress call came to Guam Fire Rescue who immediately contacted the U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam Joint Rescue Sub-Center. The JRSC coordinated aviation support with HSC-25 who had a helicopter on scene less than 20 minutes after the initial notification.

"Receiving a SAR call during your training mission isn't what you expect even though you know it could happen,” said Lt. Sterling Lambert, co-pilot of the rescuing helicopter. “Aircraft and Crew Resource Management, high standards for SAR training, and trust in our crew led to a successful lifesaving recovery.”

After arriving on scene, the crew hoisted the injured hiker 150 feet to safety. Once on board, the hiker received first aid, and was delivered to the U.S. Naval Hospital Guam where she was transferred to a ground ambulance.

"Because of standardized training and experience we were able to utilize our CRM and procedures to flawlessly work together to safely execute a high angle rescue keeping the helicopter, crew and survivor safe," said Naval Aircrewman (AWS) William Bennett.

HSC-25 is the Navy's only operational squadron that maintains a 24-hour search and rescue and medical evacuation alert posture, supporting U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia and Joint Region Marianas.

Currently, the squadron is participating in MG23, a multilateral exercise and an opportunity to train alongside our Allies and partners, increase interoperability and bolster our collective ability to support a free and open Indo-Pacific.

"I'm extremely proud of our team's ability to flex from their assigned mission supporting Exercise Mobility Guardian to SAR efforts and execute,” said Cmdr. Neil Toohey, Commanding Officer, HSC-25.