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Number 121 Summer 2013

Summer 2013 Issue 121

Alone, Unafraid, and Excelling X3 Approaches the Sunset of its Brief Life Rotorcraft Pioneers: Platt & LePage


Maritime security demands the most advanced multi-mode anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare helicopter. One with a sophisticated mission system that provides complete situational awareness. One with network-enabled data links that allow information sharing and instant decision making. One that is operationally proven and in production.

MH-60R. The right choice for Maritime Security.

Cover art by George Hopson NHA Design Editor

Naval Helicopter Association ©2013 Naval Helicopter Association, Inc., all rights reserved

Features Page 24


Alone, Unafraid, and Excelling LT Jeanne Moody, USN


Chapter VII: The Ukraine — Not the Way, Just A Way! LCDR Matthew Vernon, USNR


All on Black LT Grace Reilly, USN


LT Scott Lippincott, USN LT Allison Fletcher, USN


Design Editor George Hopson

Aircrewman / Special Missions Editor

Page 19

AWCM David W. Crossan, USN

Ready Warfighters... 2013 Symposium Highlights the Employment of Rotary-Wing Strike Capabilities Symposium Opening Ceremonies and Keynote Address CDR Markus Gawlitza, German Navy


LT James Thomas, USN

NHA Members Reunion MC2 Amanda Huntoon, USN


HSL / HSM / HUQ Editor

Commodores’ Brief MC2 Melissa D. Redinger, USN


Safety Symposium MC2 Melissa D. Redinger, USN


NHA Maintenance Open House: A Maintainer’s Perspective AMCS Oren Pangcog, USN


LT James Cepa, USCG

NHA Awards Luncheon LTJG James McKenzie, USN


Technical Advisor

Supporting Our Helo Community Mrs. Lara Bouvé


5K Run LCDR Allyn Uttecht, USN


Golf 2013 LTJG Dave Lovett, USN


Aircrew Competition: Good or Lucky? AWSC Stephen Martin


2013 Enlisted Matters Panel AWSC Leticia Anderson, USN


2013 Captains of Industry Panel LTJG Brittany Meek, USN


2013 Flag Panel LT Mellie Morton, USN


HSC / HS / HM Editor LT Erin Pursley, USN

USMC Editor

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Capt Rebecca Hagner, USMC

USCG Editor

LCDR Chip Lancaster, USN (Ret)


CAPT Vincent Secades, USN (Ret)

Page 61 Printing by SOS Printing, Inc. San Diego, California

Rotor Review (ISSN: 1085-9683) is published quarterly by the Naval Helicopter Association, Inc. (NHA), a California nonprofit corporation. NHA is located in Building 654, Rogers Road, NASNI, San Diego, CA 92135. Vi e w s expressed in Rotor Review are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the policies of NHA or United States Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard. Rotor Review is printed in the USA. Periodical rate postage is paid at San Diego, CA. Subscription to Rotor Review is included in the membership fee in the Naval Helicopter Association or the corporate membership fee. A current corporation annual report, prepared in accordance with Section 8321 of the California Corporations Code, is available to members upon request. POSTMASTER: Send address change to Naval Helicopter Association, P.O. Box 180578, Coronado, CA 92178-0578.

In appreciation of our advertisers Lockheed Martin University of San Diego Navy Mutual Aid Association USAA Robertson Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation



C2 28 40 48 C3 C4

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13

Naval Helicopter Association, Inc.

Corporate Associates

Correspondence and Membership P.O. Box 180578 Coronado, CA 92178-0578 (619) 435-7139 / (619) 435-7354 (fax)

The following corporations exhibit strong support of rotary wing aviation through their sponsorship of the Naval Helicopter Association, Inc.

National Officers

AgustaWestland Inc. BAE Systems / Electronics Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. Boeing Integrated Defense Systems Breeze-Eastern CAE Inc. Delex Systems, Inc. EADS North America FLIR Systems, Inc. G.E. Aviation Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors LSI, Inc. L3 Communications / Crestview Aerospace L3 Communications / D.P. Associates Inc. L3 Communications / Ocean Systems L3 Communications / Vertex Aerospace Navy Mutual Aid Association Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems Robertson Fuel Systems L.L.C. Rockwell Collins Corporation Rolls-Royce Corporation Rosemount Aerospace, Inc Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation Telephonics Corporation USAA

President.................................................CAPT Michael Ruth, USN V/P Corp Mem......................... CAPT Don Williamson, USN (Ret) V/P Awards ............................................CDR Wilmer Gange, USN V/P Membership ......................................LCDR Ryan Hayes, USN V/P Symposium 2013..........................CDR William Sherrod, USN Secretary..........................................................LT Matt Rigler, USN Treasurer ....................................................LT Ryan Klamper, USN “Stuff”..........................................................LT Gabe Stevens, USN Senior NAC Advisor..........................AWCM David Crossan, USN Executive Director..................Col Howard Whitfield, USMC (Ret) Admin/Rotor Review Design Editor........................George Hopson Membership/Symposium .........................................Kerri Dowling

Directors at Large

Chairman.....................RADM William E. Shannon III, USN (Ret) CAPT Chuck Deitchman, USN (Ret) CAPT Dennis DuBard, USN (Ret) CAPT Greg Hoffman, USN (Ret) CAPT John McGill, USN (Ret) CAPT Dave Moulton, USN (Ret) CAPT Bill Personius, USN (Ret) CAPT Paul Stevens, USN (Ret)

Regional Officers

Region 1 - San Diego

Directors.………………........................CAPT David Bouvé, USN CAPT Jack Schuller, USN President..…............................................CDR Chris Hewlett, USN

Region 2 - Washington D.C.

Director ..…………...…….…….................CAPT Pete Brennan, USN President ................................................................................. TBD

NHA Scholarship Fund

Region 3 - Jacksonville

President...................................CAPT Paul Stevens, USN (Ret) V/P Operations......................................................................... TBA V/P Fundraising ....................... LT Gretchen Rybarczyk, USN V/P Scholarships ........................CAPT Kevin “Bud” Couch, USN V/P CFC Merit Scholarship........LT Jonathan Wendt, USN Treasurer...............................................LT Brad Davenport, USN Corresponding Secretary............................LT Alexa Bestoso, USN Finance Committee.............................CDR Kron Littleton, USN (Ret)

Director ..........................................................CAPT Dan Boyles, USN President.................................................CDR William Walsh, USN

Region 4 - Norfolk

Director ................................................CAPT Todd Flannery, USN President .......................................CDR Todd D. Vandergrift, USN

Region 5 - Pensacola

Directors..................................................CAPT James Fisher, USN Capt Thurman Maine, USCG President ....................................................CDR Matt Bowen, USN 2013 Fleet Fly-In.................................LT Mark Cunningham, USN

NHA Historical Society President............................................CAPT Bill Personius, USN (Ret) Secretary ..........................................CDR Joe Skrzypek, USN (Ret) Treasurer..............................................................................Joe Peluso San Diego Air & Space Museum ...........CAPT Jim Gillcrist, USN (Ret) USS Midway Museum .................CWO4 Mike Manley, USN (Ret) Webmaster...................................CDR Mike McCallum, USN (Ret) NHA BOD....................................CAPT Dennis DuBard, USN (Ret)

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13

Region 6 - Far East

Director..............................................CAPT Murray J. Tynch, USN President..….................................................CDR David Loo, USN


Number 121 / Summer ‘13

Departments Editor’s Log


Chairman’s Brief


President’s Message


Aircrewman’s Corner


NHA Scholarship Fund


Executive Director’s Notes


View from the Labs: Supporting the Fleet


Industry and Technology


LT Scott Lippincott, USN, and LT Allison Fletcher, USN

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RADM Bill Shannon, USN (Ret) CAPT Michael Ruth, USN AWCM David Crossan, USN CAPT Paul Stevens, USN (Ret)

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Col Howard Whitfield, USMC (Ret) CAPT George Galdorisi, USN (Ret)

Historical Page 29

Rotorcraft Pioneers: Haviland H. Platt and W. Laurence LePage CAPT Vincent Secades, USN (Ret)


Change of Command


Command Updates


Engaging Rotors




Page 72 Articles and news items are welcomed from NHA’s general membership and corporate associates. Articles should be of general interest to the readership and geared toward current Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard affairs, technical advances in the helicopter industry or historical anecdotes. Submissions should be made to Rotor Review with documents formatted in Microsoft Word ® and photos formatted as high-resolution JPEG and/or PDF by e-mail to: navalhelicopterassn@ or by FEDEX / UPS on a MAC or PC formatted CD to Rotor Review / NHA, BLDG 654, Rogers Road, NASNI, San Diego, CA, 92135. Also, comments, suggestions, critiques and opinions are welcomed, your anonymity is respected. Send to: by email:, by mail: Naval Helicopter Association, Inc., P.O. Box 180578, Coronado, CA, 92178-0578, call (619) 435-7139 or FAX: (619) 435-7354. Rotor Review is intended to support the goals of the association, provide a forum for discussion and exchange of information on topics of interest to the rotary wing community, and keep membership informed of NHA activities. As necessary, the President of NHA will provide guidance to the Rotor Review Editorial Board to ensure the Rotor Review content continues to support this statement of policy as Naval Helicopter Association adjusts to the expanding rotary wing community.


Editors Emeritus

Wayne Jensen John Driver Andy Quiett Susan Fink Tracey Keef Bryan Buljat Todd Vorenkamp Clay Shane

John Ball Sean Laughlin Mike Curtis Bill Chase Maureen Palmerino Gabe Soltero Steve Bury Kristin Ohleger

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13

Editor’s Log


ellow NHA Members! Welcome to the annual NHA Symposium edition of Rotor Review. Despite budget cuts, sequestration, and other fiscal challenges, this year’s event was as good as ever. During the planning phases, there was a lot of concern that turnout would be low. Well, as those of you in attendance know, that fortunately was not the case. The following pages highlight all of the great elements of this year’s symposium in entirety from opening to closing remarks. As you can see, the “Ready Warfighters” theme captured the great accomplishments and unmatched readiness that the naval helicopter fleet achieves daily. A big BZ to all the coordinators, national staff, awardees, and Rotor Review staffers who helped capture this year’s event! And now, despite my short tour as your Editor-In-Chief, the Navy has asked me to do my part and head to the boat for a couple of years. While being out of the cockpit for a little while saddens me, I am very excited for the unique opportunity to be part of the Commissioning team for our country’s very own flagship, the USS America (aka ‘Merica!). While I hope to continue contributing to Rotor Review, it is time to pass the reins on to your next great Editor. The great news is the new Editor has already been a huge contributor to the magazine, and its time she got the title she’s already earned. As you will see

in this issue, LT Allison Fletcher from HUQ-1 played a critical role in gathering almost all of the material to make this symposium edition a great one. You will certainly be in good hands as the magazine moves forward! Lastly, I must thank all of the great 2013 NHA Symposium held at Town & Country Convention C e n t e r, S a n D i e g o , Rotor Review C A .Photo by AWR 1 Jeff Kotyk, U SN and NHA staff members that have made my time with years. Last, but certainly not least, a huge thanks the magazine enjoyable and rewarding. to the heart of the operation, George Hopson. Thanks to CAPT Ruth, the NHA The beautiful layouts, covers, and graphic President, for his insight, wisdom, and artwork that make this the best professional direction when it came to all things magazine in the Navy are all due to George’s NHA. Thanks to LCDR Kristin Ohleger long hours, hard work, and vision. We simply (HS-10), LT Chris McDonald (HSC-3), couldn’t do it without you, George. With that, I LT James Thomas (HSCWSP), LT David wish the best to you all and hope you continue Terry (HSM-41), LT Shannon Whitaker to enjoy this great magazine and organization. (USCGS LA), Chip Lancaster, and all See you in a couple of years when I dust off my the community editors past and present brown shoes and flight suit again! for enduring the lengthy meetings and Stay Classy Helo Bubbas! LT Scott Lippincott, USN hours of editing. Welcome to our new Rotor Review Editor-in-Chief editors LT Pursley (HSM-41), LT Cepa Issues 119 to 121 (USCGS Detroit), and Capt Hagner (USMC, HX-21). Thanks to you we are fully staffed with coverage from all communities for the first time in many

On behalf of the rest of the staff, I extend a sincere thanks to Scott for the hard work and dedication he gave Rotor Review and the Naval Aviation helicopter communities during his tenure as HSL/ HSM Editor and, ultimately, as Editorin-Chief. Reflected in the pages of our magazine, he provided inspiration and insight that expanded and impassioned our professional dialogues. I am excited and honored to lead Rotor Review as we

continue with this significant forward momentum. On the topic of forward-leaning professional dialogue, I must echo Scott in telling you how inspired we are by our various naval helicopter communities’ participation in the Annual Symposium. Thank you to everyone involved for making this year so notable. I would like to specifically thank our symposium event writers and photographers from the squadrons and from Navy Public Affairs Support Element (NPASE) West for their individual contributions to this issue of Rotor Review. Thanks to them,

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13


this issue serves as a fun recap for our 2013 attendees and a highlight reel for those unable to join us. Regarding this issue and any in the future, please share your own thoughts and feedback via email to at any time. Enjoy! LT Allison Flectcher, USN Rotor Review Editor-in-Chief

Chairman’s Brief


reetings from the New Guy! As I write this, it’s been more than two months, since the NHA Symposium where I had the great honor to be selected as your new NHA Chairman of the Board of Directors. It’s a thrill to be following in the footsteps of RADM Steve Tomaszeski. He’s been a wonderful friend and mentor but most importantly, he’s also been one of the great leaders in the Helo Community. Under his seven-year leadership (yes, SEVEN) of NHA, we’ve seen tremendous growth and as a result, we are one of the most fleet-focused and vibrant organizations associated with the Navy. For those of you that weren’t at the Symposium, we were able to show our gratitude for his service to NHA by naming our newest NHA award the “RADM Steven Tomaszeski Squadron Commanding Officer Leadership Award.” Steve, I know I speak for the entire community when I say thank-you for your service to NHA and the rotary wing community. I thought I’d give you some Twitter-sized bullets with my takeaways from the NHA Symposium this year. Great turnout considering the travel restrictions, which prevented the participation of the all but the San Diego area folks. A major BZ to Commodores Dave Bouvé and Jack Schuller for their leadership and the great turnout. Great to see all the flight suits at the major events Keynote Address by VADM “Steamer” Beaman, 3rd Fleet Commander, discussed the importance of MH-60’s in the Battle Group. His quote: “Helo’s are now the center of the force.” He mentioned that MH60R’s were now doing Air-to-Air intercepts against UAS’s in fleet workups. Members Reunion: Another great performance by Chuck “Malibu” Aaron, the first and only FAA certified helicopter aerobatic pilot in the US. I spoke with him after the performance - impressive guy. He modified the BO-105 Helo for acrobatics and then taught himself to do the loops and rolls he performs in his show. Commodore Panel: Commodores Bouvé and Schuller handled lots of excellent questions from the group. Biggest question: what will sequestration do to our flight hours? Answer: No one will be funded below tactical hard deck of 11.4 Hrs. per month. Other

notes: M-197 and APKWS training curriculum is 90% complete and M-197 will be in all CVN based MH-60’s Power Management B r i e f interesting discussion about understanding and managing H-60 power margins from CDR Joe Amaral (HSC-3) and CDR Ryan Newell (HSM71). Most interesting fact: best winds for single engine landing to a small-boy may not be max speed of ship because of burble around the superstructure. VTUAV Brief: Large turnout to hear concept for HUQ-1 standup from CDR Sean McKamey. Lots of interest in career path implications with the introduction of MQ-8B. CVW-9 Post Deployment Brief: CDR Larry Meehan, CO HSC8, and CDR Pat Jankowski, CO HSM71 discussed their very successful deployment. They made extensive use of the CVN Spot 7, which was created to allow helo ops during the air ops aboard the CVN. They also worked to develop new offset landing approaches to allow ops on Spot 7 with weapons aboard H-60’s. PERS 43 Brief: CAG Whitesell put out some interesting numbers. 31% of all aviation manpower currently in Helo community. By 2017 50% of all Navy Pilots will be Helo Pilots. Selection into Naval Aviation has gotten even more competitive: the average GPA of new flight school accessions: 3.58 GPA. Lucky I got in when I did!! Senior Enlisted Panel: Led by AWCM Dave Crossan: superb discussion of the challenges of managing the AW rating across the communities. Also a very good discussion of opportunities for aircrewmen in the special warfare UAS support role and in future Fire Scout operations. Saw a few CO’s in the audience among the enlisted aircrew. Recommend a larger officer turnout for this critical discussion next year Captains of Industry Panel: question to panel: how do we get best value from industry with the declining budget? Discussion about managing requirements and controlling the government appetite for data. Flag Panel: We were fortunate to have VADM Grosklags, PEO (A),


on hand for the panel with the sequestration limits on travel. He traveled on his own funds to attend. Thanks G8, classy move!! Question for the panel: How do we get products to the fleet faster? Answer: greater use of extrapolation of test points and greater use of modeling and simulation to replace live testing when possible. Earlier in June, I had the opportunity to attend the Navy Retired Flag Officer Conference. A couple of highlights: 1. FY-14 budget remains unclear. Services were required to turn in budgets that assumed no sequestration effects. Another sequestration cut is likely. 2. Navy will increase its investment in Unmanned. 3. The first Afloat Forward Staging Base is up. The Ponce is up and running in the Arabian Gulf. 4. Navy will continue its shift to the Pacific. 5. More ships will be moved to FDNF. By 2020 82 of the 116 deploying ships will come from FDNF. 6. Great concern over the Navy’s increasing suicide rate. 7. The likelihood of another BRAC is slim. Navy positioned well if there is one with only 7% excess capacity across its infrastructure. 8. Navy looking at other missions besides intra-theater lift for the Joint High Speed Vessel. Basing of the MQ-8 Fire Scout might be an option. Some interesting MH-60 R/S language in the recently released House Appropriations Committee on Defense. The committee directed the Secretary of the Navy to develop a plan to keep the MH-60 R/S current and relevant for their expected lifetimes and to submit a report to the congressional defense committees that outlines the plan within 90 days. One final note before closing: Let’s get a good turnout for the annual Fleet Flyin at NAS Whiting Field in Milton, FL. For those of your who haven’t attended, it’s a great chance to meet the future of our Rotary Wing Community. I guarantee you’ll leave feeling very good about our future! That’s all for now and hope you’re enjoying your summer! Keep those turns up! RADM William E. Shannon III, USN (Ret) NHA Chairman

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13

President’s Message


ubbas! Great job to all who supported this year’s NHA Symposium! It was a big success in a tough fiscal environment. Well done! Our sincere gratitude goes out to RADM Tomaszeski who has done so much for making NHA the outstanding, professional organization it is today. Thank you sir! -Fair Winds. A warm welcome to RADM Shannon, we are privileged to have you at the helm! Here at the West Coast HSC FRS, in addition to training those replacement pilots and aircrew to enter/re-enter the fleet, it’s

important to re-emphasize how we fight and defend the aircraft. This is not just for the aviators being refreshed at HSC3, but for all rotary wing warriors. We are just scratching the surface at the FRS, but can we do more — yes, we can. I have asked the staff here to reenergize the tactics discussions with students coming through, even if only at the 100-200 level. The Weapons School Instructors are great resources and we need to fully utilize them as we all work toward our next tactical qualification. For those aviators out in the fleet squadrons right now, when was the last time you really thought through

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13


taking small arms fire? Have you chairflied your response or practiced it recently in the aircraft or simulator? What about a MANPAD, what’s your response, how will you defend? You are in the LZ and it goes hot, etc. . .you get my drift here. Yes, we have to be able to conduct the basics: safe landings aboard the ship at night and in bad weather, day/night SAR, and logistics support, those are all givens. When the shooting starts, how will you fight your aircraft? Fly safe out there and be ready! CAPT Michael “Babe” Ruth, USN NHA President

Aircrewman’s Corner


e l l o w Aircrew – I truly hope you enjoy this issue of Rotor Review. You will find much discussion and positive impacts from the 2013 Symposium enclosed within. I would like to take a moment to recognize the extraordinary efforts of many that were instrumental in making this Year’s Symposium HIGHLY successful – especially among the circumstances we found ourselves in. The NHA Leadership, The Rotary Wing Commodores, Deputy Commodores, Captain Ruth, Commander Sherrod, and the NHA Symposium Committees worked tirelessly to ensure the 2013 NHA Symposium was equal to those that weren’t under more difficult circumstances, or better! AWSC Steve Martin and AWRC Carlos Lopez stood point on the Aircrew Competition. They, and their team of go-getters managed to surpass last year’s total team registrant participation, safely, and flawlessly. My sincere appreciation goes out to everyone behind the scenes who helped make the competition happen!! AWSC Tish Anderson and AWRC Nick Hunter stood point on the Aircrew Enlisted Panel. They, as well as the panel participants, were energized and ready for the hard questions, as well as the coordination efforts in putting it together. Thank you, Chiefs – for all that you do and did to make it happen! Our aircrew departed the event significantly more informed about our rotary wing communities, career opportunities, and the future, which was the goal! The Awards Luncheon was a great success, along with all of the specific events. The Golf Tournament, the 5K, the Member’s Reunion, The Captains of Industry Panel, and the Flag Panel were all strongly supported overall. For those who weren’t aware, the entire leadership of NHA made greater strides toward continued

inclusion of enlisted aircrew at this year’s Symposium. There were lower costs for the ranges of enlisted participation than those of higher pay grades. There were schedule changes specifically designed to not conflict with Aircrew areas of interest. There were actions taken to continue to move forward in recognizing the unique perspective of enlisted Aircrew, as well as our industry leaders taking a visible look at enlisted aircrew events and asking for feedback to make future events more successful. We learned some additional lessons to look at in the future, very specific to enlisted aircrew. Although it’s very challenging to achieve perfection, and we are sure there are areas we can improve in the future, I’m very proud of the end results, especially in the efforts from all those who were involved in the planning and development, to those who came out to the Symposium events, be it for the first time, or multiple times. This leads me into a moment of discussion and reflection. One word – Ownership. In all aspects of our Professional and personal development, a key trait you’ll find in the most successful organizations is ownership. At the Aircrew shop level, at the division level, at the department level, and finally, at the command level. Enlisted Aircrew ownership with NHA is just as important as it is within our respective commands for us to be the best that we can be. Ownership in this case means you have a voice. Your voice in the case of NHA is channeled through the NHA Regional Senior Enlisted Aircrew Advisors, as well as your Chains of Command. Ownership is a great attribute, and can only come from taking pride in the opportunities that are in front of us all. I, as the National Senior Enlisted Aircrew Advisor, wish for each of us to continue to take Ownership of NHA, and to continue to grow in that Ownership. Through which we will continue to steer toward a future that further provides all of the benefits available from doing so.


NHA and the rotary wing industry partners provide recognition to the Enlisted Aircrew / Aviation Rescue swimmer community in many forms. Awards and sponsorship of events, within the national arena, and the regional arenas are examples, but they are not the only examples. Each year at a minimum, at the national level, the Annual NHA Symposium affords us, the rotary wing communities, the opportunity to come together, learn about the future, discuss the challenges that we face, provide further contacts and options of networking solutions, as well as a moment of reflection, and in our case, nearly an entire day to challenge each other in well spirited competitions. If none of us took Ownership, we wouldn’t be afforded those and other opportunities. Every Aircrewman is a leader. You simply can’t get into, through, or remain our program by not being one. You are the future of rotary wing aviation. You are the same future of NHA. Without your Ownership, involvement, critiques, ideas, feedback and participation, the rotary wing aviation partnership within NHA will not be as successful. I would like to challenge each of you: consider what you would like to see in the Future of. YOUR NHA. Keep in mind, it takes OWNERSHIP for tangible results. Both in the consideration of the future, and actions of making it happen. Thank you again for what you do every day! My sincere thank you to those who were in the trenches of planning, coordination, and execution, and for the participants of the 2013 Symposium! It was among the best I have attended!!! Fly Safe! AWCM David W. Crossan, USN NHA Senior Naval Aircrewman Advisor

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NHA Scholarship Fund


r e e t i n g s from your Scholarship Fund. What a great Symposium! This was especially true for the Scholarship Fund. So many people stepped up and made donations in a variety of ways. The corporate and individual donations from the golf tournament were the most I’ve seen and individual donations received via the Symposium registration process were unprecedented! Once again our corporate sponsors, Sikorsky, DP Associates/L-3, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and now Northrop Grumman made possible the majority of the $32, 000 in Scholarships given this cycle. Donations from the Helicopter Officer’s Spouse Club and HSC-25’s LT John Hescock Memorial Golf Tournament rounded out an impressive year of fundraising for the NHA Scholarship Fund. This was the first year the Scholarship Fund had its own booth at the Symposium and it gave us the

opportunity to talk to attendees about what we have to offer the community. Our Scholarships serve all who work in naval rotary wing and being able to tell our story to the many active duty people who came by our booth was particularly important to the Fund. September marks the beginning of our 2013/2014 scholarship cycle and I’m looking forward to a marked increase in applications, especially from our active duty personnel. For all those who read this, please take the time to browse our website at and learn about what we have to offer. Our Social Café link has an advanced look at the questions asked in the online application that we’ll be using in September. I would be remiss if I didn’t publically thank the members of my scholarship team for the planning and hard work they provided in setting up the Scholarship booth at the Symposium. This team of volunteers which included LT Gretchen Rybarczyk, L T J o n a t h a n W e n d t , L T Sean

C A P T ( R e t ) S t e v e n s p i c t u r e d with CAPT(Ret) B u d C o u c h a t t h e N H A Sym p o si u m .

Purdy, LT Alexa Bestoso a n d r e t i r e d member CAPT Bud Couch got us though a busy scholarship cycle but still found time to organize, decorate and staff our booth at the Symposium. Well Done!! Thanks to all who made this year’s Scholarship cycle the most successful one to date. Hold fast, CAPT Paul Stevens, USN (Ret) NHA Scholarship Fund President

Executive Director’s Notes T h i s y e a r ’s Symposium was a real success despite sequestration constraints on travel. Great credit goes to the Symposium Vice President, CDR Bill Sherrod, CO, HSL-49. He and his committee did a super job planning and conducting the Symposium. In addition, the wholehearted support of the two resident wings, HSC and HSM, helped maximize attendance at the major presentations. Highlights of the various events are included in this issue of Rotor Review. We are fortunate that we were able to hold our Symposium as planned as a number of defense related conventions/symposiums had to be cancelled this year due to sequestration. We did take a hit on our contract with Town and Country Hotel that included the number of room nights in the hotel in exchange for meeting space. We only

had 171 room nights of 600 guaranteed. However, we had great continued support from our corporate attendees in terms of sponsorships and exhibitors. We still hear a few members suggest we hold the Symposium in a non-fleet helicopter concentration city but we simply can’t get adequate attendance if we are totally dependent on “fly-in” attendees using airlift and commercial air travel. Squadrons are welcome to plan a “rendezvous” to one of these cities without involving all of the prior commitments associated with planning a large symposium, e.g., hotel, catering, exhibits, speakers, etc., etc. The schedule of events at our symposiums has evolved over time. Years ago we had an Awards Banquet where everyone dressed in their Sunday best and the awards were presented but over time attendance declined. In 2006 we switched to the Awards Lunch where we have had an audience of approximately 8 250. That is less than half of the overall Symposium

attendees. CDR Sherrod has suggested we present the awards the first day following the Keynote Address and Safety presentation to the full audience and then have the Awards Lunch afterward. This way everyone gets to hear the citations. I think it is a good idea and I will discuss it with the Board of Directors. Some symposium attendees don’t think they should have to pay a registration fee. All major conventions/symposiums use some form of computerized registration and charge for it. The past two years we have tried two different companies that have proprietary registration software. These companies recoup their investment and time by charging a fee per attendee and/or contracting for the host hotel. Also, part of the registration fee has included funding for a symposium unique t-shirt that everyone seems to expect. In summary, we take seriously all comments and suggestions about the annual Symposium and NHA operations in general. Col Howard M. Whitfield, USMC (Ret) NHA Executive Director

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A View From The Labs: Supporting The Fleet By CAPT George Galdorisi, USN (Ret)

Ready Warfighters:

Coming Out of the Starting Gate Post-Symposium


n the previous two columns we have looked at the big picture impacting our Rotary Wing Community, first through the prism of Global Trends 2030, the U.S. Intelligence Community’s assessment of mega-trends, and next through the prism of the U.S. Pivot to Asia. Perhaps it’s time to neck it down a bit and get into specifics. To do this, I’d like to offer the perspective of our recently-retired Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Admiral James Stavridis, easily the most accomplished Naval Officer in a generation as well as one who has liberally shared his views in writing. It’s rare that I share an entire piece written by someone else, but in this case it’s completely apropos. In his June 20, 2013 article in Foreign Policy entitled, “The New Triad,” this is what the Admiral offered regarding how we might look at the future...

The New Triad Throughout the long decades of my military career, the backbone of U.S. national security was the “strategic triad” of delivery systems for nuclear weapons: ballistic-missile submarines and their associated nuclear-tipped missiles, land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles operated from silos deep in the earth, and long-range manned bombers, which could deliver nuclear bombs and eventually nucleartipped cruise missiles. America’s reliance on this Cold War triad continues through the present day, though the systems have changed somewhat as a result of both advances in technology and changes in treaty limits, most recently reflected in the New START treaty. As we sail more deeply into the turbulent 21st century, however, there is another triad that bears considering that will be a critical part of U.S. security in the decades to come. This new triad will be far less abstract and hidden-away than the Cold War strategic triad and

much more frequently employed -- often in kinetic ways. This “New Triad” consists of special operations forces, unmanned vehicles, and cyber-capabilities. Each has an important individual role to play, but taken together, the sum of their impacts will be far greater than that of each of the parts when used alone. First, consider special operations forces, or SOF. They have become a tool of choice in a wide variety of actions in today’s world, from the spectacular mission that finally killed Osama bin Laden to training African partners to thwart the brutal Lord’s Resistance Army in Africa, and from helping Colombian forces fight the FARC insurgency in Latin America to providing security for disaster relief operations in Pakistan. Today’s SOF are capable of operating across the entire spectrum of operations, from soft power and training to the ultimate “red dots on foreheads” missions epitomized by the killing of

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bin Laden and popularized by film and television. Because they are trained in languages, cultural mores, high-tech communications, medicine, concealment, and many other discrete skills, they can operate in the widest imaginable variety of geographical settings. They are also small in number, highly motivated, and relatively cost-effective. They are generally precision-guided in their approach, can limit collateral damage, and blend in when needed. The second capability in the New Triad is unmanned vehicles and sensors. This branch of the triad includes not only the airborne attack “drones” that are endlessly debated at the moment, but unmanned surveillance vehicles in the air, on the ground, and on the ocean’s surface. They also operate at depth in the world’s oceans, both in the water column and on the ocean’s floor. For example, the use of “underwater drones” might someday allow attacks Continue on page 10

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on enemy shipping or ports, as well as the exploitation of underwater fiberoptic cables deep on the ocean floor. This could one day provide a rich environment for intelligence collection, “blinding” communication pathways, and the conduct of cyber-operations. While expensive, such systems have the obvious advantage of not requiring the most costly component of all: people. Also, without people operating them, they can perform in far harsher environments and hold a higher degree of political deniability for covert and clandestine operations. And they are highly accurate, are largely networked together via overhead systems, and can provide direct feeds to conventional and special operations forces. Finally, and potentially most powerfully, there is the world of offensive cyber-capability that is just beginning to emerge. This part of the New Triad has the potential to operate with devastating effect, possibly able to paralyze an opponent’s electric grid, transportation network, financial centers, energy supplies, and the like. Cyber-systems can also collect information and intelligence, manipulate enemy navigation and operational systems, and perform in clandestine and un-attributable ways. Although expensive to design and create, they become quite cost-effective to operate over time. Several points emerge as we consider the potential of this New Triad. First, these are all key investment areas for creating security. A dollar spent in these three segments is generally more efficient and -- most importantly -- has a vastly higher chance of being put to use than many other defense investments, including strategic nuclear ones. There is simply no serious question that we will be repeatedly using the components of the New Triad “early and often” as the coming decades unfold. Second, the Defense Department needs to think through how each of these parts of the New Triad will be managed in the procurement, oversight, personnel, and operational senses. For example,

it is probably time to consolidate the myriad cyber-forces owned and operated by the separate services and other parts of the Defense Department and merge them into a single organization, much as was done with today’s U.S. Special Operations Command in Tampa, Florida. Today, each of the military services, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, and each of the combatant commands (Pacific Command, European Command, Central Command, etc.) have significant cyberefforts under way. We need to consolidate them significantly to achieve unity of effort. This means their procurement, command/control, acquisition, and manning will gradually come under a single commander, probably the newly created Cyber Command, headed at present by Gen. Keith Alexander. Frankly, putting the military side of the nation's cyber-capability under Cyber Command is at best an interim solution. Ultimately, we need to create a separate cyber-service, just as we have an Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Just as we finally grasped that the skies were a new domain and created the U.S. Air Force over 60 years ago, it will soon be time to see that cyber is, in fact, a permanent new domain that requires a U.S. Cyber Force. Beginning now to think seriously about this will be part of the implementation of the New Triad. And let’s face it: A new cyberservice will need more than a new style of uniform. It will probably need, for example, a very different personnel system. The type of young woman or man who is deeply engaged in the world of cyber probably isn’t looking for a “high and tight” haircut, eight weeks of boot camp, and a long, slow crawl up a largely seniority-based system for promotion. A U.S. Cyber Force will require a large civilian component and will need to be instinctively oriented toward working with the interagency process and the private sector -- not baseline competencies in today’s Defense Department, despite some improvement over the past decade.

Third, we should be actively exploring how to create synergies between the branches of this New Triad. We are, of course, already doing so in an ad hoc way. But as the capabilities of each branch expand, there needs to be a conscious effort, overseen by the Pentagon’s top brass. In a well-meaning way, each of the services will try to retain as much control as they can over all three of these capabilities -- but if we are to realize the power of combining them operationally, we will need to rise above individual service priorities. We have done this somewhat in the world of special forces, but we need to move further in this direction. Fourth, our research and development teams, especially the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the other laboratories in the department, should work together on the abilities of all three of these areas to enhance them individually and, more importantly, to think about how they can be fused effectively. For example, a project that connects offensive cybersoftware with insertion via special operations or drones would probably be highly useful. Fifth, the component c o m m a n d e r s — both geographical and functional — should consider how to draw on the capabilities of the New Triad in their area of responsibility. How can U.S. Transportation Command use unmanned vehicles in delivery systems? What does U.S. Special Operations Command do to use cyberand unmanned vehicles? In Europe, a highly cyber-oriented part of the world, does U.S. European Command support Cyber Command in convening expert civilian panels to discuss private-public collaboration? At each of the commands, there will be ways these capabilities can be employed both singly and together, both unilaterally and in concert with allies and partners. Learning how to fit them together will be an important operational task, the surface of which we are only just beginning to scratch. Sixth, the policy and defense intellectual community needs to think through the strategic impact of these Continue on page 11


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systems. The current beginnings of a debate about offensive cyberoperations are a good example. Is there a “deterrent theory” that will apply to cyber as it does to nuclear forces? In the world of unmanned vehicles, the legalities and norms related to so-called “targeted killings” will need to be established. Special forces are a more mature domain in this regard, but to the degree that they are used in conjunction with the other two legs of the New Triad, policy questions concerning their use on clandestine and covert missions should be fully considered. Finally, we must get the interagency balance right in operating this New Triad. All three of its elements -- and especially cyber -- will be tools for the Department of Homeland Security,

the CIA, and other interagency actors. Competition among the departments and agencies for a limited pool of talented cyber-personnel is already intense. Balancing the civilian and military sides of all three capabilities will be crucial to their most efficient procurement and use over time. None of this is to say that the traditional nuclear triad is no longer relevant or important, or that conventional forces -- from aircraft carriers to tanks to advanced fighters to infantry battalions -- won’t be useful tools of U.S. security policy. But it seems increasingly clear that the capabilities represented by the New Triad will be frequently used indeed, and we need to spend more time and resources ensuring that they are ready for the inevitable and

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frequent calls for fire that they will continue to receive. Those who know Admiral Stavridis recognize he has been prescient regarding the future the U.S. military will face – as well as how it might deal with that future. The clear question for the Naval Rotary Wing Community is this: How do we in our community embrace the prescience of what he sees in the future to get ahead of the power curve in our community? What kind of people should we recruit in the future; how will we train them; what kind of equipment will we need; what kind of training; what tactics, techniques and procedures do we need to evolve? We can see the future. We now just need to embrace it for our advantage.

Industry and Technology

Students Beat 33-Year Challenge with Human-Powered Helicopter

Press Released by


team of students from the University of Toronto have won the AHS Igor I Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition by flying the Atlas helicopter using only humangenerated power. In winning the award, the team - called AeroVelo – beat a challenge, which had stood undefeated for 33 years.

Watch the Human Powered Helicopter Team in action on

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ed by pilot and chief engineer Dr Todd Reichert, and co-chief engineer Cameron Robertson, the team were granted a prize of $250,000 by sponsor Sikorsky. The record-breaking flight was conducted on 13 June at The Soccer Centre in Vaughan, Ontario. During the flight, Atlas flew above three metres and hovered for approximately 64 seconds. Officials from the American Helicopter Society (AHS) International verified the flight data over the past few weeks and concluded it meets all of the criteria necessary to win the competition. Mark Miller, vice president, research and engineering for Sikorsky, said: ‘When Sikorsky increased the prize to a quarter-million dollars in May 2009, many people were skeptical and felt the challenge was impossible. And that is exactly why we raised the stakes – to encourage creative thinkers to prove that what is considered impossible is often proven to be possible. That has been the philosophy of Sikorsky Aircraft since the founding of our company by aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky 90 years ago. Congratulations to the AeroVelo team!’ Many teams have attempted to beat the challenge since its inception in 1980 by AHS. During that time more than 20 human-powered helicopters have been designed and built, though only a handful have gotten off the ground. Recent teams contending for the prize include the University of Maryland’s Gamera

and the California Polytechnic State University team with its Upturn aircraft. The most successful competitors from the 1980’s and 1990’s included a student team at California Polytechnic State University with its DaVinci III helicopter and the team at Nihon University flying the Yuri I, which previously held the world HPH endurance record at 19.5 seconds. Mike Hirschberg, executive director of AHS International, said: ‘This is an incredible accomplishment. For a third of a century, the AHS Sikorsky Prize has eluded the best minds and technology available. The technological and theoretical advancements achieved in pursuit of our challenge have been astounding.’ AeroVelo’s Atlas vehicle is the largest human-powered helicopter to have flown in the competition, with each of its four rotors measuring nearly 70 feet. The airframe is constructed of very light carbon tube and polymer weighing only 115 lb, with a highly modified bicycle frame pedaled by the pilot. It first flew in August 2012.

Raytheon to Repair Navy SH-60 Turrets Press released by


cKinney, Texas-based Raytheon has won a $9.6-million extension of a U.S. Navy contract to repair multi-spectral targeting system forward looking infrared turrets on the Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk fleet. The agreement runs through May 2014. Most of the work (95 percent) is scheduled to take place in Jacksonville, FL, with the remainder in McKinney. Naval Supply System Command in Philadelphia issued the contract.


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Industry and Technology

Eurocopter X3 Approaches the Sunset of its Brief Life Test pilot, flight engineer talk at Paris Air Show after setting helicopter speed record Article by Andrew Drwiega, International Bureau Chief


Press released by

urocopter test pilot Hervé Jammayrac and experimental flight test engineer Dominique Fournier were at the Paris Air Show to discuss their record-breaking flight in Eurocopter’s X3 technology demonstrator aircraft. The X3 flew at 255 knots (293 mph) in level flight and 263 knots in a dive, topping the previous Sikorsky X2 record of 250 knots level/260 in descent set in September 2010. Fournier said that the record attempt was made because the aircraft still had power in reserve when it recorded 232 knots earlier. There were 17 X3 in-flight with an Albatros AL39. Photo courtesy of Eurocopter flights between the first flight in September 2010 and the May 12, 2011 232knot run, with the crew continually looking at different flight regimes and parameters every time they got to fly the X3. “We tried to recommend where to innovate, and where not to innovate to keep the cost low,” said Fournier. “We had in mind where the technology we were testing might have a serial application,” he added. “The maximum high speed turn we achieved was 2G at 210 knots.” Fournier described the transition between aircraft mode and helicopter mode as seamless. As there is little pitch in the rotor, “you point the nose where you want to land, reduce the speed with the trim, and at 40 knots start pulling the collective up.” He added that to autorotate (although they actually only did the steady phase of autorotation in the air, with the flare and the touch-down portion conducted in the sim), the pitch of the props are set to zero thrust and then just flair and land like a normal helicopter. When demonstrating the aircraft in the United States, where they flew 55 hours, they said that pilots were amazed that the aircraft could be so steady in a dive without increasing speed or vibration. Fournier said that an experienced helicopter pilot would require around four hours in the simulator and one flight hour to convert to the X3. Unfortunately none will get the opportunity as there are only around 10 hours left until the program has run its course, with nothing further planned after that.

New Zealand Orders 10 Kaman Seasprites Press released by


he New Zealand Ministry of Defense has agreed to buy 10 SH-2G Super Seasprites from Kaman Aircraft Corp. According to Kaman, the $120-million contract includes spare parts, a full mission flight simulator and related logistics support for the multi-mission helicopter. New Zealand is scheduled to begin taking delivery of the helicopters beginning later this year. The SH-2G is currently in operation with the Royal New Zealand Navy, along with the Egyptian Air Force and Polish Navy. Kaman started the H-2 Seasprite program in the late 1950s, flying for number of years [with the U.S. Navy] before retiring them in June 2001.

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Industry and Technology

Sikorsky Inks $435 Million Deal for CH-53K Demonstrators Article by Woodrow Bellamy III. Released by

Sikorsky delivered the CH-53K ground test vehicle (GTV) to the U.S. Marines in December 2012. Photo courtesy of Sikorsky


.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has issued a contract to Sikorsky valued at $435.3 million to build four new CH53K test article aircraft, as the Navy’s aviation branch prepares to launch the upgraded variant of the manufacturer’s C-53 series transport helicopters. The CH-53K is designed to carry up to 27,000 lbs (around 12,250 kg) over a range of 110 nautical miles under high-hot ambient conditions, nearly tripling the external load carrying capacity of the CH-53E Super Stallion, according to Frans Jurgens, a spokesperson for Sikorsky. The K variant is a fly-by-wire helicopter with three

7,500-shaft horsepower GE engines and will be the first of the CH-53 family to feature an all-composite airframe and composite rotor blades. “It really is an all-new aircraft in a previous design,” said Jurgens. “From the outside it will look like a CH53, but the capability enhancements are phenomenal.” NAVAIR issued the contract as part of $3.5-billion System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract issued to Sikorsky in April 2006. The agreement calls for 17 percent of the work to take place in Stratford, CN and another 17 at the manufacturer’s flight test facility in West Palm Beach,

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FL, with 15 percent of the work in Wichita, KS, 10 percent in Salt Lake City, Utah and a number of other locations contributing in the low single-digit percentages. The first flight for the CH-53K test aircraft is scheduled for the end of 2014, with delivery of all four aircraft expected by 2017 and initial operational capability by 2019.

Industry and Technology

1st Upgraded MQ-8C Fire Scout Delivered to US Navy Press released by


he U.S. Navy got its first look at the upgraded MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned system when Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) delivered its first MQ-8C system this month. Northrop Grumman is the Navy’s prime contractor for the MQ-8 Fire Scout program of record. The company delivered the first MQ-8C aircraft to the Navy in early July in preparation for ground and flight testing. “The endurance upgrade doubles

the time on station of the MQ-8 system and will help reduce the workload for the ship’s crew by cutting the number of times the crew will need to be in flight quarters,” said George Vardoulakis, vice president, medium range tactical systems for Northrop Grumman. “Ground and flight testing are the next steps in meeting the urgent requirement for maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Testing on the Naval Air Systems Command test range provides us with extended air space to conduct and demonstrate long endurance and systems testing in a maritime environment.” The upcoming tests will be used to validate and mature the upgraded MQ-8 system for operational use. Initial ground testing will ensure that the systems work properly and

communicate with the ground control station prior to conducting first flight. The MQ-8 system with the upgraded MQ-8C aircraft will share proven software, avionics, payloads and ship ancillary equipment with the MQ-8B aircraft. The upgraded Fire Scout responds to an urgent need to provide the Navy with increased endurance, range and payload. Using a modified commercially available airframe, the upgraded MQ-8 system can provide commanders with three times the payload and double the endurance at extended ranges compared to the current MQ8B variant. The MQ-8B aircraft currently operates on Navy frigates and in Afghanistan, where it provides intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities to maritime and ground commanders. The first deployment of the upgraded MQ-8 system with the MQ-8C Fire Scout aircraft will be in 2014.

Flight Simulation, Training Find Oasis at Russia’s UTair Article by Elena Malova. Released by


Tair Training Center, located in Tyumen—one of the most important industrial and economic centers east of the Urals and a vast oil-rich region stretching from the Kazakh border to the Arctic—is recognized throughout the industry for its high level of professionalism and commitment to safety and excellence.


he UTair Training Center in Tyumen dates back to 1967, when it was a training facility unit for the Tyumen Civil Aviation Department. Later it developed into a Personnel Training Center (PTC) and was registered as a non-commercial partnership that soon grew into one of the largest civil aviation training centers in Russia. UTair Aviation and its subsidiaries, UTair Engineering and Center of Transport and Services, established the center. The facility contains training infrastructure for engineers and pilots, and has trained pilots, flight attendants, mechanics and technicians for more than 50 years. Currently, 18,000 students from Russia, Colombia, Turkey, China, Sudan, Nepal, Africa and Peru attend UTair’s training classes every year.

Vladimir Demkin, UTair training center director, is a rotary and fixed-wing pilot and has flown Mil Mi26s, Mi-8s and Tu-154s. He also holds the position of deputy flight director at UTair Aviation. In 2011, Eurocopter certified the UTair training facility, meaning that pilots and mechanics were authorized to train in Russia to Eurocopter standards. Therefore, PTC became the 20th training center in the global Eurocopter training network and the first without Eurocopter shareholding participation. The center is approved for AS350 and AS355 type ratings. The successful operation of the center shows the high professional


UTair Mi-26T simulator. Photo by Marianna Efremova

degree of UTair and the company’s commitment to complying with international requirements. It enjoys the full support of helicopter manufacturers and has secured communication on best practices and the latest training materials. UTair Training Center provides a “complete and dedicated training environment,” where students are able to “achieve their objectives in the most efficient manner. PTC consists of an administration center, a flight simulator training facility, lecture halls, instructor briefing offices and a Continue on page 16

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Industry and Technology Continue from page 15

library with Mil and Eurocopter manuals and references,” explains Demkin. “Our success lies in our sophisticated pilot training programs, along with effective management systems and qualified instructors,” says Demkin. “Very experienced pilots come from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Defense and other governmental structures around the world. They all go through what we call here ‘an adaptation program’ and after certain procedures start working with us.” PTC’s philosophy “is to teach pilots to do their job well,” he adds. “Certainly it includes effective and adaptable procedures, an applied operational knowledge, good and confident managing skills. All these are taught and then put into practice via roleplaying immediately. We have identified specific objectives and designed real-life situations to achieve them. Theory and practical training are integrated strategically for maximum productivity.”

Navy Completes First X-47B Arrested Landing Article by Woodrow Bellamy III. Released by

The X-47B aboard USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) after safely landing. During the July 10 test, the X-47B caught the 3 wire with the aircraft’s tailhook. Photo courtesy of NAVAIR


he U.S. Navy on Wednesday conducted the first arrested landing onto an aircraft carrier with Northrop Grumman’s X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) carrier demonstration aircraft. After taking off from the Naval Air Station (NAS) at Patuxent River, Md., the X-47B completed a 35 minute flight, reaching 145 knots prior to landing on the deck of the USS George H.W. Bush off the coast of Virginia. Through GPS coordinates and advanced avionics, the flight of the X-47B was controlled almost entirely by computers.  “This demonstration has enabled us to merge industry and

government technologies together which will enable the U.S. Navy to pursue future unmanned aviation carrier capabilities,” said RADM Mat Winter, who oversees the program executive office for unmanned aviation and strike weapons. Over the last decade, the Navy has been working on integrating unmanned aircraft into its carrier operations. Wednesday’s arrested landing was the final test flight of an eight month program, which included a catapult launch from an aircraft carrier in May.  The X-47B, with a 62-foot wingspan and capability of reaching

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40,000 feet, is a demonstration aircraft, designed to simulate future sea-based missions for the Navy. Results from the recent test flights will help the Navy to develop parameters for a next-generation variant of the X-47B, as it looks to launch its Unmanned CarrierLaunched Surveillance and Strike program (UCLASS), which it is currently seeking proposals for. 

See more at


Alone, Unafraid and Excelling Article and Photos by LT Jeanne Moody, USN


he Eightballers of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron EIGHT (HSC-8) continue to lead the way in carrierbased rotary aviation, setting the standard for excellence as the only HSC carrier squadron deployed at the time of this writing. Departing home station in NAS North Island, San Diego, CA, on September 1, 2012, HSC-8 deployed aboard the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) after returning only six months earlier from a 2011-2012 FIFTH Fleet Deployment. HSC-8 began deployment at full throttle, flying 156 sorties and 363.9 hours before entering its first port in Kota Kinabalou, Malaysia; this port was a first for a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier. While anchored in the Malaysian port-of-call, the squadron enjoyed some good liberty and enhanced international relations by providing Diplomatic Logistics flights and tours for local dignitaries. The mission of global outreach continued with the rest of the Strike Group’s port calls to Phuket, Bahrain, and two stops in Dubai. As a result, these interactions strengthened our nation’s rapport with allies around the world and allowed squadron personnel to take much needed time off. During the most recent surge


he Eightballers also demonstrated their exceptional skill and readiness during an actual SAR by rescuing a man while transiting the Straits of Singapore and performing 14 MEDEVACs from the Stennis and other coalition ships.

deployment of Carrier Air Wing 9 (CVW-9), HSC-8 maintained its reputation as a vital operational asset, both in and outside of the fundamental mission of Search and Rescue (SAR) / Plane Guard. The squadron provided critical security during transits through the Strait of Hormuz, ready to employ defensive maneuvering and lethal firepower if required. LT Jed “Clocktower” Dougherty noted, “Straits transits keep vital sea lanes open to commerce and ensure ships conducting transit passage are unimpeded – they also help establish our commitment to our coalition partners in the Middle East and serve to underscore our stabilizing presence in the region.” The Eightballers


also demonstrated their exceptional skill and readiness during an actual SAR by rescuing a man while transiting the Straits of Singapore and by performing 14 MEDEVACs from the Stennis and other coalition ships. Additionally, HSC-8 maintains a detachment onboard the supply ship USNS Bridge (T-AOE 10). To date, the two-helicopter detachment has transferred 5,741,000 pounds of cargo during VERTREP operations to 21 U.S. and coalition vessels. Throughout the deployment, the faces of the HSC-8 Wardroom continued to change. The squadron has wished “farewell and following seas” to LT Matt “Gretel” Williamson, LT Max “Heckler” Roberts, LT Patrick “Gummi Bear” Colyer and LT Jeremy “Tantrum” Continue on page 18

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Hans. Amidst the goodbyes to these diligent Eightballers, HSC-8 has also welcomed LT Jeanne “Outlook” Moody, LTJG Leah “Siri” Jordan, LTJG Rebekah “IKE” Cranor, LTJG Daniel “Fumpa” Umpa, LTJG Alec “Cooter” Turnbull, LCDR Tom “TC” Neill, LT Vic “New Guy” Baldoni and LT Thanh “Panda” Nyugen. Prior to the conclusion of a training detachment in Guam, HSC-8 Commanding Officer, CDR Larry Meehan, orchestrated a pilot-exchange with HSC-25, supplementing the Eightballer wardroom with helicopter pilots LT Brian “Brad” Hock and LTJG Jack “Simple” McCain. This afforded a singular opportunity for our Expeditionary brethren to experience the world of carrier operations and allow HSC-8 to gain valuable pilots for the execution of a demanding flight schedule. After five months on cruise, HSC8 has flown an impressive 1,007 sorties and 2,604 mishap-free hours. This deployment also marked the squadron’s seven-year, 20,000-hour Class Alpha mishap-free

milestone. HSC-8 has executed four detachments to date: one in Guam, two while in the Arabian Gulf to Udairi Army Airfield, and one to Masirah, Oman. These detachments enabled HSC-8 aircrews to hone their tactical skills in the areas of Personnel Recovery (PR), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW), and Special Operations Forces (SOF). Additionally, during the course of deployment, LT Ian Braun and LT Andrew “Bag” Coe qualified as Helicopter Aircraft Commander (HAC). Furthermore, LTJG Robert “Shy Robbie” Steiner, LTJG Adam “Touch’em” Hall, LTJG Jordan and LT Moody qualified as Helicopter Second Pilot (H2P). The persistent hard work and dedication of the HSC-8 Eightballers has reflected distinction on all of CVW9 and continue to surpass expectations. As the surge deployment carries on, HSC-8 “continues to maintain excellent operational readiness through diligent

attention to the basics,” states CDR Meehan. Whether supporting Joint Close Air Support (CAS), Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team rappelling, Search and Rescue (SAR) or plane guard, HSC-8 has risen to meet every challenge and will continue to accomplish the mission with the professionalism and skill commensurate with the highest standards of rotary aviation. As the deployment wanes and the eyes of the squadron turn homeward, the Eightballers remain ever-thankful for the support of families and friends back stateside. The HSC-8 Eightballers eagerly look forward to the day the skyline of San Diego appears on the horizon and to the overdue reunion with loved ones.

Chapter VII: The Ukraine - Not THE Way, Just A Way! Excerpt from the upcoming book Eyes Over Afghanistan by LCDR Matt Vernon, USNR


n 2007 LT Vernon was sent on an Individual Augmentation (IA) to Afghanistan. His role was as part of the first ever all-Navy Embedded Training Team. The team’s job was to embed with the Afghan National Army Air Corps as advisors with his orders placing him “in a flying status” there. Following his arrival in Afghanistan, he was reassigned to an Air Force staff at Camp Eggers in Kabul. Being the lone helo pilot on the staff, he was considered a subject matter expert of all things rotary wing. As such, he found himself suddenly in charge of setting up a pilot training program for the Afghan Presidential Airlift squadron. The presidential squadron was flying the Mi-8mtv/Mi-17 Hip. In order to successfully set up the training program, he would have to go through the same Mi-17 training that the Afghan pilots did in the Ukraine. The following account is a chapter out of Matt Vernon’s book, Eyes Over Afghanistan, which is still in work. Here, he vividly and humorously highlights the differences between Russian and U.S. training policy, emphasizing that their way is “not THE way, just a way”. I nt r oduc t ion by LCDR C h i p L a n c a s t e r, U S N ( R e t )

When I was a Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy, I was a member of a shooting team called the Combat Arms Team. We had twelve team members and several coaches from the SEAL teams and Marines. Most weekends we travelled to compete in International Practical Shooters Competition (I.P.S.C.) matches and to the

other Service Academies for various shooting competitions. During my junior year, the gun company Heckler and Koch sponsored our team. As part of the sponsorship, our team went to the H&K training facility in Sterling, Virginia. Mr. Zink, a retired Delta Force operator and one of the finest combat

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shooters in the world, instructed the twoday submachine gun course we attended. I remember the excitement of the first morning. After years of watching war movies like Delta Force and Navy SEALs, I was finally going to have my crack at the fully automatic MP-5 submachine gun. When I was a Cadet in ROTC at Arizona State University before the Academy, I had done a presentation on the MP-5 and knew every aspect of the gun. Mr. Zink, wise beyond his years, sensed the Christmas morning giddy in all of us waiting to fire full-auto for the first time. Now the course was not about shooting wildly on full-auto as this is not very effective in hitting the target, but rather it would teach us how to shoot controlled bursts accurately. As I said, Mr. Zink somehow knew that he could not teach us how to shoot controlled until we got that first full-auto shoot out of our systems. At least that is what he told us. He directed us to load one magazine with thirty rounds, get on the firing line, put the Continue on page 19



n the Russian military each aircraft is assigned one flight crew of two pilots, one flight engineer and two door gunners. It is their aircraft. In the U.S. Navy we deploy with several crews per aircraft, so we can fly with different crews all 24 hours of the day. No one particular aircraft is assigned to a crew. Crews switch between aircraft and other crew members every day.

Ivan (Ukranian flight instructor) and LCDR Matt Vernon (l-r). Photo by Unknown

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gun on full-auto and “have at it.” Oh, the joy of watching thirty rounds go down range in a blaze of glory. Like kids in a candy shop, we all shot so spectacularly all over the place and loved every second, all three of them. Then it was down to business. We started with the trigger control, learning to fire only one round while the gun is still in full automatic. Then two-shot bursts, three-shot bursts, and four-shot bursts. By the end of the weekend, Mr. Zink had us shooting controlled groups while moving and shooting. However, of all the masterful lessons I learned that weekend, the most important lesson was not from something said, but from a sign on the wall. Over the entrance to the Heckler and Koch training facility is a sign that reads, “Not THE way, just a way.” This saying was embodied by their instructors. Humble enough despite their own success to realize when it comes to

teaching and learning that there is not always “The Way,” or in other words not everything has one specific way that is right. A Japanese proverb says there are many paths that lead to the top of Mount Fuji. I have had many friends ask me, “What is the best handgun?” I always give the reply, “The one that you like and shoot the best!” Often, in real life situations, it is difficult to give up one’s pride to accept something new or different. In Naval Aviation we are taught that there is a right way and a wrong way. The right way is the way our Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization or NATOPS book says is the right way. The Ukrainian and Russian flight school would teach me more than “A” way to fly. Just because the flight

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13


school in the Ukraine did not use the Western standard for aviation did not mean that its method of teaching was not another very viable training method. My time in the Ukraine, from the second I touched ground, would help shed many of the preconceived notions I had formed on training, fighting, and winning. Just getting to the Ukraine was an adventure. My first obstacle was to find the right color of money to pay for my training. Even though a two-star general in a time of war ordered me to go get trained in the Mi-8mtv, the laws and rules associated with funding the war made it near impossible for a general to just freelance a plan. We had millions of dollars allocated for training the Afghans that were illegal to use to train an American, even though I would return to the country and train Afghans. The U.S. Army does have a base in Texas where Continue on page 20

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they actually teach the Mi-8. Unfortunately, the school was temporarily closed. Actually, even if the school were open, I still would have wanted to go to the Ukraine for my training. First of all, the same qualification in the Ukraine would cost $68 thousand dollars versus $300 thousand in the U.S. The second and more important reason to me was that I felt, in order to teach the Afghans how to better operate an Air Corps, I needed to go through the same training that they experienced. I needed to know why they planned and flew the way they did. I needed to see through their eyes. There is an old story about a young man named Plato who came to his teacher Socrates and asked to learn all that he knew. Socrates took him down to a river, walked halfway into the water, and then grabbed Plato by the hair and thrust him underwater. The young boy thrashed and sprawled to free himself. On the verge of death, Socrates raised Plato’s head from the water and said, “When you want knowledge the way you just wanted air, then you will be ready to learn.” Well, I wanted to learn how to fly the Mi-8 as badly as Plato wanted air, and I did not care what it would take to get my training. Luckily, I was surrounded by some of the finest officers and friends, who were far less self-serving than I, and who sacrificed greatly to make my training happen. After several tireless weeks, we got the money freed up. I bought a ticket from a local travel agent and packed what few civilian clothes I owned.

The first leg of my trip was to convoy from Camp Eggers in downtown Kabul to Kabul International Air Field. Despite being the shortest leg of my trip, it was by far the most dangerous. This trip was merely three miles away, but it was three miles of the most attacked stretches of road in Afghanistan. Literally, from the front gate of Eggers to the runway at the airfield, absolutely not one inch of the trip was safe. Earlier in the month one of the U.S. Armored Humvees was hit by a vehicle-born Improvised Explosive Device (I.E.D.) as it left the gate at Camp Eggers. I was just walking through the door of the two-story building I lived in when the blast detonated. It was about a hundred yards away, and it still knocked me to my knees and shattered several windows on the base. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt, other than the suicide bomber. A month before we arrived in Kabul, a suicide bomber had blown up a bus at the main gate of Kabul International Airport killing 56 civilians. What was left of the car that was filled with explosives actually landed on the ground where contractors were building our new barracks. So you can image the three mile drive was no Sunday picnic. The drive was like a cross between a theme park amusement ride, a James Bond movie, and a stroll through a minefield with all

the accompanying adrenaline rushes. We drove armored suburbans. We would leave with no less than two vehicles and always followed two simple rules. The first was to never let another vehicle get in between the convoy, and the second was to never ever under any circumstance stop the vehicle. Even if we hit a car, we would just throw a note out the window telling the person we hit to take the note to the U.S. Embassy to be paid for damages. We drove over curbs on the wrong side of the road, against traffic, and through walkways if need be as long as we never slowed down. Yeehaw! I remember my favorite SUV to follow was a beat up underpowered piece that would shoot out a huge black cloud of smoke when it accelerated. That cloud pretty much masked everything driving behind it. It was like engaging smokescreen from the arcade game Spy Hunter. As fortune would smile on us so many times, it did that day as well and we arrived at the airfield unharmed. From the airfield, I changed into civilian clothes, drove to the Afghan side of the base, and walked through a secret back door that spit me out onto the streets of Afghanistan in front of the main terminal at Kabul International Airfield. A few minutes earlier I was in full body armor, encased in a heavily armored vehicle in order to protect me from the dangers of Afghan life outside the base, and now I stood in the middle of an Afghan crowd with no armor, no weapon, and no vehicle or fellow soldiers to protect me. I Continue on page 21

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Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13

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all kinds of noise and the other with a Every meal was potatoes or noodles and some waited my turn to pay my US $11 tax to couch and TV. The TV got about ten form of sausage. I ate a lifetime worth of leave the country. In line with me were Ukrainian channels with two in English. potatoes and sausage. My older brother was hardened contractors, doctors, nurses, The bathroom had a Victorian style tub the first to make the comment that the funny non-government agency employees, with a shower curtain that only extended thing about stereotypes is that they are broad Afghans, French, German, English, half way around the tub. The water sweeping generalizations that are true. Well, Saudi, Kuwaiti and who knows how heater provided about three minutes of if I had to describe my stereotypical view of many other foreign nationals all waiting hot water. Showering became a sport life in the former Soviet Union, it would have to board a semi-safe Afghan operated as I raced to see if I could get clean matched the reality that was Kremenchug. Kamir Airlines flight that would take us before the hot water ran out, all while The buildings were large, solid, concrete gray to Dubai. acrobatically trying to keep the water structures that resembled American prisons. It constantly amazes me how inside the half covered tub. Two maids The cars were crappy, steel boxes, and the standing in line or waiting for a plane would come in and clean the room daily. grocery stores only sold basic generic brands. always places different races and They also hand washed any laundry for a The flash of Western technology was visible in religions into the same little microcosm fee that somehow kept increasing daily. some shops and on the TV, but the shadow of of humanity. Jews, Hindus, Muslims, I believe they were testing to see how communism still darkened the city. Christians, and Buddhists can all much I was willing to pay. The average Entering the school was like time simultaneously be united in the hatred salary in Kremenchug was only $140 warping back to the early sixties: black and common enemy chalkboards, small of standing in line. I uring my Emergency Procedure class, I learned wooden desks, posters think if we wanted to the biggest difference between U.S. flight of aircraft systems, and get the UN to agree, wooden depictions of operations and Russian flight operations. I hydraulic, oil, and flight we should just make them all stand in have lived my aviation career under the axiom of control systems. So this line at Disneyland “my crew, my craft, my mission,” in that order... The is what a school looked together for a few like for my parents. I Russian system was the opposite of that: the mission, am pretty sure that my hours. the craft, the crew. The crews knew that mission instructors were old After a shaky flight to was the priority. Sacrificing the crew and the craft for enough to have been my Dubai, I flew to teachers as well. mission accomplishment was taught and expected. I parents’ Istanbul, Turkey Ivan was my instructor suppose that if this had not been the case, the Russians for most of the first week and then on to Kiev International Airport would not have been able to defeat the Nazi army of training at the school. in the Ukraine. in World War II. Not right, not wrong, just different. He taught what we would At the airport, I call airframes class. He whisked through the wore a white coat like processing station thanks to a special US dollars a month, so I was more than a doctor and largely taught the class to me in letter from the Kremenchug Flight willing to pay the increasing prices. a heavy Russian accent. To his credit, I think Type rating training for the Mi-8 he spoke better English than my translator. School. My liaison/escort was an amazing Ukrainian named Ilian. The consisted of 24 days of ground school, As a side note and a credit to the humanity city of Kremenchug was the hub of 10 hours in the simulator and 10 hours and communal care of communism, I found rotary wing training in the former Soviet of flight time. The college itself was out later that the flight college actually had a Union. It sits on the Dnieper River, four blocks from the hotel and consisted computer lab with the entire ground school three and a half hours by car south of of four buildings. The entire compound portion available via self-paced computer Kiev. During its heyday the flight was no bigger than an American high based training. However, unless specifically college had hundreds of aircraft and school. Most of the students were requested, the college put all the foreign produced thousands of Soviet helicopter studying various non-flying aspects of students through the actual flight college and pilots. Twenty-years after the collapse aviation to include bookkeeping, tower used the money from foreign students to pay of the Soviet Union, it now had only one control, maintenance, and management. for the handful of instructors. The instructors operable helicopter that serviced mainly The students wore dark blue military who were left with no pension when the Soviet style uniforms. Several British SAS Union collapsed would otherwise have been left transition training for Western pilots. I stayed in a luxury suite at pilots and Air Force 6th SOS pilots were destitute. It was comforting to see a business the Kremenchug Hotel overlooking in a class ahead of me. I was the only more concerned about its long-term employees Lenin square. It was a nice hotel room one in my class. than about making short-term profit. The old We all ate breakfast, lunch, and school hands-on type instruction worked really by Eastern Block standards. I had two rooms, one with a rickety bed that made dinner in a small room at the college. Continue on page 22



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well for me. It was fantastic dealing with an actual person who had worked on the systems he taught for decades. It was humbling to be around such professionals. Several of the instructors had over twenty thousand hours of flight time, unheard of in the U.S. military. During my Emergency Procedure class, I learned the biggest difference between U.S. flight operations and Russian flight operations. I have lived my aviation career under the axiom of “my crew, my craft, my mission,” in that order. Every decision, all my training, every emergency procedure was focused on bringing the crew home alive. If the mission failed and we brought the helo home, we would fight that mission another day. If we put the helo in the ocean and we all lived, well, then there would be another helo and another mission on another day. There is. however, no coming back from losing a crew. The Russian system was the opposite of that: the mission, the craft, the crew. The crews knew that mission was the priority. Sacrificing the crew and the craft for mission accomplishment was taught and expected. I suppose that if this had not been the case, the Russians would not have been able to defeat the Nazi army in World War II. Not right, not wrong, just different. The best example of this philosophy change is the Mi-17 Hip vs. MH-60S main transmission chip light caution procedure. In our helicopters we can lose an engine, crap two hydraulic systems, even lose control of the tail and still fight the aircraft to a safe landing. However, if the transmission comes apart, the blades stop spinning, and we become a flying brick. If the gears start to grind and come apart, the time between initial recognition to total seizure can be a matter of seconds. Inside the transmission, we have chip detectors that are designed to alert the pilots that metal chips are present in the transmission oil system. Usually before the gears fail, they will start to chip apart. The chip detectors are basically two small magnets with a space between them located in various places in the flow of oil. As the metal chips accumulate on the magnet, eventually the chips connect the space completing a circuit and setting off

a chip warning light. The light itself can malfunction, so the pilots then look for secondary indications of a failure. These secondaries can be smells, grinding sounds, a drop in oil pressure, or a rise in oil temperature to name a few. In the MH-60S, the main transmission chip light with secondaries emergency procedure requires the pilots to land the helicopter as soon as possible. As soon as possible means to land at the first available sight where the crew can execute a safe landing. In the MH-60S that means any semiflat surface that is roughly 80 feet in diameter. Parking lots, roads, fields and beaches are all good spots. However, in the Russian Mi-17, the procedure is to fly to the nearest aerodrome and land. I asked the instructor why they would risk losing the crew by flying all the way back to the airfield when they could just land and fix the helicopter almost anywhere. The instructor glared at me with a strange look and said, “What good would the pilots be without the helicopter?” In the Russian military each aircraft is assigned one flight crew of two pilots, one flight engineer and two door gunners. It is their aircraft. In the U.S. Navy we deploy with several crews per aircraft, so we can fly with different crews all 24 hours of the day. No one particular aircraft is assigned to a crew. Crews switch between aircraft and other crew members every day. Personally, I found myself thinking deeply about the merits of both beliefs. I see how and why the Russians do what they do. They are willing to sacrifice themselves for the good of their country, military, and families. I am not sure whether it is the best idea to plan to sacrifice one’s self when other options are available, but it is an intimidating stance to take in a war. Russian service personnel are willing to die to win. In the end I decided to stick with the U.S. system of saving my crew first and foremost; however, I would also strongly consider the importance of every mission I was on. Each philosophy is “A” way, and neither is “THE” way. At the end of the day there are many paths that lead to the top of Mount Fuji, but some of those paths are better

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13


than others. I learned “A” new way of teaching someone how to fly and many new views on combat, some good and some bad. At least now I had seen through the eyes of my Afghan pilots that went through the same training. I would be remiss to not mention some of the funny experiences I had in the Ukraine flight program. Once again to continue the stereotypes, my instructor pilot was named Ivan. Ivan was pretty much hammered drunk on every flight. On my first day of actual flying, we did an engine run-up check. This consisted of taking engines from their idle setting to their fly setting. The engine should spool up in 3 to 6 seconds. We did the check, and the first engine came to life right on cue; however, the second engine did not seem to ever actually spool up. After 12 seconds it began to sputter, and at about 16 seconds it finally sluggishly came to life. I asked Ivan if we should let the engine warm up and then test it again. He asked me if I had 300 thousand dollars to buy him a new engine. When I replied in the negative, he told me, “That engine will do fine.” I looked across the once sprawling flight line, the very center of helicopter training for all of Russia. There sat probably a hundred old rusted gutted helicopter shells. It dawned on me the lengths this city and these pilots had gone through over the last twenty years to keep this school operating. They had cannibalized all the other helicopters to keep the one last helicopter flying. So the last two operable engines would have to do. After failing the run up checks, we prepared for takeoff. I expected Ivan to take the controls and at least demonstrate the first take off. After all, the blades on the Hip spin the opposite direction of the US helicopters I had flown. No, instead he breathed on me with his vodka breath and said, “I think maybe it’s better if you fly today.” Okay, looks like I will be the instructor and the student. I am pretty sure that if my skipper back home knew about this, he would not have given me permission to come to this flight school. I don’t think our operational risk management sheets even had a spot for instructor pilot is drunk. Another example of the Russian way potentially being better came from a set of flight clothes the school gave me. They gave me a Russian made bomber coat that looked like something from the fifties. It was thick and heavy, dark blue with the big furry liner around the neck. You know what though, after freezing my butt off on the first preflight in the Continue on page 23

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-38 degree weather while wearing my fancy expensive American made vortex coat, I decided to give the Russian coat a try. It was warm and comfortable, and I am sure a fifth of the price. Lastly, while flying around the city, Ivan told me it was time to practice unprepared landings. When I asked him where I could land he said anywhere. In America if we landed anywhere, we would be sued immediately. However, in a country with no lawyers, it was still okay to just land anywhere. Different? Yes! Better? We’ll see! We rolled right into some family’s back yard. I could see them looking at us from their back window. Then we landed in a frozen river bed with barely enough clearance on either side. Then we landed in the middle of a frozen lake. We kept all the power on, so the helicopter did not set down with all of its weight. I do believe that if my CO in San Diego had any idea of the craziness that was part of this Russian flight school, he may have objected more to my flight training. Out of sight, out of mind I guess. One of the flights was an instrument approach training period. Of course, the Hip was only equipped with one instrument-- an NDB or non-directional (radio) beacon. Unlike other navigation tools used elsewhere in the world that provide bearing and distance, the NDB merely provides a not entirely accurate direction needle that points towards the beacon--- plus or minus five to ten degrees. It essentially points you in the right direction. An ILS approach in the MH60S will guide the helicopter to within feet of the approach end of a runway. The NDB, on the other hand, will just get you close to the beacon. Naturally, the precision of “close” is affected by atmospheric conditions such as rain and snow. In aviation, pilots follow takeoff and landing minimum rules for weather. In the Navy I was required to have weather that was at least 200 feet of vertical and 1/2 mile horizontal clearance above the published minimum weather for a precision approach at the takeoff airport. An example would be if North Island had an ILS approach with a weather minimum of 200 and 1/2 then I would have to add an additional 200 and 1/2 to make the weather minimum for my takeoff, 400 feet of vertical ceiling, and 1 mile of horizontal visability. On the day of

my instrument flight the weather at the field was 80 foot vertical and 200 meters of horizontal visibility. Well below any acceptable weather to fly in the US. I addressed this with Ivan during our brief and he told me, “Yes, we have weather minimums as well, but I am number one instructor pilot in all of Russia. Those rules no apply to me!” Okay, well, I happen to agree with those rules. We briefed the flight and then went to preflight the helicopter. In addition to the low ceilings, it was also minus 38 degrees Celsius which is about the same temperature in Fahrenheit. Even though I had been told several times that only the flight engineer can preflight, I decided to follow the flight engineer through the preflight for my own edification. When I told him I was just trying to learn the systems, they were okay with me preflighting. The preflight took about fifteen minutes. Despite having on very thick vertex gloves, at the end of the preflight, my fingers felt a little strange and stiff. I climbed into the helo where huge heat vents were being blown from a heat truck into the cabin and onto the skin of the helo to get the ice off. I pulled my gloves off to put my hands into the heater and was shocked to see my fingers were purple. Wow, this weather was no joke; my hands were actually freezing already. It was the most frightened I had been on this whole deployment. Thank goodness that color and feeling returned to normal after about ten minutes. By the time we took off, the weather had improved to a little over a hundred feet or whatever 40 meters worked out to be. We did running takeoffs and landings on the frozen grass field, a very uncomfortable feeling. The helicopter bounced up and down like an off road vehicle. After takeoff we climbed into the clouds and flew straight ahead for a minute. Luckily, the temperature was actually below the most lethal temps for causing icing on a helicopter. Visible moisture in the air with temps between -5 and 5 degrees Fahrenheit are the most dangerous because the rain hits the colder skin of the helicopter and freezes to it. When the temperature is as low as -40 degrees,

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13


the moisture is already frozen and has a lower tendency to stick to the aircraft on impact. After flying straight for a minute and climbing to 300 meters, we turned right 90 degrees and then flew straight for another minute. Then we did another 90 degree turn and flew downwind for three minutes. The entire pattern was basically a rectangle. After the three minute downwind, we turned right again and flew a one minute base leg before turning right the last time to put us on a two minute final. The Russians put two NDBs on the final approach path in perfect line to the airfield. After we turned final, we flew directly towards the first NDB. As soon as we experienced beacon passage, indicated by the needle on the compass swinging from in front of us to behind us, we quickly retuned the NDB to the next beacon. It would assure that we were on a straight line between the two beacons. The airport was on the other side of the second beacon. After passing the first beacon, we began a descent. In Kremenchug there were two 200 foot towers on either side of the approach corridor, so it was imperative that the helicopter stay on the course between the two beacons. I felt like a football splitting the uprights on each approach. The problem with an NDB is that it does not account for drift caused by crosswinds. If the winds pushed us off course several degrees right or left, we would smack right into the towers. Ivan was totally comfortable and could see the ground hazily through the clouds on final and just kept saying, “Good good, continue approach.” Seven NDB approaches later, and I was a qualified Hip instrument pilot. This qualification, however, would do me no good because none of the NDBs in the Stan were still operable. All things considered, my instrument flight was one experience I think I could have passed on. It did help me see through the eyes of my Afghans and understand a little bit more why they crashed so many helicopters in bad weather. When I returned, unlike my own example, I would need to focus on teaching the Afghans it is not okay to fly with weather below minimums. I could now teach what I knew and lead where I went! LCDR Matthew Vernon, USNR, graduated from the Naval Academy in 2000 and was winged in 2002. He has had tours in the MH-60S with HC-8/ HSC-28 and HSC-3. He is currently flying for the government while maintaining his reserve status with HSC-84.


“All on Black” Article and Photos by LT Grace Reilly, USN


ome of the sounds heard by members of the HSC-23 Wildcards over the past two weeks would be familiar to anyone going through a Seahawk Weapons and Tactics Program (SWTP) syllabus. The standard “three minutes, one minute, thirty seconds” calls passed from cockpit to cabin while coming in for a Special Operations Forces (SOF) infil. Lead calling for the flight to commence an “L-attack right side, flex dogbone” with M-240 and GAU-21 rounds firing on a burnt out truck in the middle of the desert. The hum of maintainers working day and night to support a busy flight schedule. 24 Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13


Bullet 45 prepares to insert Navy SEALs from SEAL Team THREE to a mountain ridge in the Nevada Test and Training Range northwest of Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

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Then there were those sounds that were a little unusual. The calls from the crewmen bringing the pilots into a one wheel pinnacle landing at 9000 feet of density altitude. The crackly radio transmission of an actual SEAL team joint terminal attack controller (JTAC) clearing aircraft to engage targets during a coordinated attack. The roar of an A-10 completing a breathtaking show of force maneuver and dramatically pulling up overhead. The sound (or lack thereof) of a stealthy 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment helicopter suddenly materializing out of the darkness to exfil a platoon of SEALs. And of course, “All on black!” From July 8th to July 18th, 2013, HSC-23 moved our tactical operations from our backyard of NAF El Centro to the Air Force’s playground in the mountainous ranges around Nellis Air Force Base. Nellis may have been serving as SEAL Team THREE’s standin for the unforgiving environs of Afghanistan during their deployment workups, but it had

the benefit of being located 30 minutes from the heart of the Las Vegas strip. In addition to the more glitzy pleasures of Sin City, we got the amazing experience of working with the best that the Navy and Air Force have to offer. SEAL Team THREE JTACs coordinated infil/exfil and close air support (CAS) with multiple airframes, including Navy MH-60S, Army MH60L, and Air Force MQ-1, MQ-9, F-15E, F-16, A-10, and F-35A, the last of which were making their first foray into the CAS mission set. Our missions started with dual ship SOF support including infil in mountain landing zones and close combat attack capability in order to help train new JTACs on how to make clear, concise calls, provide specific talk-ons, and direct the effective use and deconfliction of different assets with varying capabilities. As they gained experience, the missions increased in difficulty culminating with the Wildcards launching four bird full mission profiles to include a section


of assault force aircraft and a section of CAS support gunships operating in a stack from which the JTAC coordinated CAS tasking. Though the learning curve was steep for some of the junior aircrew, the joint briefs and debriefs provided everyone with valuable insight into the different mindsets of jet pilots, helo bubbas, and special operators enabling us to skillfully and safely complete all objectives. And of course, we were able to spend some of our free time in Vegas, testing our mettle at craps tables and roulette wheels, as well as enjoying the fine dining, impressive sights, and late-night fun that the city has to offer. At the end of our stint in Nellis, it was clear that while the King, Jack, two, and Ace that add up to 23 in our squadron’s patch might not be an ideal hand at a casino blackjack table, the Wildcard aircrew and maintenance team was more than able to meet the challenges of both the mission and the unforgiving Nevada desert. WILDCARDS NEVER FOLD!

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13


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Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13

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Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13


Rotorcraft P ion e e rs Haviland H. Platt & W. Laurence LePage

Article by CAPT Vincent C. Secades, USN (Ret)

The conquest of the air in its broadest sense will only come when we can do in the air substantially everything that a bird can do in the air. The airplane, with all its marvelous achievements, cannot possibly give us such complete mastery of the air.


n October of 2007 LtCol Paul Rock, USMC, led the first squadron of V-22 Ospreys into Iraq. This was the first time the new Marine Corps tilt-rotor convertiplane flew in actual combat operations. This event marked the culmination of a very long and arduous journey that began more that six decades earlier. The pedigree of the Osprey can be traced back to the development of the Platt-LePage PL-3, which began in 1938. In April 1940, under an Army contract, the PL-3 became the XR1. The story of the development of the XR-1, the first practical helicopter to be produced for the U.S. Armed Forces, is preforce the story of the two aviation pioneers that envisioned such an aircraft: Haviland Hull Platt and

Dr. Alexander Klemin. April 1938

Wynn Laurence LePage. Laurence LePage was born in England in 1902. His father, Charles LePage, a native of Normandy, France, was a prominent concert violinist. His mother, Adela Margaret Gwydyr, of an illustrious Welsh ancestry, divorced Charles when Laurence was a child. Laurence was raised in a single parent home of modest means. In the summer of 1909, while vacationing with his mother in the coastal town of Folkstone, near Dover, seven years old Laurence was awakened very early in the morning by a strange whirring sound. He ran outside, and for the first time in his young life, saw an airplane, as it flew very


low over the cottage his mother was renting. In complete wonderment, he saw this big mechanical bird, made of tubes, wires, and fabric, fly overhead and disappear beyond the tree line to the west. The date was Sunday, 25 July. As he learned that evening when his mother read the newspaper, he had witnessed the famous French aviator Louis Bleriot complete the first successful crossing of the English Channel, an epic event that would herald the dawn of a new era in aviation. From that day on, Laurence LePage made his purpose in life to be part of that era of great adventure. After completing his high school education at St. Paul’s School in the outskirts of London, LePage was admitted at the Imperial College of Science, London University, where he obtained Continue on page 30

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a degree in Aeronautical Engineering and Aerodynamics. With his diploma in hand, he went to the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) at Teddington and requested a position in the Aerodynamics Department. He was accepted and started as a laboratory boy with the task of keeping the wind tunnels clean. It was 1920, and he was eighteen years old. He first began to gain recognition when his study entitled “Note on the Soaring Flight of Birds” was published by the Aeronautical Research Committee in London in March of 1921. With his newly gained credit as an aeronautical researcher, he became involved in the research being conducted at NPL to develop wing slots to increase lift at slow airspeeds during airplane landings. It was while observing the results of this development that the conviction germinated in LePage’s mind that the future of aviation hinged upon the ability of aeronautical engineers to design a flying machine capable of combining the speed of an airplane with the ability to fly and land very slowly. That conviction guided the paths that LePage would follow years later. In 1924, LePage was invited to come to the U.S. for a six-month internship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While working at the Aeronautics Department in MIT, LePage interviewed a visitor that wanted to discuss a new airplane design. This visitor would play a significant role in the development of aircraft in the U.S., and a key role in LePage’s future. His name was Harold F. Pitcairn. A youngster like LePage, Pitcairn was planning to build a small airplane and use it to provide transportation and joy rides to paying customers. LePage helped Pitcairn design the “Hop Ship” airplane. Thus began a friendship that lasted many years. LePage went back to England, obtained a two-year leave of absence from NPL, and returned to the U.S. to take the job of managing editor of Aviation, the trade magazine of the aviation industry, published by Major Gardner. He held this job from 1925 to 1927. The Aviation issue of November 16, 1925, reported one of the most portentous events in the history of flight. Juan de la Cierva, a 29 years old Spanish engineer, had successfully completed the flight test of his autogiro. In the last issue under his stewardship, the 30 May 1927 issue, LePage reported in details the 20 May flight of the Spirit of St. Louis across the Atlantic. Years

later Gardner sold Aviation to Mc GrawHill. Its name changed to Aviation Week. After leaving Aviation, LePage went to work for Harold Pitcairn. The Philadelphia based Pitcairn Aviation Company had received the U.S. Postal Service contract to carry mail between New York and Atlanta. Pitcairn built his own airplanes, the PA-4 Fleetwing and PA-6 Mailwing. LePage performed engineering duties in the aircraft manufacturing part of the business and managerial duties in the mail delivery part of it. Harold Pitcairn’s heart, however, was not in the mail and passenger transport business. What he really enjoyed was to design aircraft. This desire led him to Juan de la Cierva and his autogiros. The Cierva autogiro, a British Avro 504 biplane with its wings replaced by a windmilling rotor, though still in the development stage, had demonstrated great promise. At the instigation of LePage, Pitcairn and his chief test pilot, Jim Ray, traveled to England to see the autogiro first hand. They negotiated with Cierva to purchase an autogiro to be especially built with an American engine and shipped to the U.S. for testing. On 17 December 1928, twenty-five years to the day after the first powered flight in history, the first rotorcraft flight in the U.S. took place in a small field in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Jim Ray and Harold Pitcairn tested their new autogiro. This event marked a turning point in the careers of Harold Pitcairn and Laurence LePage, and in the history of American aviation. This new aircraft seemed to violate the aerodynamic theories of flight believed to be true. Dr. Alexander Klemin, who would become the chairman of the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aeronautics at New York University, observing an autogiro test, exclaimed, “I still don’t believe it!” A good understanding of the aerodynamic theory of rotary winged aircraft would come some time later. Harold Pitcairn’s fascination with the autogiro drove him to change drastically his business endeavors. He sold Pitcairn Aircraft, Inc., all its subsidiaries, and his airmail franchise


to North American Aviation, a New York syndicate. Consequently, Laurence LePage found himself assimilated by the new organization, which would become Eastern Airlines. LePage, however, also had his heart in the new type of aircraft that offered the promise of achieving the flying capabilities that he deemed necessary to inherent flying safety. He wanted to participate in its development, to be a part of it. After six months helping to launch Eastern Airlines, LePage left the company and returned to Pitcairn and the autogiros. Pitcairn acquired the American rights to the Cierva autogiro patents and created the Pitcairn-Cierva Autogiro Company. His business model included the licensing of other manufacturers to create a family of autogiro designers and builders. The first license was sold to W. Wallace Kellett, who was establishing his new company, Kellett Aircraft Company. Kellett had been a co-owner of Ludington Airlines, a successful airline that provided passenger service between New York, Philadelphia, and Washington. This airline was also sold to Eastern. LePage became Kellett’s assistant and technical advisor. Juan de la Cierva had produced a typewritten loose-leaf document titled The Theory of the Autogiro where he explained the aerodynamics and design principles he had used in his autogiros. This document became the teaching text to educate the new breed of rotorcraft designers. Unfortunately, Fred Seiler, Kellett’s chief engineer, did not agree with Cierva’s design principles. Consequently, the K1-X, the first Kellett prototype, was a complete failure. Seiler left the company and LePage became the chief engineer, and later Vice President for Engineering. The K-2, the first autogiro for which LePage was completely responsible, completed successfully the test phase and entered limited production. Roderick G. Kellett, Wallace’s brother, joined the company as Vice President in charge of production. LePage learned to fly the K-2 and obtained his pilot’s license. The K-2 and the follow-up K-3 became the first autogiros in the U.S. to receive the Approved Type Certificate from the Department of Commerce. To obtain this ATC accreditation was not an easy task because the Department of Commerce pilots and engineers responsible for approving the design and testing the Continue on page 31

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aircraft knew nothing about autogiro design and had never flown one. Thus, LePage and his associates first had to teach these engineers and pilots about autogiro theory and design and teach them how to fly the new birds. With the ATC secured, the Kellett autogiros hit the market. The K-3 production model was equipped with rotor starter, a fixture that allowed the craft to get airborne with a very short take-off roll. As amazing as these aircraft were, the autogiro sales declined drastically during the mid thirties. The

However, by the time of his death, he had put together all the elements of the fully articulated rotor head and was the one man in the world best equipped by knowledge and experience to develop a practical helicopter. It is a little known historical fact that, before he died, he had changed his mind. Laurence LePage had the opportunity to read the manuscript of an address Juan de la Cierva was scheduled to present before the Cambridge University Aeronautical Society in England. His premature death came just before this scheduled

a well-known firm of industrial engineers, LePage had a chance meeting with Haviland H. Platt, a mechanical engineer who had designed and produced the first successful automatic transmission for automobiles. Platt was also enthralled by the concept of vertical flight. Haviland H. Platt was born in Lakewood, New Jersey, in 1890. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he obtained degrees in mechanical and electrical engineering. He also became a patent expert. In 1933, Platt had made a presentation before the Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences in New York in which he described his “Cyclogiro”

main cause was the Great Depression, which was wrecking havoc on the American economy. In December 1936, Juan de la Cierva, the father of the autogiro, was killed in a DC-3 when the airplane, taking-off in the fog at Croydon Airport in London, hit a chimney and crashed. Juan de la Cierva had been a consistent opponent of the concept of a power-driven rotor, favoring his own “free wheeling” autogiro concept.

occasion. In this presentation, Cierva reversed his position and strongly supported on technical grounds the helicopter type of aircraft with flapping rotor blades. When Kellett Aircraft began to suffer from the economic woes afflicting the nation, LePage left the company and set shop as an independent engineering consultant. In 1935, while working for Day and Zimmermann,

concept. The Cyclogiro sported two paddle wheels, one on each side of the fuselage. Each wheel consisted of several airfoils around a horizontal axis. By changing the pitch angle of each airfoil as it traveled around its circular path, the system could produce lift and thrust. Platt patented his design and built a model that underwent wind tunnel testing. After they met, Platt discussed his Cyclogiro design with LePage. LePage convinced him that a

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horizontal rotor describing a circle offered important aerodynamic advantages over airfoils describing a cylinder. Some months later Platt offered LePage a mechanical design for a rotor hub mechanism that implemented the basic helicopter design principles that LePage had articulated. This was the beginning of a partnership that would last more than ten years. After abandoning the Cyclogiro design, Platt produced a new helicopter design that he called the Vertogiro. This design used vanes situated fore and aft on the fuselage. The downwash of air from the rotor acting on the vanes would provide directional control. LePage did not have any faith in this design either. For the next couple of years, Platt and LePage continued to work on a helicopter design. In January 1938, they learned of the success that Professor Heinrich Focke was achieving with his Fa-61 helicopter in Germany. The Fa-61 featured a conventional open cockpit airplane fuselage. The wings were replaced by two tubular outriggers with a three-bladed rotor at the end of each one. The Fa-61 had been undergoing test and development since its initial flight in June 1936, and was now breaking every record in helicopter performance. Platt and LePage felt that they had the key and the patents for the design of a successful helicopter, and suspected that the Germans were infringing on their patents. LePage decided to travel to Germany to see the Fa-61 in person. He sailed for Germany in February. In Germany LePage was able to meet with Heinrich Focke and to attend a flight demonstration of the Fa-61, piloted by the famous aviatrix Hanna Reitsch, inside the Deutschlandhalle arena in Berlin. Incidentally, Harold Pitcairn also traveled to Germany to be present at this demonstration. LePage was able to confirm that the design of the Fa-61 rotor hubs presented characteristics identical to the design features in the various patents that he and Haviland Platt owned in the U.S. After the flight demonstration, LePage was able to negotiate an American license option to take back to the U.S., together with a film of the demonstration. Upon returning to the U.S., LePage briefed the Army Air Corps Material Division at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio. The one hundred plus attendees, all airplane pilots, received LePage’s brief on the Fa-61 with marked skepticism, but when he showed the film the mood of the audience changed radically. Interest in this new type of

aircraft became tremendous. This fact convinced LePage that he and Haviland Platt should form their own company and build a new helicopter. The year 1938 quickly became a seminal one in the history of American rotorcraft development. In April of that year, the congressional hearings began on what would be the Dorsey Bill, HR-8143. Frank J. G. Dorsey was the Congressman from the district in Pennsylvania where Pitcairn-Cierva Autogiro Co., Kellett Aircraft Corp., Convertiplane Development Corp., and other related firms were located. On 30 June, Congress passed the Dorsey Bill, which appropriated $2,000,000 for the development of rotary wing aircraft. On 28-29 October, The Franklin Institute, the prestigious engineering school in Philadelphia and de facto mecca of rotary wing development, held the “Rotary Wing Aircraft Meeting.” The most accredited names in the rotorcraft family attended the meeting and presented dissertations. Igor Sikorsky presented his single main rotor and tail rotor design. Haviland Platt presented his rotor hub designs and control theories. One of the men seated in the audience was Arthur Young. He had been experimenting with two-bladed rotor configurations and was getting nowhere fast. He was impressed by Platt’s presentation on rotor blades hinged to the hub. He went back to his barn in Paoli, Pennsylvania, invented the stabilizer bar, and convinced Lawrence Bell to give him the opportunity to build a helicopter. The result was the Bell Model 47, one of the most successful helicopters in history, which propelled Bell Aircraft to become one of the largest helicopter manufacturers in the world. The Platt-LePage Aircraft Company was founded in November 1938, with Laurence LePage as President and Chief Engineer, and Haviland Platt as Vice President and Treasurer. Platt and LePage owned fifty-one percent of the stock. The main investors in the new enterprise were Grover G. Loening, Laurence S. Rockefeller, Winthrop Rockefeller, David S. Ingalls, and a few others. The first order of business

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was to settle on a helicopter design. Platt initially favored the single rotor concept. LePage, however, preferred a configuration similar to the one proven by the Fa-61. Instead of tubular outriggers, he proposed wing-like structures that would create lift in forward flight and, thus, reduce the blade flapping in the rotors. LePage converted Platt to his point of view. They proceeded to build a 12-to-1 scaled model of their first design, the PL-1. Without its rotors, this model was tested in the wind tunnel at New York University. Slowly, helicopter design development and parts construction began. Haviland Platt took on the design of the mechanical parts, and Laurence LePage that of the aeronautic assemblies. Early in 1939, the 76th Congress authorized the first portion of the Dorsey Act funds, $200,000, for the procurement of a rotary wing aircraft prototype to be evaluated by the Army Air Corps. The Material Division drafted a set of characteristics and specifications for rotary wing aircraft, Draft Specification XC-147, which was approved in its final form on 25 August 1939. XC-147 listed a set of requirements that included a useful payload of 1,200 lbs, a rate of climb of at least 1,000 ft/min, and a design that could be easily modified to meet military and other federal requirements. The request for proposals, Circular Proposal Number 40-620, incorporating the XC147 specifications, was issued that fall. The design competition was opened on 15 April 1940. By that time at the Platt-LePage shop, the design work of a revised version of the PL-1, the PL-3, was seventy-five percent completed, and some parts of the PL-3 prototype were already constructed. Although they fully expected that Igor Sikorsky, with a helicopter, the VS-300, already flying and with the enormous resources of United Aircraft behind him, would be the sure winner, Platt and LePage decided at once to prepare a proposal with a PL-3 design modified to meet the military specifications and to enter the competition. Several companies submitted proposals, but only four were Continue on page 33


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considered appropriated. Platt-LePage submitted their modified PL-3 design. Vought-Sikorsky submitted a larger version of the VS-300. The Kellett brothers and Harold Pitcairn submitted autogiro bids. The Special Engineering Evaluation Board, which included CDR Donald Royce representing the Navy, submitted its report on 28 May 1940. Three weeks later, the Assistant Secretary of War granted authority to the Army Material Division to negotiate a contract with Platt-LePage as recommended by the Board. Laurence LePage was summoned to Dayton by telegram, instructing him to bring his company’s seal and be prepared to sign a contract. All of a sudden, LePage realized that he had neglected to remove a major obstacle that laid on his way to this coveted contract. U.S. law prohibited the government from awarding a contract to any company with less than seventy-five percent ownership by American citizens. Additionally, one hundred percent of the top management must be American. Since LePage was still a British citizen and he and Platt

jointly owned fifty-one percent of the stock, Platt-LePage Aircraft Co. failed to qualify on both counts. A few years earlier, Laurence LePage had filed a declaration of intent to become a U.S. citizen, but each time he used his British passport to travel to England on business or vacation, the process toward a citizenship hearing was halted. LePage immediately engaged George Wharton, a distinguished attorney. Wharton dusted off LePage’s latest declaration of intent and found a federal judge, the Honorable Harry Kalodner, who was willing to immediately hear LePage’s petition and swear him as a naturalized citizen. This happened the next day in Judge Kalodner’s courtroom in the presence of a group of confused and bewildered regular criminal case participants. That same evening LePage caught the train for Dayton. At Wright Field, he explained his delay in responding to the Army’s summon as caused by a temporary “indisposition.” It was a close call! LePage signed contract AC15375 on 19 July 1940. Platt-LePage was to build and test a XR-1 prototype and a static test frame for $199,075.


Actually, Platt-LePage at the time was working on three crafts; the XR-1 prototype, which would be the flight test aircraft; the static test airframe; and a third helicopter that would trail the first machine by sufficient time to allow the easy incorporation of improvements developed during the first machine’s testing. Platt-LePage submitted a proposal to the Army for the construction of this third helicopter, designated the XR-1A, on 26 April 1941. The Army ordered it on 29 October 1941 under contract AC-4609. Platt-LePage parceled the actual construction work to various subcontractors. Fleetwings Corporation built the stainless steel wing-like faired pylons. Hires, Castner, and Harris Corp. built the rotor gearboxes and the engine-to-rotors split-drive gearbox. Sharples Corp. produced the overrunning clutches and related gears. The XR-1 was not a small machine. Counting the two rotor discs, it had a span of 63 feet. The fuselage was 25 feet long. The helicopter was powered by a 440 hp Pratt & Whitney R-985-1 air-cooled radial engine mounted inside the fuselage behind the cockpit and between the two pylons. This engine drove two contra-rotating three-bladed rotors 35 feet 5 inches in diameter, each rotor mounted at Continue on page 34

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the tip of the faired pylons extending from each side of the fuselage. The fuselage had conventional tail surfaces but without movable elevators or rudder. All control was obtained through a combination of collective and cyclic rotor blade pitch. The fixed landing gear sported caster wheels that automatically aligned fore-and-aft when off the ground. This unique feature reduced the danger of tipping over if the helicopter landed with a lateral drift. The wheels were equipped with cable-operated brakes. The tandem cockpits featured dual controls, although only the front cockpit was fully instrumented. The visibility forward and downward was enhanced by large Plexiglas areas. The XR-1 made its first tethered flight on 12 May 1941 at Eddystone, Philadelphia, and its first free flight on 23 June. As it was happening to Igor Sikorsky in his VS-300 testing, the main problem that Platt-LePage encountered during the XR-1 testing was controllability. In the case of the XR-1, the test pilot, Lou Leavitt, found the aircraft extremely sensitive to his control inputs. LePage himself flew the helicopter and confirmed that the controls were very sensitive. The collective pitch control system presented very difficult implementation problems. Trial and error modifications in the controls leverage ratios were implemented until the helicopter could be handled smoothly. Incidentally, one of the engineers working on the XR-1 control problems was Frank Piasecki. He later resigned from Platt-LePage and started his own helicopter building enterprise. PlattLePage struggled with the XR-1 controllability problems for the next two years. Leavitt hovered the helicopter very well and flew sideways without difficulties, but in forward flight, as the airspeed increased, the XR-1 began to climb and Leavitt felt that it was about to get away from him. Laurence LePage believed that what Leavitt was experiencing was a normal result of the side-by-side rotor configuration, which aerodynamically behaved similarly to a high aspect ratio wing, which is very efficient at producing lift. Leavitt remained reluctant to test the XR-1 in forward flight. This issue was resolved in a most peculiar way. On 9 June 1943, Captain Frank Gregory, who was the Army’s program manager, came to Eddystone to discuss the slow progress in the XR-1 testing program. LePage explained to Gregory what he thought

was happening. Gregory felt that he had every right to test the helicopter himself. He climbed in the cockpit, lifted the XR-1 in a hover, and proceeded to dash across the field back and forth at near 100 mph. His competence in question, Lou Leavitt resigned as test pilot and left the company. Platt-LePage had to hire and train a new test pilot, Major Buck Miller, a former Army Air Corps pilot. Another unfortunate incident marred the XR-1 progress a few weeks later. Jim Ray had come to Eddystone to help Platt-LePage with the testing of the XR-1 while Buck Miller was learning to fly it. The engineering department was working on a new modification in a rotor hub. A fairing was being attached to the top of the hub with the hope that it would smooth the flow of air through it. On 4 July 1943, Ray somehow missed the “No Flying” tag that had been placed on the hub. He took-off before the engineers cognizant of the situation could flag him down. A blade departed the rotor in flight. Jim Ray was able to land, but suffered a spinal injury caused by the out-of-balance violent lateral vibration. During static tests of the empennage, the tail surfaces failed when the up loads reached one and one half the design figures. The tail surfaces had to be reinforced before tests of the XR-1 resumed in the summer of 1944. By the spring of 1943, the development of the third helicopter, the XR-1A, was near completion. This improved version of the XR-1 featured improved rotor hubs with new fairings covering the gearboxes, larger and stronger empennage, and a redesigned cockpit with better visibility and the pilot relocated to the rear seat. A new Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-1 engine provided an increase in power. The aircraft first flew on 27 October 1943. Its flying characteristics were better than those of the XR-1. Testing of the XR1A continued throughout the rest of the year and into 1944. In January 1944, the Army gave Platt-LePage a letter contract for seven experimental YR-1A helicopters, intended for service test. When Platt and LePage felt they were ready, Laurence LePage asked Captain

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Gregory to come to Eddystone, fly the XR-1A and give his authority to fly the helicopter to Dayton. Captain Gregory flew the XR-1A along the Delaware River at more than 100 miles per hour. With Gregory’s approval, in June 1944 Buck Miller flew the XR-1A from Philadelphia to Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio, arriving on 20 June. The trip took two days, with stops at Middletown, Pennsylvania, and Columbus, Ohio. The XR-1A suffered an accident on 26 October 1944, when a pinion bearing support in the starboard rotor hub failed. The aircraft was shipped back to Eddystone for repairs. The formal contract for the acquisition of the seven YR-1As was approved in October 1944. By the fall of 1943, the Sikorsky R-4 had successfully completed service tests and began to be produced. It entered service with the Army and Navy shortly thereafter. The Navy received its first R-4, Navy designation HNS-1, on 16 October 1943. The success of the R-4, coupled with the rapidly approaching resolution of the war in Europe drove the Army to cancel all contracts with Platt-LePage on 7 April 1945. Work on the YR-1A production line stopped immediately. Custody of the XR-1 was transferred back to the manufacturer. Platt-LePage continued to develop it for possible commercial use. The XR-1’s last flight took place on 21 June 1946. It had accumulated 91 hours and 45 minutes of flight time before it was donated to the Smithsonian Institution, where it now resides as part of the National Air and Space Museum collection in Washington. The XR-1A was still at Eddystone when the contracts were cancelled. Platt-LePage had determined that the XR-1A was damaged beyond economic repair and had pushed it aside. Ironically, it was Lou Leavitt, the discredited former Platt-LePage test pilot, who became interested in reviving the XR-1A. In late 1945, he bought the wreckage for 4 cents a pound. Platt-LePage was strapped for cash. Leavitt was one of the directors of Helicopter Air Transport Inc. (HAT) Continue on page 35

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of Camden, New Jersey. HAT was the first commercial helicopter operations company in the U.S. Under HAT’s auspices, he repaired the XR-1A and returned it to flying status. In 1946, the helicopter received the experimental civil registration number NX6950 and began commercial service. In 1947, HAT was facing bankruptcy. Leavitt sold the XR-1A to Piasecki Helicopter Corp. for $1,500, and for another $500, flew it to Piasecki’s plant at Norton, outside Philadelphia, a twelve-minute flight. Piasecki played with the helicopter a bit and then used the airframe to build a mockup of another design, the PA-2B Ringwing tilt rotor convertiplane. In spite of the loss of all military contracts, Platt-LePage endeavored to stay in business. The company had developed several other helicopter concepts, including the PL-9, a twin-engine outgrowth of the XR-1A; the PL11, also an improved civilian version of the XR1A; the PL-12, a four-passenger version of the PL-11; the PL-14, a twin rotor helicopter using a Grumman Widgeon fuselage; and the PL-16, a tilt rotor convertiplane, which Haviland Platt patented. However, in the absence of military orders, its small size and lack of capital forced Platt-LePage to close its doors in August 1946. However, the legacy of Haviland Hull Platt and Wynn Laurence LePage in rotary wing aviation perdured. McDonnell Aircraft acquired the license to develop the PL-9 concept and built for the Navy the XHJD-1 Whirlaway, the first twin-engine helicopter built in the U.S. Frank Piasecki, who had his first helicopter designing job at Platt-LePage, formed his own enterprise and became one of the most successful helicopter designers in the country. Undoubtedly, the most portentous contribution that Haviland Platt and Laurence LePage made to the future of rotary wing aviation was their tilt-rotor convertiplane concept. Platt-LePage developed this concept in the mid-1940s. They designated it the PL-16. Haviland Platt applied for a patent of the design on 7 July 1950 and was granted U.S. Patent 2,702,168 on February 15, 1955. Robert L. Lichten, while working for Platt-LePage in the XR-1 and XR-1A programs, developed a passion for the tilt-rotor concept. He would pursue its development for the rest of his life. When Platt-LePage closed its doors, Lichten teamed up with an old coworker from Kellett Aircraft’s days, Mario A. Guerrieri, and formed Transcendental Aircraft Corp. They built two tilt-rotor experimental aircraft, the Model 1-G and the

Historical Model 2. Lichten left Transcendental in 1948 and went to work for Bell Aircraft, where he would become the father of the tilt-rotor convertiplane. At Bell, he first developed the XV-3. This aircraft showed a remarkable similarity with the convertiplane patented by Haviland Platt. Bell Aircraft eventually paid Haviland Platt for the use of his patent. The difficulties that Platt-LePage encountered in the development of the XR-1, which was plagued by control problems and unfortunate accidents, in many ways offered a presage of the long, difficult, and sometimes tragic journey that Bell would have to travel in the development of the V-22. Haviland Platt continued to work as a mechanical engineer until he retired in 1969. He died the 25th of March 1982, at age 92, at St. Lucas-Roosevelt Hospital Center in Manhattan. Laurence LePage joined the Franklin Institute, one of the most prestigious centers of science education and development in the United States, and became its president in 1958. He held that position until 1967. In 1966, he received the “Commander of the British Empire” decoration from Queen Elizabeth II. In 1967, he was awarded the Good Citizen Medal from the Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, and the Americanism Medal from the Daughters of the American Revolution. After retiring, he set residence in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. He died on 23 October 1985 at a nursing home in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. He was 83 years old. We can argue if the side-byside twin-rotor tilt-rotor configuration is the safest and most efficient way to achieve the speed of an airplane combined with the hovering capabilities of a helicopter, or if there are other ways that would work better. But what is not arguable is that the early pioneers, with their successes and failures, struggling thru times of riches and times of impecuniousness, receiving honors and receiving criticism, paved the way that made possible for those that followed to reach the stage at which we are today. Success has many fathers; failure is an orphan. Laurence LePage


and Haviland Platt’s XR-1 helicopter was not a commercially successful design. Thus, they did not achieve the worldwide recognition of other rotorcraft pioneers. However, they left an important imprint in the history of rotary wing aviation. Their legacy lives each time a V-22 takes to the air.


Growing Up With Aviation, by Wynn Laurence LePage. Dorrance & Company, Inc. 1981. The Dream Machine: The Untold History of the Notorious V-22 Osprey, by Richard Whittled. books?isbn=1416563199. Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Platt-LePage XR-1. cfm?id=A19600305000. Platt-LePage XR-1, XR-1A. www.avitar. org/helicopters/platt_lepage.php The 1938 Franklin Institute Meeting, Evolution and revolution in Rotary Wing Aircraft. By Dr. Bruce H. Charnov. Haviland H. Platt Obituary. The New York Times, March 26, 1982. Wynn Laurence LePage Obituary. The New York Times, October 24, 1985.24, 1985

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Opening Ceremonies

Open House



Members Reunion


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NHA Sporting Events


Symposium Briefs


Symposium Panels


Photo by AWR1 Jeff Kotyk, USN


he 65th NHA Symposium was held at Town & Country Resort and Convention Center, San Diego on May 13-16, 2013. Despite the effects of sequestration, the huge local active duty/retired and corporate attendance and this year’s theme Ready Warfighters: The Employment of Rotary Wing Strike Capabilities had a great impact on the NHA event’s success. NHA attendees were inspired and asked the tough questions about how to continue to adapt to change in order to train and develop the “Best of the Best” in the naval helicopter community during an era of reduced flight hours and uncertain operational employment. CAPT Michael Ruth, HSC-3 Commanding Officer and NHA President kicked off the NHA Symposium with the annual General Meeting, which was followed by a powerful keynote address by VADM Gerald V. Beaman, Commander, U.S. Third Fleet. VADM Beaman welcomed the participants by making an address and answering questions the pilots and aircrewmen had regarding the future of rotary wing aviation. He discussed how important helicopters are to the fleet today and how the advances in rotary wing aircraft will be used. The following pages of this issue of Rotor Review will highlight the NHA Symposium and give perspective about what the event accomplished this year... Additionally, we will recognize national awardees that emerged from each of the six geographic NHA regions. Once a year, each region selects Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard service members whose distinguished performance merits specific recognition in the areas of helicopter operations, tactics, and aircraft maintenance. The regions forward their selections to the awards committee, which determines the awardees for the various categories. Photos and Video by AWR1 Jeff Kotyk, USN, MC2 Amanda Huntoon, USN, MC2 Melissa Redinger, USN, and NPASE West (MC2 Jon Idle, USN, MC3 Claire Farin, USN, MCSN Christopher Farrington, USN, MCSN Matthew Hogue,USN,and MCSA Conor Minto, USN).

Watch Highlights of the 2013 NHA Symposium on


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#NHASymposium Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13


Symposium Opening Ceremonies and Keynote Address Article by CDR Markus Gawlitza, German Navy


he official opening of the NHA Annual Symposium began on day two of the week when retired RADM Tomaszeski, NHA Chairman introduced the keynote speaker, VADM Gerald R. Beaman. Beaman, a native of Hammond, Indiana, graduated from Marquette University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and was commissioned through the NROTC Program in 1974. He was designated a naval flight officer in April 1975. The Admiral flew F-4s with VF-121 before transitioning to the F-14A in 1976. His sea assignments include VF-32 (1976-79), and VF33 (1986-88), embarked aboard CV 67, CVN 69, CV 66 in support of Operation EL DORADO CANYON, and CVN 71. During Operation DESERT STORM, he served as OIC of the Navy Fighter Weapons School Detachment in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and flew combat missions from the Persian Gulf. He commanded the VF-211 Fighting Checkmates (1995-96) aboard CVN 68. He was the assistant chief of staff for operations for commander, Carrier Group 7 (1998-99), and he assumed command of Carrier Air Wing 2 (2000-01) aboard CV 64 in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. He has accumulated over 3500 flight hours and 1,067 carrier landings. Among Admiral Beaman’s many shore assignments his service as special agent with the FBI from 1981-1984 is as unusual as it is interesting to note. Selected for flag rank in 2004, Beaman’s first flag assignment was as commander, Naval Network and Space Operations Command in Dahlgren, Va., and in 2005 was subsequently appointed as the director of operations, Naval Network Warfare Command. He assumed command of Strike Force Training Pacific in June 2006. His next assignment was deputy chief of staff operations, Allied Joint Forces Command-Naples, Italy beginning in January 2008. In September 2009, he reported to U.S. Fleet Forces Command as deputy chief of staff Global

NHA Chairman RADM (Ret) Tomaszeski introduces keynote speaker, VADM Gerald Beaman, Commander, Third Fleet. Photo by MC2 Melissa Redinger, USN

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his is a great time to be a Naval Aviator and a Naval Aircrewman [...] I can’t think of a time in our history where the developments in the helicopter community have been more prevalent than they are today.

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Force Management, Joint Operations and Fleet/Joint Training (N3/N5/N7). In April 2011, he assumed command of U. S.  3rd Fleet, headquartered in San Diego. From the start, VADM Beaman delivered a lighthearted speech from the perspective of a fleet commander with the responsibility to operate adequately trained and ready war fighters in his area of operation. After thanking NHA for making an enormous impact with regards to guiding rotary wing aviation into its future, he recognized the development of the naval helicopter capabilities from its

humble beginnings as SAR, ASW and VERTREP assets into the strike scenarios and heavily expanded capabilities of today’s naval rotary wing communities. He applauded the helicopter leadership for being part of the driving force that views rotary wing aviation as a “critical part of warfighting capabilities” for the fleet. With newly emerging roles and missions, such as the air-to-air-intercept evolutions by HSM-71 aboard USS Stennis (CVN 74) or the continuing advancements in the strike roles of helicopters, he urged the audience not to forget about their basic skills, especially in dealing with natural disasters, noncombatant evacuation, and the support of naval special warfare operations. VADM Beaman continued to point out the geostrategic importance of the Pacific area of operation for the

US Navy ever since Captain Edward Preble took the USS Essex around Cape Horn in the early 19th century and his view on making sure that adequate forces are available to conduct the required task. He especially mentioned his rotary wing assets as “highly relevant” for the success of the missions at hand. As a final appeal, VADM Beaman reminded the audience that, whatever her or his job in the US Navy may be, the most basic and gratifying task is to take care of the Sailors that are out on the line every day making sure that the tip of the spear remains as sharp as can be. He then asked for questions, which were readily available. The first question regarded the stability of funding and with it the chance for commands and individuals to plan accordingly. VADM Beaman stated that there is an appropriate group in Washington working on exactly this project Continue on page 41

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Rotor Review 121 Summer 39Tomaszeski and RADM (Ret) Shannon. VADM Beaman visits the# Team Seahawk‘13 Exhibit with RADM (Ret) Photo by NPASE West (San Diego, CA)

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The audience listens attentively as VADM Beaman shares his views on the importance of rotary wing aviation. Photo by NPASE West (San Diego, CA)

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and he asked the audience for a couple of months (give or take) more patience as the Global Force Management Allocation Plan for FY 2014 is being worked out as we speak. The next question concerned the Navy’s approach to a new deployment model under the Enhanced Carrier Presence (ECP) program. VADM explained that for the single Sailor the ECP (a 36-months cycle including 6 months of maintenance, 6 months of training, 1 month sustainment, 7 months deployed followed by 7 months sustainment and another 7 months deployment with a final 2 months of sustainment) would provide security in planning albeit being deployed longer. He stated, however, that the ECP is still a plan and has not yet been funded. On a question regarding the use of UAVs aboard carriers [like the UCAS that had been launched and recently landed on USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77)] and the Admiral’s vision for the rotary wing communities, he responded that unmanned aviation is part of the future of the Navy’s way to complete tasks like

sustained ISR in the operations area. He added that the future has already arrived with the creation of HUQ-1 on North Island. The next question concerned the difference having spent 20+ years in the Navy versus newly recruited Sailors that have only been subjected to budget cuts and longer deployments, and what advice they could be given to stay motivated. VADM Beaman responded that in the last 35 years of his service the Navy has seen major changes, as well as up and down movements in ships, funding or quality of service, and reminded the audience that under every flight suit there are khakis or dungarees meaning all are Sailors first. This means to concentrate on the job at hand and take care of the fellow Sailors in good and bad times. The next question concerned the UAV/UAS again and their expanding use in the Navy. VADM Beaman stated that the use of those platforms is only


limited by imagination, but they should only be viewed in conjunction with manned systems complimenting each other. The final question concerned the admiral’s view on the major threat during a shooting war. His answer was surface-to-surface missiles and the key was to deny an enemy the launch of those missiles. In his closing remarks, he thanked NHA again for being invited to speak to the naval rotary wing community and made once more clear that the helo mission is highly relevant and a key to naval warfighting capabilities. NHA wishes to thank VADM Beaman for his appearance at the event, the sharing of his views on naval helicopters as a force commander, and the candid replies to the questions asked.

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13


NHA Members Reunion Article by MC2 Amanda Huntoon, USN

Photo by AWR1 Jeff Kotyk, USN


he 2013 Naval Helicopter Association (NHA) Members Reunion was held at the Admiral Kidd Catering and Conference Center at the Naval Base Point Loma Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare

Annex, May 14. The night included dinner, cocktails, conversation, cigars, entertainment by the Navy Band Southwest, and a memorable helicopter stunt demonstration by the infamous Chuck Aaron. “This is the one time a year that everyone gets together and talks about everything helicopter. I have been doing this since 1993 and each year it keeps getting better. This is the Members Reunion, so we have helicopter pilots from the Vietnam War era all the way up to our newest winged aviators out here enjoying each other’s company, trading stories, and enjoying the air show given by Mr. Chuck Aaron,” said LCDR Allyn Uttecht, assigned to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light FOUR NINE (HSL-49). Chuck Aaron flies a Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo 105, which is a light, twin-engine, multi-purpose utility helicopter, used specifically for promotional purposes by Red Bull. Aaron is the only pilot in the United States licensed to perform helicopter aerobatics. “San Diego is the home of Naval Aviation and to be able to witness a show like this, with a high performance aircraft and a tremendous pilot at the controls, is an inspiration,” said CAPT Shawn Malone, Deputy Commander, Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet. “So as a helicopter pilot this is a capstone moment in our Naval Helicopter Association Symposium, so I couldn’t have planned it any better, and it was a joy to see what Red Bull and their team has done with that helicopter.” More than 100 retired and active duty helicopter pilots and Naval Aircrewmen gathered together on the terrace of the banquet hall to enjoy the flips Continue on page 43

(left) Chuck “Malibu” Aaron, Red Bull® Helicopter Aerobatic Extremist performs over San Diego Bay for the Members Reunion crowd. (photos on the right) Members enjoy camaraderie and refreshments at the reunion.

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13 42 Photos by MC2 Amanda Huntoon

Focus Focus

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and barrel rolls that Aaron performed over the San Diego Bay. “Our Naval Helicopter Association has a very proud and long heritage of supporting rotary wing aviation in the Navy. We are advancing our capabilities all the time, on behalf of our country and in support of our carrier wing strike groups and our expeditionary strike groups. So this is a gathering of our newest helicopter aviators in Naval Aviation and our legacy, and to bring everyone together in the spirit of fellowship, it is an honor to be around all of them,” said Malone. People come from all over the country to enjoy this annual symposium, which was held in Norfolk, VA last year. Many people from the East Coast were unable to attend because of budget cuts, but the event was still a success. “This is a little different from last year because of the fiscal environment right now. We had to get a lot of support from the squadrons and the various commands in San Diego. They focused a lot of their efforts to come and make sure that this event was a success. We are about half way through, and it has been a very positive event so far. There were a lot of doubters going into this because of sequester and continuing resolution, believing that it may not be as big or as good a symposium as it has been in years past, but at this point I would say that this is another outstanding event,” said CAPT Michael Ruth, NHA President and Commanding Officer, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron THREE (HSC-3).

(top photo) “Malibu” Aaron ‘s performance odds get a “thumbs-up” from Blackjacks of HSC-21. (three photos, far left) Scopions of HSL-49 hang out and sport their squadron “club shirts” as they pose for a group photo with Aaron. (top middle) Members enjoy a little Navy Band jazz at the event. (top right) LT Marcus Hoogewind, LT Ryan Klamper, Kerri Dowling (NHA Membership) greet guests at the main entry to the reunion. Photos by AWR1 Jeff Kotyk and MC2 Amanda Huntoon 43 Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13


Symposium Briefs


hat you do everyday matters. What you do when you put on that flight suit or uniform, it makes a difference [...] in the personal and professional lives of the people around you. It may not manifest itself for years, but never underestimate what it means to serve your nation, whether you are flying a helicopter, sitting in the cabin, jumping off the side as a rescue swimmer, or performing maintenance; it is what you have done to serve your nation that matters. CAPT David BouvĂŠ Commodore, Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet

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Naval Helicopter Association Commodoresí Community Brief

Article and Photo by MC2 Melissa D. Redinger, USN


Both West Coast Helicopter Commodores [CAPT Sc huller (CHSCWP) and CAPT Bouvé (CHSMWP) briefed helo pilots and aircrewmen regarding the future of rotary wing aviation.

HA hosts a four-day symposium every year, allowing the helicopter community to discuss significant contributions, current events, and look for ways to improve the rotary wing community. As part of the event, around 200 pilots and aircrewmen gathered together in the banquet hall to listen to the Commodores discuss a variety of topics that greatly impact the community. “We are still very much a growing organization in the rotary wing community. Even in light of these fiscal environments our rotary wing is still healthy,” said CAPT Michael Ruth, Commanding Officer, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron THREE (HSC-3), and President of the NHA. CAPT David Bouvé, Commodore, Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CHSMWP), and CAPT Jack Schuller, Commodore, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CHSCWP), welcomed participants and held a discussion that allowed pilots and aircrewmen to ask questions regarding the future of rotary wing aviation. There were many questions regarding sequestration and the limited number of flight hours that commands are currently allowed to fly. “I learned a lot of really valuable information about the helicopter community from the brief. I would have liked to hear more about the manning in our aircrew community and about what the future holds for us in regards to the new MQ-8 Fire Scout, which are the new unmanned helicopters,” said Naval Aircrewman 1st Class Kenny Sevenello, assigned to HSC-3. The Commodores’ brief allowed many of the service members to bring up their concerns for the future of helicopter operations and what role they serve in the Navy. The Commodores made it clear that there is still a need for helicopter pilots and supporting personnel, and emphasized that the community is growing and that they are here to stay. “What you do everyday matters. What you do when you put on that flight suit or uniform, it makes a difference. It makes an impact when you fly, and you impact the enlisted troops that you will lead. You will impact and make a difference in the personal and professional lives of the people around you. It may not manifest itself for years, but never underestimate what it means to serve your nation, whether you are flying a helicopter, sitting in the cabin, jumping off the side as a rescue swimmer, or performing maintenance; it is what you have done to serve your nation that matters,” explained Bouvé. Take a Look at the Different Briefs of the 2013 NHA Symposium on NHA Online


Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13


Symposium Briefs:

Naval Helicopter Association Safety Symposium Article by MC2 Melissa D. Redinger, USN

LTJG Marc Falkner of HSL-48 (above) observes as an SH-60B lands onboard USS Monterey.

Photo by MC3 Billy Ho, USN. RDML Kenneth Norton, Commander, Naval Safety Center (right) was the guest speaker for the Safety Symposium. Photo courtesy of Naval Safety Center.

As part of the annual Naval Helicopter Association Symposium at the Town and Country Hotel in San Diego, NHA held its Safety Symposium on May 16. Approximately 200 pilots and aircrewmen listened as RDML Kenneth Norton, commander, Naval Safety Center (NSC) in Norfolk, Va., spent two hours discussing rotary wing safety in the Navy. His in depth PowerPoint presentation covered the history of Naval Aviation safety, crew resource management (CRM), operational risk management (ORM), he discussed what the future holds for rotary wing safety, where they are now, and how well they are currently doing.

“This is an opportunity to get a large group of helicopter pilots and aircrewmen together in one room, to hear from RMDL Kenneth Norton about the latest trends, issues, concerns from leadership, because he works directly with the CNO and knows what the CNO’s safety concerns are, and he can relay those to us,” said CAPT Michael Ruth, Commanding Officer, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron THREE (HSC3). The Navy has introduced CRM to help avoid future mishaps in the rotary wing community. The CRM’s

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13


seven mission statements of decision m a k i n g , assertiveness, mission analysis, communication, leadership, situational awareness, and adaptability/flexibility, have significantly reduced the number of Class “A” mishaps in the rotary wing community from 465 flight hours between mishaps in the 1920’s, to 51,373 flight hours between mishaps in 2013. Continue on page 45



e are in an ever-changing environment of fiscal restraints and an OPTEMPO atmosphere, but there is always going to be a need for Safety Symposiums. They assist in keeping pilots and aircrewmen thinking about doing things safely. Safety should always be a priority... CAPT Michael Ruth Commanding Officer of HSC-3 and NHA President

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“Rotary wing leadership has acknowledged that there was an issue with a lack of CRM from our pilots and aircrew. We needed the ability to communicate, be assertive, and exercise leadership within the aircraft using the CRM program. The CRM training is now given and checked every year by every pilot and aircrewman in the Navy. This has been a positive tool that we have implemented, and it has in fact reduced mishaps and lives lost across the board,” said Ruth. NHA Safety Symposiums have been found to be an effective way to get across safety concerns within the Rotary Wing community. The mission of the NSC is to prevent mishaps, so that lives can be saved and resources can be preserved. These annual presentations are held in large fleet concentration areas, like San Diego, to allow the Naval Safety Center to gather the maximum number of personnel and vocalize safety concerns within the rotary wing community. “We are in an ever-changing environment of Fiscal restraints and an OPTEMPO atmosphere, but there is always going to be a need for Safety Symposiums. They assist in keeping pilots and aircrewmen thinking about doing things safely. Safety should always be a priority, and it is something that our service members need to address every time they go out and meet the demands of their job,” explains Ruth.

Photo (above) is AM3 Howard Bronson performing a pre-flight inspection on an MH-60S Seahawk from HSC-15 on the flight deck of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). Photo by MC3 Jacob G. Sisco, USN . Photo (below) is HSC-9 preparing for landing on the flight deck of USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69). Photo by MCSN Andrew Schneider, USN


Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13

USAA Ad Here

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13



NHA Maintenance Open House: A Maintainer's Perspective Article by AMCS Oren Pangcog, USN


aving attended an aviation symposium before, I had a preconceived idea of what I might see at the NHA symposium. I was not totally mistaken in the sense that there were the ubiquitous displays of products and services. However, for the most part, this symposium was different as the products and services were all different from those of the past.

A full-sized mock-up of Northrop Grumman MQ-8C is displayed at the 2013 NHA Symposium. Photo by MC2 Melissa Redinger, USN

To start, I never expected to see a fullsized mock-up of the newest Vertical takeoff and landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV), the MQ-8C Fire Scout on display. Maintainers are always curious about the latest and greatest technology for many reasons, and I am sure not one could resist but to come see it up close that day. But the reason I gravitated towards this display a little more than any other booth was, not only out of curiosity, but because I am currently attached to the newest Naval Aviation command that will ultimately

end up utilizing this particular Type Model Series (T/M/S). It was amazing to see and discuss this new aircraft with the representatives. For those that are not familiar, the following are the excerpts from the Northrop Grumman Corporation brochure regarding this latest unmanned aerial vehicle: Northrop Grumman’s new MQ-8C Fire Scout49 combines the best of two proven air systems in a low-cost,

fast-fielding package. The expanded capability VTUAV offers the versatile reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition architecture of the U.S. Navy’s MQ-8B Fire Scout, and the extended range, payload and cargo hauling capabilities of the commercially mature, FAAcertified Bell 407 helicopter. The MQ-8C Fire Scout is a fully autonomous, four-bladed, single-engine unmanned helicopter. Like the MQ-8B, it will carry an array of reconnaissance surveillance Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13 Continue on page 53

Change of Command And Establishment



CDR Daniel A. Nowicki, USN relieved CDR Gregory S. Thoroman, USN on April 19, 2013








LtCol John Neville, USMC relieved CDR Wade McConvey, USN on April 25, 2013

CDR James P. Dunn, USN relieved CDR Michael J. Weaver, USN on May 9, 2013

LtCol Timothy Sheyda, USMC relieved LtCol Joseph K. Decapite, USMC on May 15, 2013

LtCol Christopher Roe, USMC relieved LtCol Robert S. Morgan, USMC on May 15, 2013



Cape Cod



CDR Robert E. Hawthrone III, USN relieved CDR Gregory G. Roberts on May 24, 2013

CAPT Stephen H. Torpey, USCG relieved CAPT David G. Throop, USCG on June 2, 2013

LtCol Kevin Duffy, USMC relieved LtCol Michael K. Vannest, USMC on June 5, 2013

Sea elk




CDR Bradley R. Garber, USN relieved CDR Clayton W. Michaels, USN on June 6, 2013


Traverse City

CDR Sean P. Rocheleau, USN relieved CDR Tamara Graham, USN on June 6, 2013

CDR Sean M. Cross, USCG relieved CDR Joseph R. Buzzella, Jr. on June 07, 2013


Atlantic City


LtCol Eric Garcia, USMC relieved LtCol Jason Holden, USMC on June 14, 2013

CAPT Peter A. Mingo, USCG relieved CAPT Nicholas A. Bartolotta, USCG on June 28, 2013

CAPT Richard E. Lorenzen, USCG relieved John G. Turner, USCG on July 11, 2013




Black Knights

Evil Eyes

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Golden Falcons

CDR Jeffery P. Holzer, USN relieved CDR Christopher G. Bailey, USN on July 27, 2013


52 51

To Apply/Renew

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13




ll in all, [the open house] was a great opportunity for my fellow maintainers and me, not only to interact with contractor representatives, discuss their wares, and learn about the current maintenance gadgets, but also to get updated on the latest and upcoming products the industry has provided.

Helicopter maintainers explore the defense industry’s latest technologies. Photos by MC2 Melissa Redinger, USN Continue from page 49

and target acquisition (RST) sensors to support warfighters’ demands for enhanced situational awareness. It’s extended cargo and payload capability (2,600 lbs internal or external) and increased endurance (more than 15 hours) will deliver additional mission flexibility to commanders on the ground. This is the future of military aviation in general, as far as I am concerned, and I am very excited to say the least. Continuing my experience at the open house, I also noticed a booth displaying a central tool for helicopter maintenance, the traditional propeller balance instruments; it was the Tracking Analyzer Balancer System (TABS) of Dynamic Instruments. Another product that caught my attention was Walin Tools LLC’s universal trammel tool set designed to perform center-to-center rod-end bearing measurement to within 0.01 inch for UH-60, CH-47, AH-64, OH-58, and UH-1

series pitch control, flight control rod ends, and linkages requiring specific bearing measurement replacement as specified in the Maintenance Instruction Manual (MIM) for the trammeling task. I had a great discussion with the product representative about this “rigging” tool with regards to maintenance efficiency, accurate measurement, and task simplification. Being a structural mechanic myself, the other product that caught my attention was a plastic/acrylic window maintenance product. The product representative from DurchBlick was boastful about this product saying it could reestablish 95% to 100% transparency, reduce the investment of new windows, reduce waste caused by replacement of windows, 53 and prolong life of windows-up to 60%. This is

a product that could ease the maintenance process, reduce maintenance man-hours, and reduce part replacement, which are all always “good things” from the maintenance point of view. Although I have only named a few, many companies were displaying the goods and services they offer to our community. I thank all of them who were willing to share with us at the open house. All in all, it was a great opportunity for my fellow maintainers and me, not only to interact with contractor representatives, discuss their wares, and learn about the current maintenance gadgets, but also to get updated on the latest and upcoming products the industry has provided.

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13

Focus NHA Luncheons:

NHA Awards Luncheon Article by LTJG James McKenzie, USN


he Naval Helicopter Association (NHA) honored individuals who have made significant contributions to the rotary wing community at an awards luncheon, May 14, at the Town and Country Resort Hotel and Convention Center in San Diego.

(first / second photos) CAPT Arnold J. Isbell Trophy and (third photo) CNAL Aircrewman of the Year

Nominations for awards are provided annually, selected by each of NHA’s six regions, and then a national committee meets to select the best candidate. The awards began with the CY12 Chief of Naval Air Forces (CNAF) Achievement Awards. These awards included, HS-14, HSM-71, HS-5 and HSL-42 winning the Captain Arnold Jay Isbell Trophy for superior anti-submarine and anti-surface squadrons. Mr Mark Zavack of Lockheed Martin presented both awards. The CNAL Enlisted Aircrewman of the Year award was presented to AWR2 Amado Vazquez from HSL-42. He was the top enlisted aircrewman from the Atlantic area who throughout the year had consistently demonstrated superior aeronautical ability and performance in his assigned billet. The Battle ‘E’ was presented to HS-11, HSC-8, HSL-42, HSL-51, HSC-22, HSC-21, HSM-70, and HSM-77. The Lifelong Service Award was presented by Mr. Ron Sink of L-3 Communications / Ocean Systems. This award was presented to LTJG Lisa McKinnon on behalf of her father Mr. Clinton D. McKinnon, who the Board of Directors decided had the most lifelong contributions to vertical lift aircraft and/or operations CAPT Charles Deitchman, USN (Ret) won the Service to NHA Award, presented by Mr Mark Zavack of Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors to the individual who has contributed most significantly to achieving the goals of the Naval Helicopter Association. Continue on page 55

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13


(first photo) Lifelong Service Award and (second photo) Service to NHA Award

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Focus Historical: Farewell to a Patriot

(first/second photos) Aircrew of the Year (Non-Deployed/Deployed) and (third photo) Rescue Swimmer of the Year Continue from page 54

Mr. Zavack of Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Sensors also presented the Aircrew of the Year (Non-Deployed) to the crew of CG Rescue 6012. LCDR Steven Cereveny led the crew, which included LT Jane R. Peña, AMT3 Michael Lufkin, and AST2 Randy Haba, in rescuing survivors from the HMS Bounty off the coast of Cape Hatteras, NC during Superstorm Sandy. They battled storms and 30 foot seas to ensure the five crew members came back safely. The Aircrew of the Year (Deployed) Award was given to CG Rescue 6544 by CAPT Charles Deitchman of Sikorsky Aircraft for rescuing the crew of the Polar Wind. The vessal crashed onto a group of rocks in the Bering Sea in the middle of the night during a storm. LCDR Lane Steffenhagen and his crew, LT David Janney, AET3 Mihaly Pazar, and AST3 Omar Alba, got the call and hoisted 3 survivors. AST3 Alba then stayed with the remainder of the crew until more help came. AST3 Alba and AET3 Pazar accepted the award The Rescue Swimmer of the Year Award is awarded to an enlisted Rescue Swimmer who accomplished the most notable waterborne rescue mission during the year. The award was given to AWS2 Salomon E. Padilla from HSC-25. He battled high swells, jagged rocks and a leg injury to ensure a crew survived off the coast of Guam. This award was presented by Mr. Tony Dzielski of L3 Communications / Crestview Aerospace. LT Jesse Ashmore accepted the award on PO2 Padilla’s behalf.

(first photo) RADM Steven Tomaszeski Squadron Commanding Officer Leadership, (second photo) Pilot of the Year and (third photo) Fleet Instructor of the Year. The inaugual presentation of the RADM Tomaszeski Squadron Commanding Officer Leadership Award was given to CDR Patrick Jankowski from HSM- 71. The award is given to the helicopter designated officer in an O-5 command position in recognition of his/ her unit’s overall excellence and positive command climate as well as the officer’s outstanding example, ability to motivate subordinates and enforce standards. HSM-71 was embarked upon Carrier Strike Group THREE for an eight month deployment. The award was presented by Mr. Brian Coppinger of G.E. Aviation. Rolls-Royce’s representative Mr. Tom Hill presented The Pilot of the Year Award, which is awarded to the pilot that, who throughout the year, has consistently demonstrated superior aeronautical ability and performance by his/her assigned billet. This year’s recipient of the award was LCDR Devon M. Hockaday from HSM-70. LT James Moore of HSC-3 won the Fleet Instructor Pilot of the Year Award presented by Mr. Dan Corrigan, President of L-3 Communications / D.P. Associates. Capt Christopher Phillips, USMC, won Training Command Instructor Pilot of the Year for his work at HT-8. The award was presented by L-3 Communications / Vertex Aerospace. The Aircrewman of the Year Award is awarded to the enlisted service member whose performance throughout the year consistently demonstrated superior aeronautical ability and performance in his/ her billet. The award was given to Naval (first photo) Training Command Instructor of the Year, and (second photo) Aircrewman of the Year Aircrewman 1st121 Class Peter J.‘13 Caron 55 Rotor Review # Summer from the Airborne Mine Countermeasures Weapon Systems Training School.

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(first photo) Instructor Aircrewman of the Year and (second/third photos) Maintenance Officer of the Year and Maintenance CPO of the Year Continue from page 55

AWR1 (NAC/AW/SW/PJ) Mary Sawicki, was the recipient for the Instructor Aircrewman of the Year Award presented by by Mr. Stu Knoll of CAE. Mr. Bob Novak of BAE Systems, Inc., gave out two awards: the Maintenance Officer of the Year was given to LT Christopher Baxter from HSC-84, and the Maintenance Chief Petty Officer of the Year was given to AZCS Roman Terenzini. Breeze-Eastern’s represntative, Mr. Paul Kopczynski presented the Maintenance Enlisted Person of the Year Award to Sgt Christopher Soper, USMC, from HMX-1.

(first photo) Maintenance Enlisted of the Year, (second photo) Best Scribe Award, and (third photo) ANA Outstanding Achievement in Aviation Maintenance Award

The Bill Stuyvesant Best Scribe Award, given to the active duty member of the Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard whose article, published in Rotor Review during the calendar year prior to the Symposium, best addressed the issues of interest to the Naval Helicopter Community in the most original, provocative, constructive, and informative manner, was awarded to LT Lee Sherman, USN for his article “The Sixty-Degree Initiative.” The article asks the Angle of Bank limit to be raised from 45 degrees to 60 degrees for tactical superiority. The award wass presented by CAPT Joe Stuyvesant, USN (Ret). The Association of Naval Aviation (ANA) gave out two awards: the Outstanding Achievement in Helicopter Aviation Award to AST1 Phillip Ornot, USCG, and The Outstanding Achievement in Aviation Maintenance Award to AMT1 Lawrence Peranto, USCG. AST3 Omar Alba accepted the award on AMT1 Peranto’s behalf. CAPT Bill Personius, USN (Ret), President of NHA Historical Society presented the Mark Starr Award to the individual who has made a major contribution to naval helicopter history to Ron Milam. Milam served with the HC-7 Sea Devils in Vietnam in 1969-1970 and has since led an effort to collect and preserve over 40,000 photos and thousands of documents involving naval helicopter history. On June 10, 2013, the Golden Helix Award was presented to LtGen Thomas Conant, USMC (center-right) at a luncheon at the Army Navy Club in Washington DC. General Conant was not able to attend the NHA Symposium in San Diego on May 15th to receive his award due to operational commitments, but during a short break between his stops at the Pentagon and the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, the new Chairman of NHA, RADM (Ret) Shannon (right), and Sikorsky personnel [l-r, Chris (top photo) Mark Starr and (photo on Rapp, Chuck Deitchman, and Ken Best (far right)] were able to get together for the luncheon. Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13 the right) and Golden Helix Award Sikorsky V.P. Mr. Scott56 Starrett (center -left)was the presenter of the award.


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Also the two host Commodores (CAPT Dave Bouvé of COMHSMWINGPAC and CAPT Jack Schuller of C O M H S C W I N G PA C ) received awards at the Awards Luncheon on the behalf of following: Admiral Jimmy S. Thach Award for the squadron that has exemplified the highest standards of naval service, which was awarded to HSM-77. The award was presented by Mr Mark Zavack of Lockheed Martin. Raytheon Naval and Maritime Systems awarded LT Patrick Blind, USN, aboard the USS New York, the Shipboard Pilot of the Year Award. C o n t i n uThe e d award ceremony was capped off when HT-8 Commanding Officer /

NHA Regional FIVE President CDR Matt Bowen (far right) winged Ensign George Meszaros, USN (Pilot Designator No.: 31,999) from HT-28 and 1st Lt Elliott Joses, USMC (Pilot Designator No.: 32,000) from HT-8.

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Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13

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Focus Supporting Our Helo Community and Each Other

HOSC Holds Its Annual NHA Spouses Luncheon Article by Lara Bouvé


ach year during the week of the NHA Symposium, helicopter spouses take advantage of the opportunity to have a luncheon to gather together to enjoy new and old friendships, share stories, and support the NHA Scholarship fund. This year’s luncheon was one of the most well-attended in recent history. The theme “Wings of Change” was chosen, with butterfly décor to symbolize change, transformation, and new beginnings. Organized by the Helicopter Officer and supporting their squadrons and each Spouses’ Club (HOSC), the event was held other for 61 years. Archived meeting at the Coronado Cays Yacht Club. Over 70 minutes reveal that back in 1949, there spouses were in attendance to enjoy lunch were only two helicopter squadrons – one and a presentation by Mrs. Cheri Bollman, on each coast. By 1952, this number had a motivational speaker and life coach. She expanded to four squadrons in San Diego has made appearances on multiple news along with the VS squadrons at Ream programs including 20/20, Oprah, and Good Field on what is today the outlying field Morning America. She is married to a 28 year at Imperial Beach. During this time, the retired SEAL veteran and is the mother of 11, REAM Officers’ Wives Club was born and she took the opportunity to talk to the including both Helo and VS squadrons. HOSC members about change, challenges, This group’s main objective was social. They planned Sadie Hawkins Dances, relationships, and adversity. The HOSC organization, like the spring luncheons, fashion shows, and San Diego Navy helicopter community as a luaus, and money raised was spent on whole, has enjoyed a long and rich heritage the next social event. The group name remained the on North Island Naval Air Station. Many same throughout the 1960’s. They began of you may not know that HOSC and its Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13 58Field Chiefs’ Club, meeting at the Ream predecessors have been meeting, socializing,

and they eventually changed their name to the Helicopter Officers’ Wives club (H.O.W.) when Ream Field was designated as NAS Imperial Beach. With that change came a new purpose for the club, and they began to work to help military families in need. To do this, they started projects including art auctions and craft sales which earned them their first $26.00. They made layettes and donated them to Balboa Hospital through Navy Relief. In 1975, the helicopter operations and communities were moved to Naval Air Station North Island, so H.O.W. moved their meetings to Bonita where they met at a nursery and in a meeting room of a Wells Fargo Bank. In the late 1970’s, the first husband of a helicopter pilot joined the group, and the name was changed to Helicopter Officer Spouses’ Club (HOSC). NHA was a new organization at this point, and Continue on page 59

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the annual symposiums were held exclusively in San Diego and thus began the initiative for HOSC to begin hosting the spring luncheon. During all this transition, the HOSC board felt an even stronger need to shift their focus to supporting the helicopter community and its families as a whole. They expanded their charity work for military families to include support to Balboa Hospital, the Fisher House, the Red Cross, the NHA Scholarship Fund, and a memorial fund for cancer research just to name a few. HOSC has evolved over the years, and it continues to be a vital and unique organization. HOSC, the rotary wing community, and the Navy as a whole have been subject to change and transformation that has only accelerated in recent years. The HSM and HSC squadrons have never been closer – professionally or socially. That unity extends to the HOSC organization, where spouses from both communities all provide mutual support to each other. Special thanks go out to the Sand Dollar Too, local merchants and several helicopter squadron spouses clubs for donating the gift baskets for the opportunity drawing. Proceeds from the luncheon enabled HOSC to make a $500 donation to the NHA Scholarship Fund. This event was the latest in a long history of activities designed to provide support to Navy, Coast Guard and Marine helicopter spouses, and NHA. The members of HOSC thank NHA for its support of the luncheon and look forward to hosting it again in 2015 when the symposium returns to the west coast!

The white hydrangea with the butterfly décor was the centerpiece for Wings of Change Photos courtesy Helicopter Officer Spouses Club (HOSC)

NHA Sports:

NHA Symposium 5K 2013

Article by LCDR Allyn “Blue” Uttecht, USN / Photos by AWR1 Jeff Kotyk, USN


t was a picturesque day on Coronado Island, a beautiful setting for the 2013 Naval Helicopter Association’s 5k Run. At the starting line, 43 naval helicopter pilots and aircrewmen were poised, ready to start racing for the gold. All participants put forth a fantastic effort and the top three finishers for the men and for the women were recognized with medals. The fastest overall time and winner of the men’s division was AWR1 Bryce Williams (HSM-41) with a time of 16 minutes and 41 seconds. The silver medalist was AWS2 Tedd Allen (HSC-21), and AWR3 Andrew Horton (HSL-49) won the bronze medal. Finishing first for the women was LT Emily Allert (HT-28) with a time of 21 minutes and 1 second. The silver medalist was CDR Tamara Graham (CO, HSC-4), and the bronze medal was awarded to LTJG Leah Blaine (HSL-49). The back drop of the San Diego skyline provided a scenic finish to the festivities. See you next year where we hope to see some familiar faces and some new challengers!


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NHA Sports:

NHA Symposium Golf 2013 Article by LTJG Dave Lovett, USN

Photo Courtesy of Riverwalk Golf Course


he 2013 Naval Helicopter Association Symposium kicked off with a great start at the Riverwalk Golf Club on Monday, May 13th, 2013. The Riverwalk Golf Club is one of San Diego’s premier private golf courses located just north of downtown. The course is comprised of three nine-hole courses, two of which, Presidio and Mission, were utilized for the tournament. This year’s event was planned and organized by LTJG Dave Lovett with assistance from HSC-21 volunteers and support from our loyal sponsors: Northrop Grumman, Sikorsky, CAE, Navy Mutual, Columbia Helicopters, and L-3 Communications/Vertex Aerospace. This year, NHA turned out to be a predominantly West Coast event as a result of the federal government’s sequestration. Despite the fiscal setbacks, the San Diego-based naval rotary wing community was able to show up and play golf with a substantial turnout. With over 100 military and industry participants, there was plenty of competition both on and off the course. The golf tournament, overall sponsored by Northrop Grumman, raised money for the NHA Scholarship Fund, while providing an opportunity for old and new members to connect. The event was conducted with four-man teams using a “best ball” format. Both mulligans and string were available for purchase at registration to help the more casual players remain competitive…or at least on the fairway. The course remained busy as the players attempted to win not just the overall team prizes but also other challenges throughout. Players competed for the longest drive on the 521 yard Mission 9 hole, as well as closest to the pin on the Par 3 Presidio 8 hole. Additionally, players competed for a $5,000 hole in one prize on the 156 yd PAR 3 Presidio 2 hole, sponsored by L3 Vertex. To help the players to fine tune their skills, the Coronado Brewing Company was kind enough to offer two refreshing beer stands along the course. At the conclusion of the 5 ½ hour tournament, the players returned to the clubhouse for dinner. They sat down to a BBQ buffet and relived the great shots and epic fails encountered on the course. The awards ceremony took place during dinner and began with a variety of raffle prizes donated from local businesses. The long awaited overall team winners were finally announced: 3rd place team composed of Bouvé (CHSMWP), Marion, Hoffmann and Gould; 2nd place team, from HSC-21, was Balderson, McKerry, Felice, and Goodman; and finally, the 1st place team, from HSC-3, was Powell, LaBorde, Klamper, and Zubeck. The beautiful and sunny Southern California weather helped to make this one of the best days of the year to golf leading to a successful tournament with over $6,000 generated for the NHA Scholarship Fund. We all look forward to next year’s Tournament where we will hopefully be able to reunite with our East Coast and Photo by AWR1 Jeff Kotyk, USN overseas brothers and sisters for another fantastic event.

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NHA Sports:

NHA Symposium Aircrew Competition: "Good or Lucky?" Article by AWSC Stephen Martin, USN / Photos and Video by AWR1 Jeff Kotyk and NPASE West


re you “good or lucky?” This was the theme for the 2013 Naval Helicopter Association Aircrew Competition. Mission success is dependent on skills obtained through training and experience, but, often, there is an element of luck that will ultimately contribute to the degree of mission success. As Naval Aircrew, we are lucky to have the opportunity to do things most people dream about. The question is: are you “good?” In other words, have you put the time into training effectively, and have you capitalized on your experience to be effective in your job? That is what this competition was designed to test.


he MEDEVAC scenario tested each team’s ability to triage, treat, package, and transport multiple survivors over a 500-meter course through sand dunes utilizing litters and buddy carries.

presented in a round robin layout. Given current restraints Previous competitions have focused on NALO travel and TAD budgets, on a few physical skills tested in this year’s NHA Symposium was limited to almost entirely local San Diego members. There was some concern about whether there would be enough participation from the local squadrons to warrant the time, effort, and expense of the Aircrew competition. Come competition day, all concerns were laid to rest with 23 teams showing up to compete for bragging rights. The unprecedented participation was more than double the normal turnout of local squadrons. The West Coast set a high bar this year an endurance format. This year, the and is a clear challenge to their East Coast counterparts to try to top those events were specifically developed numbers next year. with Aircrew skills in mind and This year’s competition designed to be short in duration took on a slightly different format but high in intensity. Each event than recent61 years. Five events were Rotor Review #Continue 121 Summer ‘1362 on page



n a maritime survival situation, confidence in the water is crucial. In what proved to be the most challenging event, teams had to move a 200-pound dummy underwater for 200 meters. Not only was strength and lung capacity key in the successful completion of the event, but also the team’s ability to work together was strained by varying levels of water confidence.

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was deceptively simple, but, with a broad set of rules, it allowed teams to develop different strategies to complete each skill. A small cadre of FRS Instructors from HSM-41 and HSC-3 spent approximately 50 hours each developing, preparing, and running the events, ensuring that common skills between the communities would be tested and that the most well rounded Aircrews would end up on top. The events represented the diverse skill sets naval rotary wing aircrews are using to accomplish missions in a variety of combat and non-combat missions. The competitor’s ability to move relief supplies through rough terrain in support of Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief (HA/DR) missions was tested utilizing an obstacle course on the beach with sand bags simulating relief supplies. The MEDEVAC scenario tested each team’s ability to triage, treat, package, and transport multiple survivors over a 500-meter course through sand dunes utilizing litters and buddy carries. Recovering ropes into the aircraft is required for multiple mission areas and that was put to the test with each team during the run of an

obstacle course. The course thoroughly tasked their cardiovascular system and ended with pulling three FAST Ropes up a 40-foot tower. Operating in the maritime environment is the primary competency that sets us apart from our sister Services. In a maritime survival situation, confidence in the water is crucial. In what proved to be the most challenging event, teams had to move a 200-pound dummy underwater for 200 meters. Not only was strength and lung capacity key in the successful completion of the event, but also the team’s ability to work together was strained by varying levels of water confidence. Many teams found themselves more concerned with surviving the challenge than completing it. Ultimately three teams were disqualified for failing to move the 200 meters in a 15-minute time limit; many others were just trying to not have the safety swimmer pull them out of the pool. New to the competition was the use of the Aircrew Virtual Environment

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13


Trainer (AVET), the first full emersion virtual reality simulator designed for H-60 F/H/S Aircrewmen use. The AVET, which can be used for training in all no- sensor mission areas, was used to evaluate each team’s aerial gunnery proficiency. Teams were evaluated on their ability to identify, prioritize, engage, and destroy targets using M-240 machine guns in a specially developed littoral environment scenario with ground targets and small boat threats. Teams of four were split in half, two members served as gunners and the other two served as pilots at the instructor station. Not only were teams’ aerial gunnery abilities challenged, but also their CRM skills by the “pilots” talking gunners onto the targets and relaying aircraft, weapons, and scoring information to them. With the large turnout of teams, the West Coast squadrons were well represented including many squadrons that sent multiple teams. A diverse group of Aircrewmen and pilots gave a good cross section of Aircrews. There were teams composed of all Fleet Continue on page 63


Watch Highlights of the 2013 NHA Aircrew Competition on

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Replacement Aircrews (FRACs) from both Fleet Replacement Squadrons (FRS), two all Lieutenant teams who bravely tried to hang with the AWs, one senior enlisted team from HSC-3 pushing their worn bodies, and a handful of officers competing side by side with their Aircrewmen. There were many standout performances throughout the day. Common to all teams was a high level of motivation, innovative thinking, teamwork, and camaraderie. While each station had a winner, results were tallied for each event and teams were ranked according to aggregate score for the total of all events. An overall winner was determined recognizing the most well rounded team. With impressive performances in all events, Team “Ocho Cincos” comprised of Dan Mitchell, Brian Berthod, Chet Minniear, and Todd Pike represented the Firehawks of HSC-85. Team “Ocho Cincos’” ability to work together, adaptability to the environment, and physical performance proved that they are both “Good and Lucky.” The financial support this year came from a Sikorsky Aircraft and PROBAR who

helped offset the cost to competitors. Of particular notability, several retired and current Aircrewmen from MnK Digital Consulting and SOML Racing helped support the community that helped them become successful in their private ventures. Kevin Stoke from MnK Digital Consulting supplies many of the local commands with T-shirts, patches, and command coins. Information and points of contact for these organizations can be found at and SOML Racing Facebook page. Aviation Rescue Swimmer Instructors Tom Frawley, Eric Veditz, and John Herrman started SOML Racing. The organization was founded to promote fitness and esprit de corps among Rescue Swimmers and their families. SOML Racing can be found everywhere Navy Helicopters fly. Members proudly wear their SOML Racing gear to a multitude of sporting events and community service projects to represent not only the organization but


also to promote the Navy Rescue Swimmer motto, “So Others May Live” (SOML). The support of all of the sponsors who contributed to the event was greatly appreciated.

Overall winner was TEAM Ocho Cincos from HSC-85. Photos by AWR1 Jeff Kotyk, USN

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NHA Symposium Panels:

2013 Enlisted Matters Panel Article by AWSC Leticia Anderson, USN

Enlisted Matters Panel (l-r) HMC Mark Kirkland, USN, AWRC Jason Poulin, USN, AWSCS Chris Webster, USN, AWCM Mikel Carr, USN, AWCM David Crossan and AWRC Nick Hunter (Panel Moderator) Photos by AWR1 Jeff Kotyk, USN


he Enlisted Matters Panel was difficult budgetary environment; this is comprised of five helicopter what our leadership has to face. Each community experts ranging from E7 to Commodore, Deputy, and Wing CMC, E9, representing the HS, HSC, HSM, HSL can accurately describe the very real community managers, Support Activity challenges that our enlisted Aircrewmen Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SA) ONE, are facing; they are also constantly SAR Medical Technician (SMT) community being asking the tough questions about managers, and Unmanned Helicopter how to develop potential solutions Reconnaissance Squadron (HUQ) ONE. for the future. As tough as it is for our The purpose of the panel was to inform fleet Sailors, our leadership is working hard Naval Aircrewman of the current direction and to overcome these challenges. I have climate of their community, the future aircraft the utmost confidence that their work systems and projects, and advancement and will pay off for the best and brightest placement opportunities. Aircrewmen that our Navy has to offer,” The majority of Enlisted Panel said Master Chief Naval Aircrewman questions regarded advancement, manpower, Dave Crossan, assigned to HSM-41. Perform to Serve (PTS), Career Management The enlisted panel was System/Interactive Detailing (CMS/ID), fortunate to have Naval Aircrewman Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and Vertical Senior Chief Chris Webster, assigned Takeoff and Tactical Landing Unmanned Air to SA-1, as part of the panel. He Vehicle (VTUAV) opportunities. The panel gave provided a static display showcasing detailed responses for each fielded question, the commands two Unmanned Aerial ensuring to communicate that the helicopter Systems. SA-1 is open to many rates leadership had similar goals and concerns including the Aviation Warfare Systems regarding the future of the community; that Operator (AW) rating, and provides our each respective HSM and HSC Commodore Sailors an opportunity to work closely had visibility and insight on a myriad of the with the Naval Special Warfare (NSW) same challenges that Sailors face today and community. are routinely communicating with Naval Air Senior Enlisted Leader Chief Forces for potential solutions. Naval Aircrewman Jason Poulin, “I feel that we are very fortunate assigned to HUQ-1, answered some to have our helicopter leadership engaged tough questions in regards to detailing at the levels that they are. Imagine the and the requirements to become part responsibilities, the constant advancement of the Hydra team. HUQ-1 billets are Review #new 121helicopters, Summer ‘13 64 aviation rates to with Rotor new platforms, and being filled with most new systems, as well as living within the very include all five AW ratings and ranks,

but primarily Aircrewman Mechanical (AWF), Aircrewman Avionics (AWV), and Aircrewman Operator (AWO). He explained that primary positions for the AW’s are the Mission Payload Operator (MPO) and possibly the Air Vehicle Operators (AVO), which would be primarily for ranks E-6 and above. The greatest opportunity for an Aircrewman Helicopter (AWS) and an Aircrewman Tactical (AWR) to operate the MQ8-B/C Firescout VTUAV would be to get orders to HSC-21 or HSM-35, because they will be the first squadrons to deploy with the aircraft. Senior Enlisted Hospital Corpsman emphasized the increasing need for dedicated corpsman to join Search and Rescue community. “While the Navy medical community is overmanned, the SMT community continues to be undermanned. The community is currently looking for motivated corpsman to apply for a career as an SMT, NEC 8401. They will receive advanced medical training, aviation training, an opportunity to perform Search and Rescue operations, and in-flight medicine is truly one of the most rewarding and challenging jobs,” explained Chief Hospital Corpsman Mark Kirkland, assigned to Search and Rescue Model Manager (SARMM) at HSC-3. Fiscal and time constraints took a large portion out of this year’s Enlisted Matters Panel and the panel was faced with challenging questions from the helicopter community, but in the end, the event resulted in some honest answers and great ideas to challenge the community leads.


NHA Symposium Panels:

2013 Captains of Industry Panel Article by LTJG Brittany Meek, USN | Photos by MC2 Melissa Redinger, USN


imilar to the 2012 NHA Captains Sikorsky Military Systems, Dan Spoor, testing is complete, but the military has not of Industry Panel, this year’s Vice President and Owego General quite reached that point. Mr. Mehta continued panel once again focused on the Department Manager of Ship & Aviation Systems, to highlight the benefits of using simulation of Defense budget, which continues to wither, and Edward Scott Reed, Director, T700 and System Integration Laboratories (SILs) especially in lieu of the sequestration which has U.S. Military Programs and Support, by emphasizing that “most conditions [can been looming over the U.S. Government for Turboshaft Engines and Military be simulated] in a laboratory now” and by months. Despite the grim outlook of our future Systems Operations of GE Aviation. doing so, the deficiencies can be more easily budget, today’s industry leaders seem more The discussion led with identified and solutions discovered much hopeful than ever about the future of the DoD- a question regarding the lengthy faster than the traditional in-flight testing. Mr. industry partnership to create a prosperous, yet production time for required equipment Spoor emphasized that flight testing has been budget-friendly plan for future technologies development, with moving maps as complete on the moving map. His company and capabilities. The board specifically the primary example, which have been currently has plans that aim for a 2015 launch focused on the steps the industry is taking to available to the public for nine years, date, but a major obstacle is the time and cost make funding go further with an emphasis on but have yet to make an appearance in to update both the current processors as well collaboration between current aircrew as the digital storage hardware. Much of ideas and advancing technology in the panel agreed that simulation will be order to continue the success of their the key to cutting costs, while continuing companies as well as our aircraft. to provide viable information to the This panel provided a chance for consumer. the helicopter community to ask The next major talking point questions about aspects which had to addressed the addition of UAVs to the do with the design and production of helicopter flight lines. While many of the equipment that we use to fulfill Sikorsky President Samir Mehta highlights the benefits of the pilots and aircrew have accepted using simulation and System Integration Laboratories (SILs) this fact of the future, there still remains our missions. This year’s panel, moderated by emphasizing that “most conditions [can be simulated] in a the concern of the lack of a common by CAPT William T.R. “Randy” laboratory now”. cockpit/ground control system between Bogle, USN (Ret), included Joseph current and future UAVs. The future J. Battaglia, President and CEO of Telephonics naval helicopters. Mr. Mehta fielded operators of these aircraft want to ensure that Corporation, followed by Dennis Corrigan, the question arguing that the real holdup they will not have to learn a new console every President of L-3/D.P. Associates, John Lenyo, is the struggle of how much testing is time a new update or system comes out. The President of CAE Inc., George Vardoulakis, required by the Navy from a technical panel was challenged with the question of Vice President of Tactical Unmanned Systems standpoint. Although the civilian what the industry is doing to partner with each & Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion world still values safety, they have other, outside of the acquisition supply chain, Program (MP-RTIP) Strike and Surveillance become more progressive by allowing to work toward this common cockpit in order Systems Division at Northrop Grumman the industry leaders to extrapolate data Continue on page 66 Aerospace Systems, Samir Mehta, President of points when less than 100% of the


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Captains of Industry Panel (l-r) Dan Spoor (Lockheed Martin), George Vardoulakis (Northrop Grumman), Samir Mehta (Sikorsky), Joseph Battaglia (Telephonics), Dennis Corrigan (L-3 Comms/DPA), Ed Reed (GE Aviation), John Lenyo (CAE), and Randy Bogle (L3 Comms/DPA & Panel Moderator) Photos by AWR1 Jeff Kotyk,

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to seamlessly integrate switching from one vehicle to another. Mr. Vardoulakis argued that, from a Northrop Grumman standpoint, a common cockpit exists for many of the current UAVs including UCAS, Firebird and Fire Scout. As far as collaboration between industry groups, he stated that “it doesn’t happen overnight but we are working towards a common mission framework so that we can ‘plug and play,’ which keeps us from being limited to certain operating consoles or certain service applications.” There was a general agreement between panel members that the time and money investment, as well as the push from Navy leadership is leading to the acquisition of the common cockpit. While the community is continuously improving and updating systems, many of the pilots are still concerned about the importance of maintaining and upgrading legacy systems to ensure their compatibility in a joint maritime environment. In response, most of the companies highlighted their roadmaps they have developed which outline their plans to sustain, improve and even work towards extending the current systems so that they do not become outdated. The panel agreed that the fiscal constraints were definitely placing a large burden on them

in terms of how thin they are required to distribute their funds and, in turn, what portion of their funding they can devote to legacy systems versus future systems. On another note, the audience was keen to learn of the “differences between the Navy and corporate America in terms of team building and leadership,” and more so what the Navy could take away from industry to help make it run more smoothly. Mr. Vardoulakis was the first to stand by the idea that “it really is a partnership already.” Many of the members of the panel are former military members and so understand the necessity of teamwork. Additionally, corporate America continues to learn from the military. However, because of the fiscally restrictive environment that we find ourselves in today, it may require the military to take a more careful look at what the corporate businesses are doing today. While the military may not be as used to working within budgets that are far more restrictive than they may have been, Mr. Mehta offers that the Navy may need to take a page from industry and hire accountants. Public and private

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13


businesses have also learned that while not readily apparent, there is always extra funding out there, it just takes the right eye to find it and the right hands to be able to invest it properly so as to get the greatest return on that investment. Finally, the panel was questioned about what they were doing in terms of pilot sustainment, particularly the addition of more comfortable seats while maintaining their survivability. To this they answered that much of the work on this subject was already completed on the commercial side and many of them were not even based on the newer technologies. A few companies have begun work with some types of foam, similar to higher end mattresses, which add comfort without the additional weight. The task is still a work in progress in terms of developing a durable material that will be able to sustain the rigorous wear and tear of military usage. In closing remarks, the overall emphasis from the panel was a reminder for pilots and aircrew to continually ask: “What do you want the future of Naval Aviation to look like?” and to send recommendations to the industries that can help shape that future. While funding may be harder to come by than it once was, these companies will continue to fight for ideas and business through innovation both in their products and their assistance in fleet acquisition.


NHA Symposium Panels:

2013 Flag Panel Article by LT Mellie Morton, USN | Photos by MC2 Melissa Redinger, USN Flag Panel (l-r) RDML Ken Norton, USN (Commander, Naval Safety Center), VADM Tom Copeman, USN (Commander, Naval Surface Forces), RADM Paul Grosklags, USN (Program Executive Director, Air ASW, Assault & Special Mission Programs), and CAPT Thom Burke [CO of USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) / Panel Moderator]


he 2013 NHA Symposium drew to a close with another outstanding Flag Panel discussion. Several challenging questions were posed as the military faces serious budget cuts and drawdowns. The panelists, RADM Grosklags, RDML Norton, and VADM Copeman rose to the occasion to provide insightful commentary and give consideration to the issues that affect today’s warfighters. A major concern for the HSM community is ALFS (Airborne Low Frequency Sonar) reliability. The panelist remarked on quality issues with the ALFS manufacturer and stated that several OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) sites have moved stateside to help with distribution of parts. However, this is only a temporary solution. Although the Fleet squadrons have few ALFS to use for training, the panel commended the Commodore for “doing a fantastic job of keeping the deployers supplied.” One audience member questioned the lengthy process for getting new “stuff” to the Fleet after the needs and demands are expressed. The panelists likened the acquisition process to “defensive medicine;” but, compared to the commercial industry, we are way too slow. They were hopeful that, in light of sequestration, it will strip away the excess layers of oversight, testing, and paperwork. One example was the APKWS (Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System) 2.75” laser guided rocket, which has been used successfully in the Marine Corps for several years. The APKWS rockets are expected

in the second quarter of FY14 for Sierras and FY 15 for the Romeos. The issue of professional diversity arose when someone asked why there are so few helo aviators in the Flag ranks. One panelist commented that the helo community is “better at diversity than our TACAIR brethren.” However, commanders for aviation are selected through a TACAIR lens. As rotary wing pilots don’t have the opportunity to compete a few levels down, they are not being selected for jobs that would make them competitive for Flag. The panel moderator added that having HSM assets on the carrier changes the perception of what rotary wing can really do. It gives more synergy to the Air Wing and puts more weight on the table for rotary wing leadership. The panelists spoke openly about how sequestration affects each of their areas of expertise. In the surface Navy, nuclear assets are taking a hit in depot level maintenance budget, since budget cuts for nuclear reactor maintenance is a serious risk. In addition, steaming days have been cut down to 16 days per quarter. Some special projects, like a new sonar system and moving maps, are taking even deeper budget cuts. Since safety is always a concern, cuts in funding could lead to unsafe 67 practices, especially in a culture of

VADM Copeman listened to the concerns pilots and Aircrewmen have about their role in future collaborations with the Surface Navy.

RADM Grosklags addressed the issues and concerns of ALFS reliability, professionialism, and diversity during this era of the new fiscal climate.

RDML Norton awaits to answer a question from the audience regarding safety.

“getting the job done.” This year’s Flag Panel addressed the tough questions that affect the helo community – ALFS reliability, professional diversity, and sequestration, to name a few. The three-man panel made it clear that it is up to us, the warfighters, to continue express our needs and RotortoReview # 121 Summer ‘13 stay involved.

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13


Command Update by MC2 Amanda Huntoon, USN


ailors assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 3 Merlins celebrated reaching 250,000 Class A Mishap-free hours, June 14. A Class A mishap is classified as an accident with a destroyed aircraft, damages that exceeds $2 million, loss of life, or permanent total disability. According to LT Kevin Lind, aviation safety officer at HSC-3, statistically across Naval Aviation, a Class A flight mishap occurs every 100,000 flight hours. “Achieving this milestone does not just happen. It takes a concerted effort from every Sailor in the command to promote aviation safety,” said Lind. “Maintainers must be diligent in their work and hold themselves to an extremely high standard. Flyers must continually seek to improve their skills and knowledge of the aircraft. Open communication and a culture of keeping each other accountable have allowed us to achieve this goal.” LCDR Kenneth Sanchez, maintenance officer at HSC-3, emphasized that to reaching a milestone like this is only possible through training, communication and taking pride in the work that you do. SCAN AND LIKE HSC-3 ON

“I am truly happy to be part of this, and the command should be very proud. I have every bit of confidence that we will hit 500,000 class A mishap-free hours if we continue to do the things that we do; which is proper maintenance by the book, and by doing everything we can individually through qualifications, good communication, training, and by caring about each other and the job at hand,” explained Sanchez. Helicopter Combat Squadron (HC) 3 was established in 1967. The squadron originally flew the H-46 Sea Knight. The squadron celebrated 50,000 Class A Mishap-free hours in 1981. They started flying the MH-60S Seahawk in 2002 and transitioned into HSC-3 in 2005. HSC-3 is currently the largest helicopter Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) in the Navy, training pilots to fly the MH-60S, SH-60F, and the HH-60H. “It really is an incredible accomplishment that doesn’t happen overnight. This remarkable milestone has taken nearly 40 years to achieve,” said LT Robert Zubeck, instructor pilot at HSC-3. “We have grown incredibly in the past couple of years. We are now the largest helicopter squadron in the whole Navy, and we fly three different types of helicopters. We also fly an extensive flight schedule nearly every day of the week. All of this makes our job more


Command Updates

HSC-3 Reaches 250,000 Class A Mishap-Free Flight Hours

difficult, and puts an emphasis on safety to complete our jobs of training the fleet’s next aviators and aircrewmen.” In 2012, Helicopter Anti- Submarine Squadron (HS) 10 decommissioned and most of the Sailors from the command transferred to HSC-3 along with many of the helicopters. This increased the number of Sailors stationed at HSC-3 from 625 to more than 800, and the number of helicopters from 22 to 32. ”Recognition for flying safely is a huge deal, especially with the operations that we do. We fly on average 75 to 80 hours a day, 1000 hours a month, operating at the squadron 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” explained CAPT Michael Ruth, Commanding Officer of HSC-3. “Just in the last 10 months, our squadron has grown tremendously. We have merged both of the FRS’s, which has almost doubled our daily flight hours. When you put that into perspective that is a lot of moving parts, it’s a lot of flight time, a lot of aircraft, which increases the potential for something bad to happen. The fact that we are able to do it safely is a testament to the professionalism of the people at HSC-3.”

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HSC-21 Squadron Update Command Update by LTJG James McKenzie, USN


ver the course of spring 2013, the HSC-21 Blackjacks have shown how versatile the MH-60S can really be. In mid-March, three helicopters flew to from San Diego to Stennis, Mississippi to support SEAL Team EIGHT. The detachment flew five days of special operations forces (SOF) support, which consisted of nearly 50 hours of live SOF training in support of SEAL Team EIGHT. They completed numerous events and mission scenarios while completing valuable training in Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), SOF insert and extract, call for fire (CFF) support, and casualty evacuation (CASEVAC). The exercise increased the squadron’s overall familiarity with SOF units and increased readiness in a complex, multi-role environment. The crews also flew 133.7 mishap-free flight hours while completing 57 sorties throughout the course of the detachment. On May 2nd, HSC-21 coordinated the short notice deployment of ten maintainers and eight pilots and aircrewmen to Naval Base Ventura County to support airborne firefighting efforts. HSC-21 dropped over 42,000 gallons of water from 129 bambi bucket drops and was

lauded by Commander Third Fleet for its extraordinary efforts in protecting base housing aboard NAS Point Mugu as well as other significant base assets. Outside of the cockpit, HSC21 has been involved in community development. Every week the Blackjacks volunteer at Silver Strand Elementary School, where they help students with homework and play games to promote active lifestyles. The Blackjacks also visited Boys & Girls Clubs in Chula Vista, Logan Heights, Clairemont Mesa, and National City, entertaining the children with games, talking about the Navy and providing positive guidance. On a different note, on May 16th, Master Chief Joseph Curtin retired after 30 years of Naval Service. His retirement ceremony was held aboard the USS Midway in San Diego. He joined HSC-21 in July 2011 and served as Command Master Chief (CMC) for 2 years. Fair winds and following seas, CMC. HSC-21 is currently in workups with the 13th Marine Expeditionary

Unit (MEU) attached to the USS Boxer (LHD 4) Amphibious Ready Group (ARG). Five aircraft, split into two detachments, joined the Boxer and USS New Orleans (LPD 18) in June. During workups the ARG practiced integrating the MH-60S as an armed helicopter platform for a more wellrounded defensive posture. Both detachments combined to fly over 250 hours including multiple joint exercises with the Marines. The deployment is scheduled for the late summer and the Blackjacks will be ready.


HS-2 Heroes Remembered

Command Update by LTJG Lennon, USN


s Big Mother turned out over the valley, a ferocious crossfire suddenly tore into the helicopter, causing it to lose control and explode as it impacted the ground. In an instant, HS-2 lost four crewmembers in a combat search and rescue (CSAR) mission seeking a downed A-4 pilot. It was July 1967 in the dense jungles near Phy Ly, Vietnam. Forty-six years later, on a sunny May afternoon at Arlington National Cemetery, the partial remains of the four men were buried in a solemn ceremony in front of friends and family. The service provided a final bit of closure for relatives of the crew who had arrived from all corners of the country for the burial. A large

contingent of HSC-22 Sea Knights also had the opportunity to travel to the Washington D.C. area to offer their support for the courageous members of HS-2. In 1967, HS-2 participated in 3 consecutive days of intense combat missions as they attempted to recover multiple downed aviators in the region south of Hanoi. A substantial array of air defenses in the heavily defended area made the search and rescue missions a very dangerous task. Despite being engaged by formidable opposition and losing their automatic stabilization equipment, an electrical generator,

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13


and UHF radio, the first HS-2 CSAR mission was successful in rescuing LT Demetrio Verich of VF-162. Two days later, LT Dennis Peterson and his crew lifted off in the cover of night in search of LCDR Richard Hartman. They arrived at dawn and established communications with LCDR Hartman without incident. However, unbeknownst to the task force, the North Vietnamese had reinforced their air defenses during the night. As LT Peterson flew over a 37mm gun Continue on page 71


Ph o t o ( l e f t ) H S C - 2 2 c r e w m e m b e r s a n d d i stinguished guests walk to the Arlington burial site in honor of the HS - 2 air c r ew. Phot o c our t es y of HSC- 22 Publ i c A f f a i r s O f f i c e . Continue from page 70

battery, a sudden barrage of fire hit the helicopter and he quickly lost control. All crewmembers died on impact, and LCDR Hartman was never recovered. The four HS-2 members posthumously received the Distinguished Flying Cross for their heroic actions. The location of the four crewmembers’ remains was unknown until 1982 when some were returned by the North Vietnamese government. The site was re-excavated in 2000 when additional remains and personal effects were found. The recent May burial provided a closing to this tragic story, as well as a moment to reflect on the bravery and selflessness exhibited by these men. For the HSC-22 crewmen and the other service members in attendance, it served as an example of what we may be called to do in the future, and a reminder of what they have done in the past.

HM-14 Plays Crucial Role in Operation DAWN BLITZ Command Update by LTJG Richard Curry, USN


AWN BLITZ was a live and synthetic amphibious exercise held off the coast of southern California from June 11th through June 28th, 2013. The exercise’s focus was to conduct both planning and execution of Naval Task Force operations in a nonpermissive environment and a large-scale amphibious assault by the Amphibious Task Force. The large, multi-national exercise involved route clearing with multiple mine countermeasures (MCM) forces, including helicopters, ships, divers, and unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV). The routes were geotranslated from the California coast to the Virginia coast to simulate similar conditions. Operating remotely from the actual exercise had no effect on HM14 assets with regards to tempo and readiness. SCAN AND LIKE HM-14 ON

For this exercise, an ecoterrorist cell called Channel Islands Chapter (CIC) of the World Oceans Liberation Front (WOLF) reportedly laid mines in Port Hueneme, California in protest of the increased naval activity and the harm they claimed it caused to the environment. The primary goal of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) dive teams, UUV, and two Canadian ships was to allow the friendly vessel, the SS Curtiss, to anchor in Port Hueneme no later than June 17th. The ultimate goal of the MCM team was to provide the safe passage of maritime traffic in and out of Port Hueneme. HM-14’s involvement in the exercise began with crew briefs on June 14th, 2013 at 0330 in order to get aircraft off the deck and headed to the field by sunrise. The first task consisted of minesweeping with the MK-103. The MK-103 Mechanical Minesweeping System is a diverted wire sweep used with the MK-17 Mod 1 explosive cutters to counter moored sea mines. The gear is designed to be streamed, towed, and recovered by the MH-53E. Over the next two days, the


squadron dominated the tasking by completing nine sorties and 20.3 hours of towing in the minefields. HM-14 crews, better known as the World Famous Vanguard, successfully swept over 45 miles of emergency routes and anchorages, which allowed the SS Curtis to arrive at the anchorage on time. Once the emergency route and an emergency anchorage were cleared of moored mines, HM-14 was tasked with hunting for bottom mines with the AN/ AQS-24 towed vehicle. The system deploys rapidly and provides real time sonar images to detect, classify, and localize bottom and moored mines. The system is comprised of a controlled towed underwater vehicle and an airborne console. The console is operated by two crewmen and shows a scrolling video, Continue on page 72

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SQUADRON UPDATES Continued from page 71

which allows the operators to mark locations of mines and underwater terrain features. Crews persevered through challenges with weather, aircraft, and minesweeping equipment to amass over 40 hours of operational tow time, and 306.2 miles of cleared emergency routes from June 16 to June 21. HM-14 airborne mine countermeasures crews gained invaluable experience and training from their participation in Operation DAWN BLITZ. Receiving time sensitive intelligence and tasking against a simulated foe raised the tempo and allowed the squadron to demonstrate its ability to sweep and hunt for mines as part of a larger exercise. The mighty Vanguard completed 32 sorties and over 98 hours of flight time, but the largest achievement came in the form of the valuable mission data that was collected. This data will be analyzed by the entire airborne mine countermeasures community to ensure improved system performance in the future.

HSC-6 Squadron Update Command Update courtesy of HSC-6 Public Affairs Office


n April 2nd, the Indians of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron SIX (HSC-6) embarked on the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and departed San Diego with Carrier Air Wing ELEVEN (CVW-11) to participate in a Sustainment Exercise (SUSTEX) prior to their Western Pacific deployment (WESTPAC). While supporting fixed wing carrier qualifications and continuing to develop their war fighting ability, HSC-6 flew three medical evacuation flights from various ships to Naval Medical Center San Diego and maximized training opportunities with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit ELEVEN (EODMU 11). New helicopter aircraft commanders (HACs) and flight crews cut their teeth

conducting Helicopter Visit Board Search and Seizure (HVBSS) exercises as well as mine pounce operations. “The embarked EOD detachment has been great to work with. Fast-roping actual people out of your aircraft definitely ups the ante,” stated LT Mallory “Mad Dog” Wright after completing the most recent HVBSS training exercise to USS Preble (DDG 88). While conducting flight operations off the coast of California near the border with Mexico, the flight crew of Indian 610 responded to a possible distress call from a nearby fishing vessel. After investigating the vessel, it was quickly determined that

Indian 610 inserts members of EOD Mobile Unit 11 onto the bow of the USS Preble (DDG 88) Photo by MC2 Jandik, USN

the small commercial boat was not actually in distress, but acting suspiciously in the vicinity of the Carrier Strike Group. Three different Continue on page 73


The Navy Helicopter Association, Inc was founded on 2 November 1971 by the twelve rotary wing pioneers listed below. The bylaws were later formally written and the organization was established as a nonprofit association in the State of California 11 May 1978. In 1987 the bylaws were rewritten, changing the name from Navy to Naval to reflect the close relationship of the rotary wing community in the Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy, from initial training to operating many similar aircraft. NHA is a 501 ( C ) (7) nonprofit association.

NHA Founding Members CAPT A.E. Monahan CAPT M.R. Starr CAPT A.F. Emig Mr. H. Nachlin

Rotor Review #

CDR H.F. McLinden CDR W. Staight Mr. R. Walloch CDR P.W. Nicholas

CDR D.J. Hayes CAPT C.B. Smiley CAPT J.M. Purtell CDR H.V. Pepper

Objectives of NHA Provide recognition and enhance the prestige of the United States Naval vertical flight community. Promote the use of vertical lift aircraft in 121 Summer ‘13 72the U. S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Keep members informed of new developments and accomplishments in rotary wing aviation.

SQUADRON UPDATES Continue from page 72

flight crews monitored the vessel’s activity over the course of 12 hours. Two days later, the Screamin’ Indians were informed that their actions directly contributed to the Coast Guard’s seizure of the vessel, which was smuggling thousands of pounds of illegal drugs. “It was exciting to see tangible results from our extensive ISR training and to have used our advanced capabilities in such an important seizure,” commented LT Alexander “Feather” Campbell, one of the aircraft commanders involved in the vessel’s surveillance. As the Indians bid farewell to San Diego and departed on WESTPAC 2013, they were given the opportunity to SCAN AND LIKE HSC-6 ON

fulfill a very special request. A former aircrewman, Mr. William Rucker, who served honorably in Helicopter AntiSubmarine Squadron SIX (HS-6) from

1960-1964 had recently passed away and desired a burial at sea. The burial at sea was conducted in accordance with naval tradition on May 2, 2013. The crew carried Mr. Rucker’s remains over 250nm to the splash down point of the Mercury Faith 7 capsule where, 50 years prior, Mr. Rucker recovered Astronaut Colonel Gordon Cooper. “It was an honor to be a part of the burial at sea ceremony. It was especially meaningful considering Mr. Rucker and I shared the experience of not only being Indians, but also Rescue Swimmers. It made me proud to be part of the community and the history that goes along with being a Rescue Swimmer,” said Petty Officer Second Class Carlos De Osambela in an interview just after the flight. Upon reaching the 7th Fleet Area of Responsibility (AOR) the Indians blew off some steam with a port call in Busan, South Korea. While in Busan, the Indians were able to reunite with former members of the squadron, LT Mike “Tucker” Pangrac and LT Dorian “Tinker” Belz. “It was great to see old Indians while deployed abroad. The Navy is a small world,” said LCDR Ethan “Nasty” Haines during the

impromptu HSC-6 reunion. Following the port call, the Indians executed day and night terrain following (TERF) flights in Okinawa, Japan and improved international coordination in the western Pacific by conducting bi-lateral and tri-lateral exercises with components of the South Korean and Japanese navies. Prior to departing 7th Fleet, the Screamin’ Indians enjoyed some rest and relaxation in Phuket, Thailand, before heading to the 5th Fleet AOR. In addition to supporting Operation ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF), HSC-6 conducted two detachments in Masirah, Oman to execute overland flight training, while continuing to maintain a forward deployed two aircraft detachment on board the USNS Rainier (T-AOE 7). The Screamin’ Indians would like to congratulate AWSCS Greg Ott on achieving 4,000 flight hours. Senior Chief Ott’s 4,000 hours were achieved over 23 years and 3 platforms. Finally, HSC-6 wishes fair winds and following seas to LCDR Vick Allende, LCDR Ray Snyder, and LT Pat “Ned” Dunn. The wardroom also extends a hearty welcome aboard to LCDR Ben “Jammin” Foster, LTJG A.J. “Smiley” Schrautemyer, and LTJG Chris Ames.

HSC-8 Celebrates Mishap-Free Milestone Command Update by MCSN Daniel Schumach, USN


elicopter Sea Combat Squadron EIGHT (HSC-8) accumulated more than 20,000 flight hours without a Class Alpha mishap February 22nd. According to official instruction, a Class Alpha mishap is defined as an incident resulting in more than $2 million in damages, the loss of an aircraft, loss of life, or permanent total SCAN AND LIKE HSC-8 ON

disability. HSC-8 has not experienced a Class Alpha mishap since 2006. HSC-8’s commanding officer, CDR Larry Meehan, from Margate NJ, stated that safety is his number one concern for HSC-8. “We focus on the basics and an equally robust focus on communication across all ranks,” said CDR Meehan. “We want our Sailors to be encouraged and empowered to take the steps to maintain safety throughout the work environment.” “The safety of our members is the most critical condition,” said LTJG Leah Jordan, Ground Safety Officer, from Weston, WI. “If by our own neglect, not only is the safety of


our team compromised but the mission may become compromised as well.” In order to further improve upon command safety measures, HSC-8 has incorporated the Aviation Safety Awareness Program (ASAP), an anonymous online safety reporting system, into routine procedure as well as command-wide safety surveys to evaluate active safety programs. “We have a toolbox full of safety programs at our disposal,” said LCDR Ryan Vest, HSC-8’s Safety Officer, from Payson, Utah. “It’s through the effective use of all of the programs together that we build a positive safety culture.” In addition to ASAP, HSC-8’s chain of command has implemented the Safety Continue on page 74

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Squadron Updates Continue from page 70

Professional Program (SPP), a way for the chain of command to personally thank and recognize Sailors who take action to prevent or fix a potential safety issue before a mishap occurs. “The reason why we are all here today is because of our commitment to the safety of our Sailors,” said Master Chief Aircraft Maintenanceman Christian Ariowinoto, Maintenance Master Chief, from New York City. “In my 24 years of service, I have never seen such professionalism as I have here in HSC-8. One of the biggest things we implement is that leadership starts with our junior Sailors. If they have a new idea, we can input their idea into a new safety protocol, and in doing so, every Sailor has an investment in the mission.” HSC-8’s primary missions are search and rescue operations, anti-surface warfare, special operations support and vertical replenishment. HSC-8 is one of nine squadrons with Carrier Air Wing NINE (CVW-9), deployed with the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG). The JCSCSG includes the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Destroyer Squadron 21, and the guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53). The JCSCSG is forward deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support mission for Operation Enduring Freedom.

HS-14 Squadron Update Command Update courtesy of HS-14 Public Affairs Office


he spring of 2013 has been a significant period of change, growth, and progress for the Chargers of HS14. After being forward deployed in Atsugi, Japan for the past 19 years, the Chargers finally made it back stateside and now call San Diego home. The Chargers were previously attached to Carrier Air Wing FIVE (CVW-5), the only Forward Deployed Naval Forces air wing in the Navy. In addition to the change in location, a change of command and a transition from the H-60 F/H to the MH-60S accompanied the move. Upholding a reputation for excellence, the pilots of HS-14 are earning new qualifications with every opportunity. Before leaving Japan, HS-14 produced four new helicopter aircraft commanders (HACs): LT Lauren Wolfe, LT Pat Griffin, LT Matt Young, and LT Christopher Aldrich. Furthermore, three pilots earned their helicopter second pilot (H2P) qualifications: LT Pete Stewart, LT Matt Alvarez, and LT Dave Miller. On May 24, 2013 HS-14 said farewell to its 22nd Commanding Officer CDR Greg “Dawg” Roberts. CDR Roberts reported to the

Chargers of HS-14 in November 2010 as the Executive Officer. Soon after, the squadron became the first Department of Defense (DOD) asset to deliver humanitarian assistance to Japan during Operation TOMODACHI. The squadron flew over 460 hours and delivered over 62,000 pounds of immediate aid to their host nation. CDR Roberts became the Commanding Officer of HS-14 on February 16th, 2012 and deployed shortly afterwards in support of CTF70 and CVW-5. Upon return from deployment, he expeditiously prepared HS-14 for its permanent duty station move and transition to the MH-60S. CDR Robert E. Hawthorne relieved CDR Roberts as the Chargers’ 23rd Commanding Officer. The Chargers’ new Executive Officer is CDR Edward Weiler. Looking forward to a bright future as the newest contributing member of the HSC community, the Chargers are continuing the tradition of excellence and distinction they


HS-14 transitioned to HSC-14 on July 19, 2013 established in Japan. With a new front office heading up the effort and new aircraft on the way, the squadron is set up nicely to be as successful in the states as they were overseas. “DAY AND NIGHT, LIGHTING STRIKES!” SCAN AND LIKE HS-14 ON

Command Updates will continue on page 79

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13

The newest naval helicopter pilots going to the fleet

WINGING CLASS 10MAY13 Third Row: CDR. Matthew Bowen, USN, CO HT-8; Ens Matthew Arnsberger, USN; Ltjg. Ian Campbell, USCG; ENS Mark Nichelson, USN; Ens Clarence Lambert, USN; Ens Alex Clark, USN; Ens George Meszaros, USN; ENS Colin Looby, USN; Ens Fred Darlington IV, USN; 1st Lt Jason Lebahn, USMC; and Capt James Fisher, USN, Commodore TW5. Second Row: Lt Col Robert White, USMC, CO HT-18; Ens Landon Goodell, USN; 1st Lt Jacob Ries, USMC; ENS Daniel Rheaume, USN; 1st Lt Andrew Baity, USMC; ENS John McSorley III, USN; 1st Lt Adam Orsucci, USMC; ENS Jacob Hopper, USN; 1st Lt Elliott Joses, USMC; and ENS Jordan Baum, USN. First Row: CDR Christopher Pesile, USN, CO HT-28; 1st Lt Sara Gauck, USMC; ENS Baileigh Kimball, USN; ENS Andrew Greggory, USN; ENS Demetrius Johnson, USN; ENS Blake Smith, USN; ENS Margaret Gates-George, USN; LTJG Ryan Hammond, USCG; 1st Lt Alexandra Gass, USMC; and CAPT Timothy McGuire, USCG

WINGING CLASS 24MAY13 (Navy/Coast Guard) Third Row: CDR Matthew R. Bowen, USN, CO, HT-8; 1st Lt Ryan Johnston, USMC; LT Thomas Mulder, USCG; ESN Patrick Petersen, USN; LTJG Joseph Chevalier, USCG; 1st Lt Alex Albrecht, USMC; ENS Thomas Wendt, USN; LTJG Ryan Kilway, USN; 1st Lt Andrew Preston, USMC. Second row: LtCol Robert S. White, USMC, CO, HT-18; ENS Joy Nameth, USN; LTJG Aldulaziz Al-Mahbub, RSNF; LTJG Zachary Gross, USCG; 1st Lt Demetrios Marinides, USMC; Ensign Christofer Siedsma, USN; 1st Lt Jack Center, USMC; ENS Samuel Martinette, USN; LTJG Awn Al-Faleh, RSNF; RADM Donald Quinn, CO NETC. First row: CDR Christopher Rotor Review # 121USN, Summer ‘13 75 Pesile, USN, CO, HT-28; 1st Lt Joel Nienaber, USMC; ENS Sara Burke, USN; Ensign Hunter Briley, USN; LTJG David Phillips, USN; LTJG Erin Hayes, USN; 1st Lt Timothy Moore, USMC; CAPT James Fisher, USN, Commodore, TW-5.

Continue from page 75


Second row: Lt. Col. Robert S. White, USMC, CO, HT-18; 1st Lt Ryan Johnston, USMC; 1st Lt Alex Albrecht, USMC; 1st Lt Andrew Preston, USMC. First row: 1st Lt Joel Nienaber, USMC; 1st Lt Timothy Moore, USMC; 1st Lt Demetrios Marinides, USMC; 1st Lt Jack Center, USMC.


First Row: Cdr Christopher Pesile, USN, CO HT-28; Lt Dennis Stenkamp, USCG; Capt Jeffery Walker, USMC; Ltjg Jonathan Hemler, USN; 1st Lt Robert Pfeil II, USMC; Ltjg Dylan Parrott, USN; Ltjg David Kehoe, USN; Ltjg Matthew Robida, USN, HT-28; Ltjg Leonardo DiCarlo, Italian Navy; Ltjg Carl Luxhoj, USCG; 1st Lt Christian Armstrong, USMC; Ens Marcia Mannarino, USN; 1st Lt Philip Mahne, USMC; Ltjg Jonathan Harned, USN. Second Row: Lt Col Robert White, USMC, CO HT-18, 1st Lt Fredrick Franklin, USMC; Ltjg Alison Jones, USN; 1st Lt John Douglas, USMC; Ltjg Tyler McCoy, USN; Ltjg Cesare Valmori, Italian Navy; Ltjg Collin McGeehan, USN; Ens Andrea Falcone, Italian Navy; Lt Darby Driscoll, USN; Ltjg Paul Hassell, USN; Ltjg Thomas Netherton, USN; 1st Lt Travis Mercer, USMC; Ens Alexander Castillo, USN; Capt James Fisher, USN, Commodore TRAWING FIVE. Third Row: Cdr Matthew Bowen, USN, CO HT-8; Ltjg Keith Schmitt, USN; Ltjg Cody Keef, USN; 1st Lt Norman Holcombe, USMC; Ltjg Kyle Frank, USN; Ltjg Nicholas Grell, USN; Ltjg Taylor Koch, USN; 1st Lt Bryan Gibbs, USMC; Ltjg Michael Minneman, USN; Ltjg Michael Newell, USN; Ltjg Nicholas Celone, USN; BrigGen Matthew Glavy, USMC, Asst. Deputy Commandant for Aviation


Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13

Continue from page 76


First Row: Cdr Christopher Pesile, USN Commanding Officer, HT-28; Capt Brendan Smith, USMC; Ltjg Terrence Sweeney, USN; Ltjg Seamus Gunn, USN; 1st Lt Dylan Montambo, USMC; Ltjg Calvin Kirtley, USN; and 1st Lt Andrea Bailey, USMC. Second Row: LtCol. Robert White, USMC, Commanding Officer, HT-18; Lt Scott Balog, USCG; Ltjg Jake Dighton,USN; Ens Matthew Griffith, USN; Ltjg Zachary Minette, USN; Ens Filippo Brandoni, Italian Navy; and Capt James Fisher, USN, Commodore, TRAWING-5. Third Row: Cdr Matthew Bowen, USN, Commanding Officer, HT-8; Ltjg Donatus Weithman, USN; Ltjg Richard Hecke, II, USN; Ltjg Adam Claudy, USN; 1st Lt Terence Desmond, USMC; Ltjg Nicholas Ballard, USN and Capt John Nettleton, USN, Commanding Officer U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo Bay,


First Row: CDR. Christopher Pesile, USN, Commanding Officer HT-28; LTJG Elisabeth Haines, USCG; 1st Lt Christopher O’Brien, USMC; LTJG Zachary Dueñas, USN; 1st Lt John Howser, USMC; LTJG Hillary McAnallen, USN. Second Row: LtCol Robert White, USMC, CO HT-18; Ens Richard Holdcroft, USN; Ltjg John Sturgill,USN; Ltjg Nathan Stump, USN; Ens Paul Marder, USN; Ltjg Nathan Williams, USN; Cdr Robert Hawthorne, USN, CO HS-14. Third Row: Cdr. Matthew Bowen, USN, CO HT-8; Ens Andrew Pagliarulo, USN; Ltjg Patrick Norwood, USN; Ltjg Cameron Welicka, USCG; Ltjg Ryan Corridan, USN; Ltjg James Christy, USCG; Ltjg Conor Buttler-Ricketts, USN; Col Gary Kling, USMC, Deputy Commodore Rotor Review # 121TRAWING SummerFIVE ‘13 77

Continue from page 77


First Row: Lt Col Jeffery Pavelko, USMC, XO, HT-28; 1st Lt Thomas Nell, USMC; ENS Walter McGann III, USN; 1st Lt Ryan Small, USMC; LTJG Rachel Clapp, USN; 1st Lt Michael Bebow, USMC; LTJG. Carolyn Boothe, USN; Capt. Nicholas Oney, USMC; LtCol Mark Thompson, USMC (Ret.) Second Row: LtCol Robert White, USMC, CO, HT-18; LTJG. Daniel Delgadillo, USN; ENS Matthew Lawson, USN; ENS Michael Sweeney, USN; 1st Lt Matthew Johnson, USMC; ENS Mark Randazzo, USN; LTJG James Stranges; CAPT James Fisher, USN, CO, TRAWING FIVE. Third Row: CDr. Matthew Bowen, USN, CO HT-8; Ltjg Jessica Whitens, USN; 1st Lt Daniel Ouellette, USMC; Ltjg Zachary McCune, USCG; 1st Lt Lewis Flinn, USMC; Ltjg Gregory Bukata, USCG; 1st Lt Jason Wahl, USMC

The Next Issue of the

focuses on “Back to the Future: How Far Naval Rotary Aviation Has Come and Where It’s Going” All photo, video, and article submissions need to be sent no later than September 12, 2013 to your Rotor Review community editor or NHA Design Editor. Any further questions, please contact the NHA National Office at 619.435.7139 or

Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13


HSL-37 Surpasses 100,000 Flight Hours Command Update by LTJG David Indiveri, USN


elicopter Anti-Submarine Light Squadron THREE SEVEN (HSL-37) successfully surpassed 100,000 SH-60B flight hours on Monday, March 26, 2013, a remarkable milestone for the Navy’s only helicopter squadron based in Hawaii. Through tremendous discipline and dedication to safety, HSL-37 arrived at this significant milestone after 21 years flying the SH-60B helicopter. Established on July 3rd 1975, HSL-37 is the Navy’s oldest operational LAMPS (Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System) squadron. Known as the Easyriders, the personnel of HSL-37 have been supporting the Sikorsky SH60B Seahawk since 6 February 1992, when the squadron transitioned from the SH-2F Seasprite helicopter.   Since establishment, the HSL-37 Easyriders have safely deployed over 100 LAMPS

detachments in support of their mission: to provide combat ready detachments for deployment on board U.S. Pacific Fleet air-capable ships. The benchmark flight was flown by the squadron’s Commanding Officer, CDR Scott Thoroman, with LTJG Shane Brenner as copilot and AWR3 John O’Hara as their Naval Aircrewman. CDR Thoroman, holds the highest regards for his Sailors, noting the following: “HSL-37’s execution of over 100,000 flight hours in the SH60B Seahawk helicopter is a noteworthy milestone and one in which all of our squadron mates, past and present, should feel proud. Every Sailor assigned to HSL-37 since February 1992 has had a part in this achievement. Since that first flight, thousands of Sailors have called themselves Easyriders and provided the support, maintenance excellence, and

tactical operation of the Navy’s premier maritime strike helicopter during the numerous deployments across the globe in support of national tasking. Mahalo to all those who have served or supported those who served.” SCAN AND LIKE HSL-37 ON

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Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13

ORDER FORM Please circle items, note the style, desired size, and indicate an alternative if possible. Item Style Ball Caps All caps

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Polo Shirts CONA/NHA IZOD: NHA Logo Dark Blue

$40.00 (Call for Sizes $35.00 on all shirts)

Golf Windbreakers NHA logo


Ensign Blue

Misc “Stuff” Description Baby Blanket Born to Hover Pink or Blue NHA License Plate Frame** Chrome MH-60R/S Patches Assortment

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Rotor Review # 121 Summer ‘13


(version 2013 rev 1)


We’re proud to support the men and women of Naval Aviation by providing crashworthy, self-sealing, single point pressure refuelable extended range fuel systems to help them fly farther and fight longer.

Time Flies When You’re Leading a Revolution. Sikorsky’s X2 Technology™ Demonstrator has earned the company its second Collier Trophy in less than a decade. We are honored, and more inspired than ever to continue the Sikorsky legacy of game-changing breakthroughs in performance, innovation and safety.

Rr121digital full version  

RR-121 will focus on the theme: "Ready Warfighters: The Employment of Rotary Wing Strike Capabilities" and the highlights of what took place...