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Spring 2018 NUMBER 140

75 Years of Naval Helicopters and Aircrew

Also in this Issue: UAVs and the helicopter’s mission Symposium 411

UAVs: They are here

K-MAX is a multi-mission unmanned aircraft system (UAS) jointly developed by Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace. It can be deployed to perform cargo resupply missions in the battlefield. K-MAX is the U.S. Navy’s first cargo UAS to operate in the combat environment.

FOCUS: UAVs and 75 Years of Naval Rotary Wing Aviation Remotely Piloted Vehicles (The Pioneer System) CAPT Brian Buzzell, USN (Ret.) ......................................................................36 Trailblazing is Tough LT Brian Larson, USN .......................................................................................38 DASH - UAV 55 Years Ago LCDR Tom Phillips, USN (Ret.) ........................................................................40 Helo History -75 Years of Naval Rotary Wing Aviation MacDee and Sweed LCDR Barett "Tom" Beard, USCG (Ret.).........................................42

Born Free or the Great Chicken Chase CAPT Marty Twite, USN (Ret.), submitted by Tom Phillips.............46

First Liar Doesn't Have a Chance LCDR Tom Phillips, USN (Ret.)..........................................................46

Med Cruising, 70’s Style (Part 2) CDR John Ball, USN (Ret.).................................................................50

Spring 2018 ISSUE 140 To prove to the Navy the usefulness of the helicopter, Sikorsky sent an S-51 helicopter in 1947 to sea with Task Force 2 with 2 pilots and 2 crew chiefs. The first military rescue by a helicopter was accomplished on February 9, 1947 by a Sikorsky S-51 helicopter flown by Sikorsky chief pilot Jimmy Viner. Depicted by Joe Keogan, Sikorsky Archives archivist.

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 NHA or corporate membership fee. A current corporation annual report, prepared in accordance with Section 8321 of the California Corporation Code, is available on the NHA website at www.navalhelicopterassn. org. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Naval Helicopter Association, P.O. Box 180578, Coronado, CA 92178-0578.

FEATURES Symposium 2018 - 75 Years of Naval Helicopters and Aircrew...............26 Removing the Technological Bottleneck: Crew Integration and the Lethality Chain LT Alex Morgan, USN........................................................................................ 28 Naval Aviation CAPT Morris Steen, USN (Ret.) .......................................................................31 Developing the Future CDR Justin McCaffree, USN.............................................................................32 The Ultimate Makeover – An Aviation Story RADM Gary Jones, USN (Ret.) and CAPT Earl Rogers, USN (Ret.) ..............34 Newest Helo Flags ..........................................................................................55 .

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 keeps 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 the Naval Helicopter Association adjusts to the expanding and evolving Rotary Wing Community.

©2017 Naval Helicopter Association, Inc., all rights reserved

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


DEPARTMENTS Chairman’s Brief ...................................................................................... 5 In Review .................................................................................................. 6 Letters to the Editors ............................................................................. 7 From the Organization .......................................................................... 8 In the Community .................................................................................10 Book Review - The Coronado Conspiracy ...........................................67 Industry and Technology

How a Drone Helped Save Stranded Swimmers in Australia Joetey Attariwala ......................................................................16

Howell Instruments is Breaking New Ground Derek Moffa, Howel lnstruments ...............................................18

CH-53K Demonstrates Vehicle Lift NAVAIR PAO News Release ........................................................20

HMS Queen Elizabeth Completes Helo Trials Shepard News Team .....................................................................21 Useful Information War Veterans Gain a Good Start on the Search for the Ideal House Chrissy Jones, Homes for Heros ...................................................22

Health Care Benefits, Career Resources, and Discounts for Women Veterans Emily Helwig, Digital Marketing Manager Dealspotr! ...............22

Reno, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Biloxi For Our Next NHA Symposium? How About It! CAPT Bill Personius, USN (Ret.), NHA Executive Director, CAPT Peter Schnappauf, USN, COMHELMAR­STRIKEWINGPAC, CDR Brannon Bickel, USN, NHA National President ................23

Funny but True Green is the New Orange LCDR Barett “Tom” Beard, USCG (Ret.) ....................................68 . Phrogs, Snakes, Heroes and Goats CAPT Mike Reber, USN (Ret.) .....................................................70 Change of Command ................................................................................56 Command Updates ...................................................................................72 Squadron Reunions ....................................................................................43 Pulling Chocks ............................................................................................73 Radio Check ................................................................................................54 There I Was Zero-Zero Humble Pie LCDR Ashley “Sniffer” Preston, USN............................................58

Did You Do That? CDR Gerald Voorhiesm, USN (Ret.) ............................................60

Confirmed LT Larry Wheel­er, USN .................................................................63 Det Tango Bill “Red Dogg’ Moss AFCM (AW/NAC) USN (Ret.) ..................64

Engaging Rotors .........................................................................................85 Signal Charlie .............................................................................................87

Editorial Staff Editor-in-Chief LT Shane Brenner, USN Managing Editor Allyson Darroch NHA Photographer Raymond Rivard Copy Editors CDR John Ball, USN (Ret.) LT Adam Schmidt, USN CAPT Jill Votaw, USNR (Ret.) Aircrew Editor AWR1Broc "Gg" Fournier, USN HSC Editors LT Christa Batchelder, USN (HSC West) LT Kristin Hope, USN (HSC East) LT Greg Westin, USN (HSC East) HSM Editors LT Mallory Decker, USN LT Chris Campbell, USN (HSM West) LT Nick Oberkrom, USN USMC Editor Capt Jeff Snell, USMC USCG Editors LCDR James Cepa, USCG LT Doug Eberly, USCG Technical Advisor LCDR Chip Lancaster, USN (Ret.) Historian CDR Joe Skrzypek, USN (Ret.)

Editors Emeriti

Wayne Jensen - John Ball - John Driver Sean Laughlin - Andy Quiett - Mike Curtis Susan Fink - Bill Chase - Tracey Keefe Maureen Palmerino - Bryan Buljat - Gabe Soltero Todd Vorenkamp - Steve Bury - Clay Shane Kristin Ohleger - Scott Lippincott - Allison Fletcher Ash Preston - Emily Lapp - Mallory Decker Caleb Levee

Historians Emeriti

CAPT Vincent Secades,USN (Ret.) CDR Lloyd Parthemer,USN (Ret.)


Corporate Members Our thanks to our corporate members for their strong support of Rotary Wing Aviation through their membership. Avian, LLC BAE Systems Electronic Bell Breeze Eastern CAE Fatigue Technology FLIR Elbit Systems of America GE Aviation Innova Systems Int’l. LLC L3 Technologies Communications Systems-West L3 Technologies Vertex Logistics Aerospace Lockheed Martin Kongsberg Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems Robertson Fuel Systems, LLC Rockwell Collins Corporation Science Engineering Services Sikorsky a Lockheed Martin Company SkyWest Airlines Trans States Airlines (TSA) Telephonics USAA NHA Scholarship Fund

President............................................CDR Derek Fry, USN (Ret.) Executive Vice President............CAPT Kevin “Bud” Couch, USN (Ret.) VP Operations...................................................................VACANT VP Fundraising .................................................................VACANT VP Scholarships.................................................................VACANT VP CFC Merit Scholarship............................LT Nicholas Engle, USN Tre a s u re r. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . VAC A N T Corresponding Secretary..................................LT Kory Perez, USN Finance/Investment..........................CDR Kron Littleton, USN (Ret.)

NHA Historical Society

President..........................................CAPT Bill Personius, USN (Ret.) Secretary ...............................CDR Joe Skrzypek, USN (Ret.) Treasurer.................................................Mr. 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.) NHAHS Board of Directors..........CAPT Dennis DuBard, USN (Ret.) CAPT Mike Reber, USN (Ret.) CDR John Ball, USN (Ret.)

Junior Officers Council

President ................................................LT Andrew Hoffman, USN Vice President ............................................LT Arlen Connoley, USN Region 1 ...................................................LT Morgan Quarles, USN Region 2 .......................................................LT Ryan Wielgus, USN Region 3 .....................................................LT Michelle Sousa, USN Region 4 ....................................................LT Tony Chitwood, USN Region 5 ..................................................LT Christina Carpio, USN Region 6 ........................................................................... VACANT

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18

Naval Helicopter Association, Inc. Correspondence and Membership P.O. Box 180578, Coronado, CA 92178-0578 (619) 435-7139

National Officers President.................................................CDR Brannon Bickel, USN Vice President……………….................CDR Sean Rocheleau, USN Executive Director..........................CAPT Bill Personius, USN, (Ret.) Membership/Registration ...........................................Ms. Leia Brune Marketing & Finance..............................................Mrs. Linda Vydra Managing Editor.................................................Ms. Allyson Darroch Retired and Reunion Manager ......CDR Mike Brattland, USN (Ret.) VP Corporate Membership............CAPT Joe Bauknecht, USN (Ret.) VP Awards ...........................................CDR Justin McCaffree, USN VP Membership ........................................LCDR Jared Powell, USN VP Symposium 2018.......................................CDR Joe Torian, USN Secretary.............................................................LT Rick Jobski, USN Treasurer ..................................................LT Diane Sebastiano, USN NHA Stuff........................................................LT John Kipper, USN Senior NAC Advisor....................................AWCM Justin Tate, USN Directors at Large Chairman...........................RADM William E. Shannon III, USN (Ret.) CAPT Gene Ager, USN (Ret.) CAPT Chuck Deitchman, USN (Ret.) CAPT Dennis DuBard, USN (Ret.) CAPT Tony Dzielski, USN (Ret.) CAPT Greg Hoffman, USN (Ret.) CAPT Bill Personius, USN (Ret.) CAPT Mario Misfud, USN (Ret.) CDR Derek Fry, USN (Ret.) LT Andrew Hoffman, USN Regional Officers Region 1 - San Diego Directors...…........................................CAPT Kevin Kennedy, USN CAPT Dave Walt, USN CAPT Mike Mineo, USNR President..…...............................................CDR Joseph Murphy, USN Region 2 - Washington D.C. Directors ....……...……...................................CAPT Kevin Kropp, USN Col. Paul Croisetiere, USMC (Ret.) Presidents ...........................................................CDR Ted Johnson, USN CDR Pat Jeck, USN (Ret.) Region 3 - Jacksonville Director .......................................................CAPT Michael Burd, USN President.................................................CDR Richard Whitfield, USN Region 4 - Norfolk Director ..........................................................CDR Al Worthy, USN President .........................................................CAPT Joe Torian, USN Region 5 - Pensacola Directors........................................................CAPT Doug Rosa, USN CAPT William E. Sasser, Jr, USCG President .....................................................CDR Steve Audelo, USN 2018 Fleet Fly-In............................................LT Kristina Mullins, USN Region 6 - Far East Director.....................................................CDR Dennis Malzacher, USN President..........................................................CDR Chris Morgan, USN


Chairman’s Brief


ello and welcome to our special NHA Symposium edition of Rotor Review. It’s great to be back in Norfolk for this year’s symposium. I know that our NHA National President, CDR “Bick” Bickel and his Symposium VP, CAPT Joe “Jobu” Torian, have been working hard to make this a memorable event. Special shout out to Jobu’s assistant, LT Liz Leckie, for her work also. Thanks also to our Executive Director, CAPT Bill Personius USN (Ret) and his great staff for all the hard work they have done behind the scenes to make the event successful. I hope everyone gets a chance to enjoy the new downtown in Norfolk. I spent the first seven years of my career here in Norfolk and I am thrilled to see the revitalization that is taking place in the city. Hope you get a chance to visit the new waterfront area while you are here. Once again it looks like a very busy schedule for the events planned. We have filled all the vendor booths so you should have plenty to see on the floor. Our theme this year is: “75 Years of Naval Helicopters and Aircrew”. Can’t think of a better reason to gather and celebrate our profession and our heritage. That’s all for now. See you at the Symposium!

RADM Bill Shannon, USN (Ret.) NHA Chairman

MH-53E Sea Dragon (HM-14) - Quebradillas, Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria - October 2017


In Review Salutations Rotor Review Warriors! By LT Shane Brenner, USN


fter a successful positive three-way change of controls from Baggins, I am proud to assume the duties and responsibilities as your Rotor Review Editor-in-Chief. It is an exciting time to take the helm of Rotor Review and help spread the word about the new and innovative ways the helicopter community is pushing the envelope within naval aviation. This issue’s focus, “UAVs and 75 Years of Naval Rotary Wing Aviation,” gives us a unique opportunity to examine our past and our future. As you peruse the issue you will gain insight into the early days of Naval UAV operations and how our community is using the UAVs of today to enhance the lethality, safety, and capabilities of our helicopters and Navy as we operate over the horizon, defending the seas. Incorporating technology into our warfighting appears to have always been the job of the Naval Aviator and especially so within the rotary community. As the Navy becomes more machine orientated and the UAVs we operate more sophisticated, we can share in the pride of being part of a Navy that has embraced the technological advances of our time. I encourage our readers who are exiting the naval service to consider submitting their thoughts to our new section “Pulling Chocks.” We would love to hear from those service members who have made the decision to exit the Navy why are you leaving, what will you miss, and what are you looking forward to in your future outside of the Navy. You can find more information on page 67, hopefully we hear from you! If not, we wish you well and hope you remain a member. I am excited to participate in another fleet fly-in and see everyone in Norfolk. Please come say hello, share a beverage, and let us know what you want to see in your Rotor Review magazine. Buoy Away, -Clover

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


Letters to the Editors It is always great to hear from the members of NHA. We need your input to make certain that Rotor Review keeps you informed, connected and even entertained. The magazine’s staff strives to provide a product that meets demand. We maintain many open channels to contact the magazine staff for feedback, suggestions, praise, complaints or publishing corrections. Your anonymity is respected. If you would like to write a letter, please forward any correspondance to ,  or mail to the following address: Letters to the Editor c/o Naval Helicopter Association, Inc. P.O. Box 180578, Coronado, CA 92178-0578 Editors: I loved the article "Med Cruising, 70s style (Part 1), by John Ball in the Winter issue. I could identify with so much of what John wrote including waiting two weeks after winging to move to my first duty station, (Lakehurst NJ, HC4 Det LAMPS) due to a new baby in the family. My first long cruise was on the USS Wainwright DLG 28 to the Med from Oct 72-Mar 73.  As one of the first LAMPS Dets to deploy, we were still trying to refine our mission, but I remember doing such fun stuff as radar flooding at 0300, chasing Russian Subs (being directed to "dip" because most ships had no idea that we didn't do that), playing with AGIs, and of course, the numerous port visits. Most of the enlisted guys were in their early 20s and college educated like our Det JOs. They avoided slogging though the jungles of Vietnam by serving in the Navy for two years. They did get me in trouble and in "Hack" for one port, but that is a story for another day. We were on a "Loveboat" cruise with multiple stops in Spain, France, Italy, and Greece. We were in every port for at least five days, and never at sea for more than ten days.  Many of the wives followed the ship, or visited for one of the extended stays (Barcelona and Mallorca were the favorites). In those early days of cruising on small boys, we had a lot to learn about ship safety.  The nets around the flight deck were metal and had been painted over to "look nice." One night we had an AE 2 step into a net while doing some maintenance and it gave way and he fell through.  We never found him, even though we knew immediately when and where he went overboard.  When we examined the nets in the days after the incident, we found that the deck division had painted over badly corroded couplings.  This tragedy could have happened at any time because our det members loved to lay in the nets to get sun when we weren't flying. I fondly remember having the duty one day when we were anchored out, sitting in a lawn chair on the flight deck and watching the H46s do their thing with the other ships in our group. I thought it had to be the most fun flying imaginable.  "Side Flaring" in to drop off cargo and then spiraling up after they dropped the load..It looked a lot more fun than chasing submarines to one 22 year old JG! Thanks for bringing back the memories with this article!

CAPT David W. Moulton Sr., USNR (Ret.)

Naval Helicopter Association

Rotor Review Submission Guidelines 1. Articles: Word documents as attachements are the preferred format. Do not embed your images; send as a separate attachment. 2. Photos and Vector Images: Should be as high a resolution as possible and sent as a separate file from the article. Please include a suggested caption that has the following information: date, names, ranks or titles, location and credit the photographer or source of your image. 3. Videos: Must be in a mp4, mov, or avi format. • With your submission, please include the title and caption of all media, photographer’s name, command and the length of the video. • Verify the media does not display any classified information. • Ensure all maneuvers comply with NATOPS procedures. • All submissions shall be tasteful and in keeping with good order and discipline. • All submissions should portray the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard and individual units in a positive light.

2018-2019 Submission Deadlines and Publishing Dates Summer 2018 (Issue 141)........................July19 / August 30, 2018 Fall 2018 (Issue 142) .................September 18 / October 10, 2018 Winter 2019 (Issue 143) .............November 18 / January 10, 2019 Spring 2019 (Issue 144) ....................... March 19 / April 30, 2019 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.

All submissions can be sent to your community editor via email or to Rotor Review by mail or email at or Naval Helicopter Association, Attn: Rotor Review P.O. Box 180578, Coronado, CA 92178-0578


From the Organization President’s Message by CDR Brannon “Bick” Bickel, USN


reetings! This edition of Rotor Review will focus on the 2018 NHA Symposium and our theme, 75 Years of Naval Helicopters and Naval Aircrewmen . To all NHA members, I’m looking forward to seeing you all in Norfolk for this year’s NHA Symposium at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott. I’m excited to report that we have tremendous support from our corporate sponsors. Expect to see cutting edge technology and more tactical gear than we can afford. The NHA National Office is making final preparations, and we’re excited to showcase all of our hard work. I’d like to give a special thanks to CDR Joe Torian, HSC-2 Skipper and our Vice President for this year’s Symposium. Jobu, you and the team have done a tremendous job. We’re all excited to join you in Norfolk in May. Please book your hotel room early to secure the per diem rate. Additionally, you can register for the Symposium and all the social events on the NHA website, The first 500 to register will get a swag bag with freebies for signing up early. As we celebrate 75 years of Naval helicopter aviation, it’s important to reflect upon the history of where we started, flying the Sikorsky R-4 and Piasecki HUP-1 search and rescue helicopters. We’ve come a long way from those early days. Frank Piasecki and Igor Sikorsky were the helicopter aviation pioneers who had a vision for vertical lift. The multi-mission helicopters that we fly from the decks of our aircraft carriers, surface combatants, and USNS vessels today are a more lethal and capable force than those early helicopters. Even in the 20 years that I’ve been flying helicopters, I’ve seen tremendous advances in technology and weapon systems. As a Rotary-Wing Community, we have increased our tactical readiness through more realistic training during Advanced Helicopter Training at South Whiting Field, in our Fleet Replacement Squadrons in Jacksonville, Norfolk, and San Diego, and during Advanced Readiness Programs and Airwing Fallon exercises. It is also important to understand that you, NHA’s junior members, are the helicopter pioneers of the future. You will be the innovators who place the requirements together for the future of vertical lift. That was very evident to me during this year’s AFCEA Conference when our own CAPT George Galdorisi, USN, (Ret.) chaired a panel with our Community requirements officers and Industry partners to discuss the future of vertical lift. Your thoughts and questions were very pointed and forward-thinking. You can expect to have similar discussions with very similar panels at this year’s Symposium. Come with your hard questions and your drive towards innovation; our industry partners will be doing the same. This is where we have the tremendous ability to influence senior leadership and shape the future of the helicopter force. I look forward to seeing you all in May! Keep it on glideslope. -Bick

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


Executive Director’s Notes by CAPT Bill Personius, USN (Ret.)


ell it is time for the Annual NHA Symposium and it is shaping up to be a good time. The NHA Office is looking forward to returning to Norfolk and the Marriott Waterside Hotel this year for the 2018 Symposium. We are especially excited and anxious to see and experience the results of the Norfolk Waterfront Revitalization Project and all that it has to offer.  This year it is also exciting in that the Naval Helicopter Community is celebrating a significant historical milestone in Rotary Wing Aviation.  This year’s theme for the Symposium acknowledges our “75 Years of Naval Helicopters and Aircrew.”  On Oct 20, 1943 the Navy took acceptance of their first helicopter and five years later established their first squadrons in Lakehurst, New Jersey.  This year we are excited to have the Secretary of the Navy The Honorable Richard V. Spencer join us for the Key Note Address.  Mr. Spenser is a prior Naval Aviator and Marine helicopter pilot and we look forward to his insights concerning the Helicopter Community and the Navy in general as well as looking forward to being able to hear his answers to our memberships questions.   We hope that he will spend the day with us.  The Coast Guard and the U.S. Marine Corps will also join us to share the story of their helicopter history along with our own Naval aircrew.  The Flag Panel and Captains of Industry Panels are shaping up nicely and the exhibit space is almost filled with many interesting companies.  This year we will also have a reception with industry prior to the Members Reunion (which is new) and hope that gives more people the opportunity to interact with our corporate attendees as well as make for a more exciting evening.  We are also participating in an “All Aviation Golf Tournament” this year at NAS Oceana (both courses) with Wings Over America, ANA, Tailhook, MCAA and NHA.  This should be a great time with the opportunity to interact and compete with a big group of Naval Aviators for some great prizes while supporting each of these worthwhile organizations.   By the time this issue of the Rotor Review gets out you still should have time to register and attend the Symposium.  Log onto the NHA website at for the details and to register for the events.  I hope that you might still be able to take advantage of a military rate at the Marriott Hotel and I will see you around the briefing spaces and exhibit hall.  Travel safe and see you in Norfolk for Symposium 2018.  Keep your turns up. Regards, CAPT P., USN (Ret.)


In the Community Naval Helicopter Association Historical Society by CAPT Bill Personius, USN (Ret.)


es… it is time again for the annual NHA Symposium. This year we will be in Norfolk at the Norfolk Marriott Waterside Hotel and NHAHS will be in attendance.  We plan to have our Pilot Designation Number Database with us both in hard copy and electronic formats so you can look up your Pilot Designation Number if you do not know it.  For the first time we should have all the numbers up to date to hopefully include the latest Winging.  We would like to thank the Winging Clerks at Whiting Field for helping us update our list and keep us current with all the latest Wingers.  NHAHS continues to update and expand the capabilities of the NHAHS Website.  Most recently we have updated information on the US Coast Guard and a complete history of all the helicopters the Navy has owned over the years to include pictures of each type model series that we plan to continue to expand as time allows.  We are still looking for volunteers to help us update our aircraft photo inventory as we have literally thousands of aircraft photos that can be scanned in and added to our electronic collection.  If you are interested in helping us send me a note at executivedirector@ or give us a call at 619-435-7139.  We have a couple other projects in the works that are “half-baked” so when we move them further along we’ll provide you with an update.  That’s it for now.  We’ll see you at the Symposium in our booth so stop on by.  We plan to look for the oldest helix (oldest helo pilot at the Symposium) and we will also present the Mark Starr Pioneer award. Stay safe. . Regards, CAPT P., USN (Ret.)

Interested in having a reunion? Already working on a reunion? NHA wants to know and help.

Contact NHA’s Retired and Reunion Manager, CDR Mike Brattland USN (Ret.) (619) 435-7139 or email:

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


Aircrewman’s Corner by AWCM Justin Tate, USN

Fellow Aircrewmen,


ood day to all of you! In RR 138 I talked about the upcoming “Fleet Fly-In and NHA JoinUp” in Pensacola, FL. Well, the “Fleet Fly -In and NHA Join-Up” happened in October. Once again, this was another amazing event. Special thanks to AWRC Stephen Griffen and his volunteers that put in the time and dedication to make this an absolute success for the perspective Aircrewmen going through Aircrew School, Rescue Swimmer School and AW “A” School. This event really allows us, the Fleet to focus on the future of our rating and give them a glimpse of the communities and see the aircraft they are going to be flying in. If you ever have a chance to attend this event, please do, it is an absolutely rewarding experience. We, as the professional Aircrewmen that we are, constantly train and prepare tactically for our primary missions to make sure we can fight the enemy whenever called upon. All of our training and readiness focus us this way to prepare for deployments and whenever required to defend National Assets. Every so often, in the rotary community, we are called on to assist in other missions, one being “Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief.” The theme of this issue could not been better timed to give accolades to the few that were called on to perform their best in the worst possible situations. As a rotary


community, we sent a couple MH-60S's from Norfolk into Texas to assist after Hurricane Harvey, a couple MH-60R’s assisted locally in the Jacksonville area after hurricane Irma, a couple MH-53’s and MH-60S’s from Norfolk went down to Puerto Rico to assist after hurricane Maria and then more recently a couple helicopters from the Marines along with a couple MH-60S’s from a reserve unit out of San Diego assisted with the raging wild fires in southern California. These may not be all of the humanitarian assistance that was provided over the year, but they are the most recent and I do not discount any others that happened. First of all…THANK YOU all for being the dedicated professionals that you are to go in harm's way to make sure others were taken care of. I also want to thank all the others that were called upon to be ready if more assets were needed. It is because of all of you is why we are so successful with whatever the tasking is. All in all, we as Aircrewmen are very versatile and have the ability to change and adapt to new and ever changing tasking. It is because of all of you as to why the rotary community does so well when called upon. I do challenge each and every one of you to make sure you are conducting business by the book and bring solutions to the discussion if something is not working well. I commend each and everyone of you for taking the oath and volunteering to serve this great country! Fly Safe!

A View from the Labs: Supporting the Fleet by CAPT George Galdorisi, USN (Ret.)

Unmanned Systems


ll of us in the Naval Rotary Wing community know that unmanned systems are already changing the way we operate and the way we fight today – and especially tomorrow. The possibilities seem limitless. But as we focus on the attributes of the platform – its speed, endurance, range and other factors – it might be worth taking a moment to ask what it is we want the unmanned system to do for us. There is little question that our senior leadership is committed to unmanned systems. The Department of the Navy has established goals for Navy and Marine Corps unmanned systems development. In a January 11, 2018 memorandum, the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, Mr. James Geurts, highlighted the importance of unmanned systems, noting in his cover letter: "The United States Navy and Marine Corps have a strategic imperative to exploit emergent and rapidly developing unmanned and autonomous technologies. In order to accelerate the development and fielding of unmanned systems and to ensure an integrated and efficient effort, the Department of the Navy (DON) has established aggressive goals for the acceleration of the DON’s unmanned systems and to ensure the DON remains at the forefront of these emergent capabilities." The importance of unmanned systems to the U.S. Navy’s future has been highlighted in a series of documents, ranging from the revised A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower, to A Design for Maintaining Maritime Superiority, to the Chief of Naval Operations The Future Navy white paper. The latter document presents a compelling case for the rapid integration of unmanned systems into the Navy Fleet, noting, in part: There is no question that unmanned systems must also be an integral part of the future fleet. The advantages such systems offer are even greater when they incorporate autonomy and machine learning…Shifting more heavily to unmanned surface, undersea, and aircraft will help us to further drive down unit costs. The Navy – as well as all the services – are seeking to exploit artificial intelligence and machine learning in order to have unmanned systems become more autonomous for a host of reasons such as enabling these systems to operate at “machine speed,” to defeat adversaries, as well as to drive down total operating costs by having fewer operators “in the loop.” That said, it is unlikely that the United States will deploy completely autonomous, armed unmanned aerial systems and launch them downrange against an enemy. So the question becomes: If an operator is going to be “in the loop” or at least “on the loop,” how can we enable that operator to make better decisions faster under the stress of combat? From where I sit, looking at the technologies now emerging, I believe we want our unmanned aerial systems to have augmented intelligence to help the operator better do his or her job. But this generalized explanation begs the question—what would augmented intelligence look like to the military operator. What tasks does the warfighter want the unmanned system to perform as they move beyond artificial intelligence to provide augmented intelligence to enable the operator in the fight to make the right decision quickly in stressful situations where mission accomplishment must be balanced against unintended consequences? Consider the case of a ground, surface, subsurface, or aerial unmanned systems conducting a surveillance mission. Today an operator receives streaming video of what the unmanned systems sees, and in the case of aerial unmanned systems, often in real time. But this requires the operator to stare at this video for hours on end (the endurance of the U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C Triton is thirty hours). This concept of operations is MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) an enormous drain on human resource, often with little to flies near Naval Base Ventura County Point show for the effort. Mugu, home to the maintenance detachment of Using basic augmented intelligence techniques, the MQUnmanned Patrol Squadron (VUP) 19, the US 4C can be trained to deliver only that which is interesting and Navy’s first unmanned patrol squadron. useful to its human partner. For example, a Triton operating U.S. Navy Photo

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


at cruise speed flying between San Francisco and Tokyo would cover the five-thousand-plus miles in approximately fifteen hours. Rather than send fifteen hours of generally uninteresting video as it flies over mostly empty ocean, the MQ-4C could be trained to only send the video of each ship it encounters, thereby greatly compressing human workload. Taken to the next level, the Triton could do its own analysis of each contact to flag it for possible interest. For example, if a ship is operating in a known shipping lane, has filed a journey plan with the proper maritime authorities, and is providing an AIS (Automatic Identification System) signal; it is likely worthy of only passing attention by the operator, the Triton will flag it accordingly. If, however, it does not meet these criteria (say, for example, the vessel makes an abrupt course change that takes it well outside normal shipping channels), the operator would be alerted immediately. As this technology continues to evolve, a Triton MQ-4C—or other UxS such as the MQ-8 Fire Scout—could ultimately be equipped with detection and classification algorithms that have the potential to lead to automatic target recognition, even in unfavorable weather conditions and sea states. For lethal military unmanned systems, the bar is higher for what the operator must know before authorizing the unmanned warfighting partner to fire a weapon—or as is often the case—recommending that higher authority authorize lethal action. Take the case of military operators managing an ongoing series of unmanned aerial systems flights that have been watching a terrorist and waiting for higher authority to give the authorization to take out the threat using an air-tosurface missile fired from that UAS.

Using augmented intelligence, the operator can train the unmanned aerial system to anticipate what questions higher authority will ask prior to giving the authorization to fire, and provide, if not a point solution, at least a percentage probability or confidence level to questions such as: What is level of confidence this person is the intended target? What is this confidence based on? Facial recognition Voice recognition Pattern of behavior Association with certain individuals Proximity of known family members Proximity of known cohorts What is the potential for collateral damage to? Family members Known cohorts Unknown persons What are the potential impacts of waiting verses striking now? These considerations represent only a subset of the kind of issues operators must train their unmanned systems armed with lethal weapons to deal with. Far from ceding lethal authority to unmanned systems, providing these systems with augmented intelligence and leveraging their ability to operate inside the enemy’s OODA loop, as well as ours, enables these systems to free the human operator from having to make real time—and often on-the-fly—decisions in the stress of combat. Designing this kind of augmented intelligence into unmanned systems from to outset will ultimately enable them to be effective partners for their military operators.

The MQ-8C helicopter takes off from USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109)


A View from the JO Council By LT Andrew “Hassle” Hoffman USN

Symposium is Coming


HA symposium is coming up quick! Thanks to all the JOPA working hard out in Norfolk to put the event together this year. NALO flights are being organized as we speak, so those of you not stationed in Norfolk be sure to spam your skipper’s inbox to let them know you’d like to get a ride to what is sure to be an enjoyable week. Or you can just contact your local NHA representative. This is a special year as we’ll be celebrating 75 Years of Naval Helicopters and Aircrew. And of course, don’t miss the welcome social on Monday, 14 May, at O’Connor Brewing Company. Hope to see JOPA well represented! I want to emphasize that NHA and I are open for feedback and suggestions. I promise you that the NHA staff and our senior officers are heavily invested in NHA. There has been a lot of effort expended recently at the O-5 and O-6 level in order to look at ways we can continually improve the organization and what it does for us. As always, a good JOPA groundswell can go a long way. Enjoy this Rotor Review edition on unmanned systems. It’s something our generation has seen enter the fleet and will continue to see into the future. Personally, I think there will always be a need for manned flight within our military. But maybe that’s just because some of my best times in the Navy have been on deployment flying the 0300 bag over some foreign body of water and telling outrageous stories or playing those hypothetical games we all know…and I don’t want future generations of JOPA to miss out on that.

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18



Industry and Technology

How a Drone Helped Save Stranded Swimmers in Australia By Joetey Attariwala Reprinted from Rotor & Wing International; February 20, 2018


n unmanned aircraft system (UAS) rendered aid last month in what was perhaps the first rescue of its kind. The drone rescued two distressed swimmers off the coast of Lennox Head, in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The event is said to be the first documented instance of a drone deploying a search and rescue (SAR) payload in an actual emergency, when lifeguards received an alert that two swimmers were in trouble off of Lennox Head after a media day to demonstrate various drone capabilities Jan. 18. As Kelvin Morton from DroneAdvantage Australia told R&WI, a lifeguard deployed a drone called The Little Ripper, which immediately deployed an inflatable device that landed near the swimmers who were then able to use it to return safely to shore. The event occurred after a media event to demonstrate various drone capabilities as part of a state-run program between Surf Life Saving New South Wales (SLSNSW) and the NSW state government. The nearly $12.5 million ($16 million Australian dollar) Shark Management Strategy, as the program is called, has implemented the largest drone shark surveillance program of its kind anywhere in the world. This program, which is currently in a trial period, works in conjunction with the University of Technology Sydney and NSW-based drone operator The Ripper Group to test an artificial intelligence system able to detect sharks with high accuracy in real time. An adjunct to the surveillance program is the provision of a rescue capability. As part of the trial program, The Ripper Group provides a fleet of line-of-sight UAS tasked with surveillance and lifesaving operations. Although a host of drones are available through The Ripper Group, those fielded by SLSNSW consist of two variants: the quadrotor DJI Phantom 4Pro and the larger six-rotor DJI Matrice 600 Pro. The M600 Pro has been configured with additional over-the-counter attachments like cameras, shark sirens and a drop mechanism to deploy a rescue pod. Because of its size, it is in a weight category that requires operators to have a remote pilot licence. And because its use is considered to be commercial, it must also be operated under a remote operators license. The Ripper Group provides those operating licences as well as technical maintenance, support and training for all SLSNSW professional lifeguards and volunteer lifesavers.

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18

Morton explained the project: “On Dec. 15, we went live at nine locations with 18 Phantom 4 shark surveillance drones provided by The Ripper Group. At each location we fly a minimum of seven flights a day with many locations flying more due to the enthusiasm with which the lifeguards have embraced the technology. SLSNSW prides itself on the relentless pursuit of excellence when it comes to surf lifesaving operations. The faster we can react, the more lives we can save. This is why we also deployed two larger mobile UAS where we transport them to specific beaches depending on prevailing conditions. Set-up and deployment is extremely fast — less than 60 seconds — so we see significant value in using them as mobile units because there are considerably more expensive and we need to be selective about where we deploy them.” As part of the rescue requirement, The Ripper Group configured the DJI M600 Pro with a high-definition Zenmuse Z3 optical camera and an alert siren and installed a drop mechanism specifically developed for the M600. The Ripper Group’s considerable expertise comes into its own with the specially developed inflatable pods. Designed by The Ripper Group and manufactured under license by SOS Marine in Australia, the Marine Rescue Pod ULB inflates upon impact with the water and becomes an 8-foot-long tube, which distressed persons can grasp to stay afloat until the cavalry arrives in the form of a Jet Ski, an inflatable rubber boat or a lifeguard on a rescue board. “The Rescue Pod is best described like a handbag-like payload which is carried by the drone,” said Ross Spencer, managing director at SOS Marine. “Once it is released into the water, it’s designed to self inflate within five seconds.” Each pod can accommodate four people, he continued. It is also reusable. But it does have to be serviced and maintained. Eddie Bennet, CEO of Westpac Little Ripper, shared his thoughts on rescue drones and the payload capacity of its larger UAS: “There was some discussion about flying UAS over people, but the water safety experts we consulted all agree that if it’s a matter of someone potentially drowning, the perceived risk of a UAS becomes moot. The next part of the equation is the rescue pod that we designed, and the drone release mechanism. We ensured the UAS could carry two pods in case one didn’t drop close to those in distress, or if multiple people are involved.” Naturally, helicopters afford much greater capability. But with that capability comes significant cost in training, operation and maintenance, and that limits the number of platforms agencies can field.


Morton said the group has access to some helicopters, such as from Westpac Rescue, but they pose some challenges. “They are incredibly good at what they do, and they actively monitor the surfcomm channel for any events they need to get involved in. The challenge is that they can also be quite some distance away from beaches where they need to render assistance,” said Morton. “In this case, we were in the right place at the right time with an air asset on station within seconds. We wouldn’t have been able to pluck them out of the water, but we renAerial image of a DJI M600 Pro rescue unmanned aircraft system. dered aid, and I’m positive we saved Photo courtesy of Surf Life Saving New South Wales. their lives.” It’s clear that drones can deliver significant effect. But in Joetey Attariwala trained as a medical doctor and the realm of search and rescue, things are focused to a much now contributes as a journalist in aerospace, greater extent on search, while the burgeoning rescue aspect defense, law enforcement and medical specialties. is more in line with assisting a rescue, as was seen in this case. Drones are a natural adjunct to helicopter search-and-rescue assets and one that will certainly grow as more users define requirements and build to them. The SLSNSW trials continue through April 28, when a comprehensive review will be conducted.


Howell Instruments is Breaking New Ground


owell Instruments founder John S. Howell III was a decorated U.S. Air Force pilot with the keen mind of an inventor, returning home after the Second World War with an idea that would forever change how mechanics tested aircraft engines. Howell designed and patented the JETCAL® Analyzer, a device that let Air Force technicians test the temperature indicating system of a Convair B-36 bomber without removing the engine from the aircraft. It was a revolutionary product, reducing operating costs and eliminating hundreds of maintenance hours. It was also an example of the innovative spirit and brilliant design that have persisted at Howell Instruments ever since. “Every day I challenge my team to think leading-edge,” said Arthur “Shep” Brown, CEO of Howell Instruments. “Today we provide monitoring on all kinds of advanced gas turbine engines, and we plan to do so in the years to come.” One of the company’s most exciting new ventures is its state-of-the-art data acquisition system (DAS) for single-engine rotorcraft from MD Helicopters. The system provides precise in-flight engine data in an easyto-use, all-glass format to enhance both pilot safety and performance. “We are excited about this partnership with Howell and the opportunity to deliver advanced technologies and enhanced aircraft to MD operators worldwide,” said Craig Kitchen, MD Helicopters’ chief commercial officer. “Upgrading to the all-glass cockpit will provide a platform baseline for a range of future performance enhancements for our single engine fleet.” Howell Instruments’ DAS is the product of decades of research, engineering and innovation, and—like the company itself—the system is inherently flexible. The DAS can consist of any or all of the following components: data acquisition units; display units, a configuration module unit and a data logger unit. “If the customer wants a standalone system, we provide a complete turn-key data acquisition and display system,” said Brown. “If they want us to partner with, say, another OEM because they may already have part of their system, we can then partner with them as a Tier Two manufacturer.

“We're flexible, and based on our history and capability we're extremely reliable and affordable.” While MD Helicopters is the launch customer for the DAS, Howell Instruments is in talks with other OEMs to provide it as standard equipment on new helicopters and certified as a retrofit option. “Our goal is to talk with each and every OEM,” said Brown. “The data acquisition system on a gas turbine engine is applicable to both rotary-wing and fixed-wing.” The software in Howell Instruments’ DAS is also certified to the highest possible standard: DO-178B design assurance Level A. It’s a crucial feature that demonstrates the company’s ability to break new ground when it comes to accuracy and reliability. “This is really the gold star for us in this case,” said Brown. “It's obviously the best that you can achieve.” Accuracy is essential for engine data because it helps ensure the safety of passengers, pilots, and the aircraft itself. If an engine runs beyond safe parameters, its lifespan will be shortened at best, and the risk of sudden, catastrophic failure is quite real. “When dealing with data acquisition on [a] gas turbine— accuracy, repeatability is everything,” said Brown. “It pretty much ensures safety of flight, provides accurate data for maintenance and life-cycle management. “Therefore, why would the customer not want to use the industry expert in gas turbine data acquisition for their on board, real-time engine information—which is what the new system is for?” Accuracy, flexibility and reliability are hallmarks of the Howell Instruments DAS. They’re also part of what helps define Howell Instruments as a company. “Our strengths are our agility, our flexibility and our experience,” said Brown. “Because we are a small company, we can build two units— two systems specific to a small operator. But we have the space and the capacity and the staff to expand to produce 100, if it would be required … customized solutions are what we’re all about.” Howell Instruments’ DAS is available now, and its open architecture allows for customized solutions that significantly reduce the time to market. “If you go from a single engine to a twin engine helicopter we can do that with the same box that we already have certified—with minor changes,” said Bill Milton, vice president of business development. “Which means you're looking at a very small time to get it certified and on your aircraft.” Unique solutions are another hallmark of Howell Instruments, a company with the ability to work with aircraft of any age, and with any gas turbine engine. The company will design and custom-build engine indicators to meet any operator’s needs.

Display Units

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


“It's not just engine information we're processing,” said Milton. “It's engines, it's CASS messaging, it's fuel quantities … it's pressures. We're even doing flight control position, indication and some configurations.” As for what lies ahead, Howell Instruments is focused on continuing to break new ground when it comes to gas turbine engine monitoring, staying true to the innovative spirit that its founder, John S. Howell III, had from the very start. “Howell started data acquisition on the first commercially available jet engine, and we continue to be the right solution for data acquisition systems going into the future,” said Brown. “The Howell data acquisition system provides a solution that meets all of an operator’s needs, not just for today, but for tomorrow.”

H397 Data Acquisition Unit


CH-53K Demonstrates Vehicle Lift NAVAIR News February 9, 2018 PEO(A) Public Affairs


H-53K King Stallion successfully lifted (and set down) a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) during a demonstration, Jan. 18. Using the single point hook, the helicopter hovered up to 100 feet for approximately 10 minutes while carrying the 18,870-pound vehicle. “This was a first-of-its-kind event for both the CH-53K and JLTV programs,” said U.S. Marine Corps Col. Hank Vanderborght, program manager for the H-53 Heavy Lift Helicopters program office, PMA-261. “Watching these two high priority programs come together on the flight line was an exceptional sight.” The JLTV family of vehicles are the Army and Marine Corps’ replacement for the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) and the CH-53K is replacing its predecessor, the CH-53E Super Stallion. The specific JLTV used for the demonstration was the four-seat model, known as the Combat Tactical Vehicle. Prior to using the JLTV, the program tested various external payloads on the CH-53K using representative concrete slabs, up to 27,000 pounds. This year, the test team will expand that external weight envelope up to 36,000 pounds. “The payload capability of this helicopter is unmatched, triple that of its predecessor and better than any other heavy lift helicopter in production,” said Vanderborght. The demonstration was a collaborative effort among the CH-53K Integrated Test Team (Sikorsky, NAVAIR and Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (HX) 21), the NAVAIR Internal Cargo Lab and PMA-261. In addition, ­the Helicopter Support Team from Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) 25 traveled to NAS Patuxent River to support the demonstration, providing key ground support in the hook of the JLTV to the aircraft. It was the first time this unit had an opportunity to support both platforms. “The biggest thing my unit noticed was the stability of it,” said Cpl. Ronald Fritter, CLB-25. “Safety is paramount while underneath the bird because you have so many variables with the down wash of the aircraft to the hook … with the hook not moving around at all, little to none, it makes our jobs easier.” There are four Engineering Development and Manufacturing Model aircraft and a Ground Test Vehicle in test. In addition, a sixth aircraft, known as a System Demonstration Test Article, joined the test program this month. To date, the program has logged more than 700 cumulative flight hours. About the aircraft: With more than triple the payload capability and a 12-inch wider internal cabin than the CH-53E, the CH-53K’s payload capability can take the form of a variety of relevant payloads ranging from an internally loaded High Mobility, Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle or the European Fennek armored personnel carrier. In addition, it was designed to support three independent external loads at once, providing mission flexibility and system efficiency. Rotor Review #140 Spring '18

A CH-53K King Stallion lifts a Joint Light Tactical Vehicle during a demonstration, Jan. 18. Using the single point hook, the helicopter hovered up to 100 feet for approximately 10 minutes while carrying the 18,870-pound vehicle. U.S. Navy photo



HMS Queen Elizabeth Completes Helo Trials Article by The Shephard News Team


he Royal Navy’s aircraft carrier, HMS Queen which forms such a vital part of the UK’s defence capability. Elizabeth, has returned to UK waters after These deck trials have been among the biggest ever conductcompleting Chinook and Merlin helicopter trials. ed, and mark an important step towards enabling the carrier’s The trials were carried out by QinetiQ and the Air War- rotary wing capability, ahead of the F-35 trials planned later fare Centre under the Air Test & Evaluation Centre (ATEC) in 2018. partnership to support the helicopters’ clearance to land on 'Combining the trials delivers on our strategy to help custhe carrier. The two helicopter type trials were carried out in tomers make best use of their available funding when contandem, ensuring the time available on deck was used to max- ducting mission-critical test and evaluation work.’ imum effect and avoiding a second voyage out to sea later in the year. Before the trials, QinetiQ designed and installed flight instrumentation for two Merlin Mk 2 and two Chinook Mk 5 helicopters and delivered pre-trial simulator training to their test pilots. The aircraft then deployed to HMS Queen Elizabeth in the Atlantic and over a period of four weeks, conducted landings at different weights and in varying conditions. The helicopters also conducted landings in the dark using night vision equipment. The ATEC team undertook data analysis and reporting to establish each aircraft’s safe operating limits. John Anderson, managing director air and space, QinetiQ, said: ‘We are proud to contribute to the Royal Navy’s carrier programme, The Merlin Mk2 brought down on the forward aircraft lift is moved by the Remote Aircraft Mover (RAM).


useful Information

War Veterans Gain a Good Start on the Search for the Ideal House Article by Chrissy Jones


omes for Heroes recently took what seemed like one man’s struggle for daily survival, and turned it into an opportunity of a lifetime. Navy personnel may face countless situations on a mission, but the transition from war to home may be as challenging. Housing shouldn’t have to be one of those challenges. War veterans and those who are currently still serving deserve a home of their own with total peace of mind. It’s not every day that a war hero comes home and gets the acknowledgment they deserve, let alone a house. But for veteran Michael Vasquez, this was a reality. A brain injury left Michael permanently bound to a wheelchair and the war veteran would have had a tough time reintegrating into daily routines if it hadn’t been for this generous display from the community and Homes for Heroes. Struggling with dark years after his return, Michael simply never gave up and managed to push himself to new limits, which saw him competing in sporting events. He is also the proud father of three children and together with his wife, will enjoy this token of gratitude once it’s built. For Michael, it’s simply not enough to receive. He is also an active part of the local community and loves to give back. Those who dedicate their lives to the preservation and nurturing of the lives of others may need some additional assistance to readjust to everyday life. Homes for Heroes is an organization that not only donates part of their proceeds to organizations that support those on the frontlines,  but also goes the extra mile to preserve a standard of life for these heroes. These include firefighters, law enforcement officers, emergency medical technicians, military personnel and veterans, teachers, and more. When they’re not giving homes away for free, they’re assisting these heroes to complete loan applications for more affordable loan structures than currently being offered. Veterans and active military personnel finally have the means to have more free time to do the things they love. They can spend the fruits of their labor on making memories with their loved ones. Finally going to the movies with their sweethearts, taking the children fishing, or even just spending time at local charities and community projects to bond with the locals. The return of a soldier is always special to the family and should be a memorable time for the soldier too. By removing some of the burdens off their shoulders, projects such as Homes for Heroes provide more than just a roof over their heads. They restore dignity and give the soldiers a new lease on life.

Health Care Benefits, Career Resources, and Discounts for Women Veterans Article by Emily Helwig Digital Marketing Manager Dealspotr!


espite historically facing restrictions on their ability to enlist in the armed forces, women have bravely served the United States at home and abroad throughout US history. According to Veterans Affairs (VA), there are approximately two million women veterans currently living in the US, making up close to 10 percent of the veteran population. The VA estimates that those numbers will only increase in the decades to come. Upon your return home, many businesses are eager to celebrate women veterans by offering discounts on products, goods, and services in honor of your time serving the US. There are also plenty of benefits that the government provides to veterans that can help you get access to health care, education, and much more. In our on line article on discounts for veterans, we run you through the steps you need to take to get some form of military ID, plus tons of different deals available to US veterans. Check it out here. Email me with your questions: Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


Useful Information

Reno, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Biloxi For Our Next NHA Symposium? How About It! Article by CAPT Bill Personius, USN (Ret.), NHA Executive Director, CAPT Peter Schnappauf,USN, COMHELMARSTRIKEWINGPAC, CDR Brannon Bickel, USN, NHA National President


he question has been asked, and suggestions have been made, so NHA has done the research to investigate a few options. This subject was discussed with the Wing Commodores/Deputies at the December 2017 NHA National meeting and we would like to provide our members feedback explaining why it is not feasible to host the NHA Symposium event in locations other than Fleet Concentration Areas. Bottom Line Up Front: The explanation is very simple and boils down to an overall lack of TAD funding which drives unacceptable risk planning an event in locations other than Fleet Concentration Areas, with primary emphasis on Norfolk or San Diego. The good news is that we have some flexibility where we go in these areas and are able to mix it up by going to some different venues in and around Norfolk and San Diego. Jacksonville has not recently been an option, given the reduced numbers of squadrons located there and a high op tempo/deployment schedule that has not supported desired attendance numbers. The 2018 and 2020 Symposiums will be at the Marriott Waterside Hotel in Norfolk due to the multi-year contract NHA signed in 2016. Department of the Navy TAD funding is a primary factor NHA considers when determining where to hold the Symposiums, as most people are unwilling to fund their own travel expenses. Overall TAD expenditure is limited to $500K, which includes NALO airlift expenses and commercial flight expenses. Yes…even the NALO aircraft cost per flight hour is figured into the overall TAD expenses. Allowed TAD dollars fund approximately 250 personnel traveling East to West when the Symposium is held in San Diego and 375 people traveling West to East when the Symposium is in Norfolk. The difference in numbers of personnel is driven by the fact that San Diego is a higher cost, more expensive TAD location. Of those people traveling on funded orders, prioritization must account for the Key Note Address Speaker, Flag Officer Panelists, Briefers/Presenters, Detailers, NHA National Award Winners, with the remainder of funds being shared across all Fleet Squadrons within the six NHA Regions. As a point of reference, the fleet has been unable to support/fund a total of $500K of TAD for the past three years due to an overall lack of TAD funding. To be clear… NHA does not fund any TAD travel expenses for those attending the Symposium, so all TAD money comes from the fleet/Navy. In 2017, the fleet used almost all of its annual TAD funding on Disaster Relief and therefore limited the number of travelers able to attend the Symposium in San Diego. The overall lack of funds, coupled with an early departure of the NALO airlift, further reduced attendance during the last day of the 2017 Symposium. The shortage ultimately cost NHA $10K in contracted hotel room fees at the Bahia Resort. That specific example highlights the risk to meeting travel requirements, which compete with other fleet needs for less than predictable NALO flight availability. The NHA Symposium has grown to the point where many hotels cannot accommodate all our exhibit space requirements. For this reason, NHA signs hotel contracts for per diem room nights and exhibit space at least one, if not two, years in advance to lock in hotels with sufficient exhibit space and to take advantage of better rates for rooms, food and beverages. Every location and venue has benefits and detractors requiring tradeoffs between desires and specific symposium needs. NHA’s first priority is securing per diem room rates for our travelers (or they would not likely travel) and then having a venue large enough to accommodate all our exhibits. It is worth noting that NHA Symposium exhibits are the organization’s main form of revenue for the year. As many will remember from last year at the Bahia Resort, our exhibit spaces were located in two separate areas with one on the other side of the hotel property. As a result, the main exhibit space (where we had helicopters on static display) saw reduced foot traffic during the intermissions between symposium events in the main briefing space. We received negative feedback from you, our members, as well as from our exhibitors/corporate sponsors, indicating dissatisfaction with that setup. Naval Base Coronado


Maintaining a balance between good business decisions and our corporate/individual members’ desires is easier said than done. Every location and venue has tradeoffs and very few have everything that we desire, given our specific needs. For example, few hotels sell blocks of rooms at the per diem room rate in the numbers we need (200-250+). The more popular hotels (in either San Diego or Norfolk) don’t have problems filling occupancy and would lose revenue on rooms they discounted at per diem rates. What’s typical is that hotels will offer some number of rooms at the per diem rate (~50100) and then require additional attendees to pay full price for the rest of the rooms, and no one likes that. NHA would prefer to have everyone in the same location/hotel to simplify transportation requirements, particularly since rental cars are not authorized for symposium travel. With 250 or 375 people being paid to travel, the remainder of the personnel who make up the typical 1,000 - 1,200 Symposium attendees come from our Fleet Concentration Areas. Attendees who are geographically collocated do not require TAD funding to attend the Symposium. In order for NHA to go to another area/location other than San Diego or Norfolk, an additional 600-700 people would need to be funded on TAD orders to keep the attendance figures at approximately 1,000 people. This would require an additional $1-$1.5M TAD dollars, which is an unreasonable expectation. Furthermore, our corporate sponsors and vendors would not likely provide the same sponsorship support to the NHA Symposium without the expectation of exposure to 1,000+ attendees. One poor NHA Symposium showing could cause future NHA events to fail or potentially even bankrupt the NHA organization. The Tailhook Convention in Reno, Nevada is often used as a comparison to our NHA Symposium events. Now that both the HSM and HSC communities deploy on the aircraft carrier, several personnel (often to include the Commodores and Deputies) from the helicopter community are attending the

Naval Station Norfolk

up the majority of their membership and who fund their own travel to the convention each year. NHA highly encourages folks to go to Tailhook if you haven’t in the past. Like NHA, it’s a venue to interact with other Naval Aviators and senior leadership at meetings or on the exhibit floor to share ideas and effect change. It’s a great time to learn, have fun, and share some fellowship with folks in the Carrier Airwings. Many Tailhook members state that they would rather go someplace other than the Nugget Hotel each year for a change of pace. However, Hook is tied to Reno and the Nugget due to their proximity to Fallon and the AIRWARCOM Conference, much like NHA is tied to the Fleet Concentration Areas. NHA has had a strong working relationship with the Town and Country Hotel for many years, which is why it remains on our list as a potential venue for hosting the NHA Symposium in San Diego. That said, we have listened to our membership who asked for diversity in location and are exploring different options that meet our criteria for per diem rooms and exhibit space requirements. I’ve also heard concerns from NHA members who live and work in the Symposium’s host city about not getting time off from work throughout the week of NHA. Those who travel from out of town tend to enjoy the benefits of the symposium more than those folks who are local because of competing flight schedules, squadron duties, and family commitments. To address those concerns, we are

Many Tailhook members state that they would rather go someplace other than the Nugget Hotel each year for a change of pace. However, Hook is tied to Reno and the Nugget due to their proximity to Fallon and the AIRWARCOM Conference, Tailhook Convention each year and comparing the differences. Tailhook has the benefit of being held in conjunction with the Air Warfare Commanders Conference (AIRWARCOM) and an AIRWING FALLON each year. Every Aviation O-6 in command, most Aviation Flag Officers, and a majority of the CVW squadron’s personnel, are in the Reno area on funded TAD orders and can attend the Tailhook Convention. Like NHA, Tailhook is limited to $500K in TAD funds for active duty aviators to attend their convention. In contrast, Tailhook has a large contingent of retired personnel who make

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


exploring a shift in the schedule to Wednesday through Saturday. NHA will be asking those commands not on deployment to consider taking a Thursday and Friday off to better support local Symposium attendance, as operational flexibility allows. NHA is a 501 C 6 non-profit business and, while we need the support of our corporate sponsors to exist, NHA tries to balance membership and sponsor desires to promote a professional/fun and rewarding event each year. Let’s take a minute and explain what a 501 c 6 non-profit organization is. A 501 c 6 organization exists for the benefit of its membership. In other words, NHA profits go toward running the organization and giving back to our membership. That is why a $95.00 ticket to attend a Padres Game in a select group seating area that includes food and beverages may cost you $20.00 per person…our sponsorship and your membership buys the cost down for you and your guests. 501 c 3 organizations like the NHA Scholarship Fund (NHASF) and NHA Historical

Society (NHAHS) exist to benefit others, and is therefore tax deductible for your charitable donation to either of these organizations. So the answer is easy, maybe not what everyone wanted to hear… but easy. The Navy/Fleet cannot afford to leave the Fleet Concentration Areas for NHA hosted events for many reasons, with the main reason being the cost of funding an additional 600-700 people to travel to an off-site location like Las Vegas, Biloxi, etc. is not feasible or cost effective. We want to make sure that the largest numbers of NHA members have access to our annual Symposium. We want to keep the cost down be good stewards of our TAD funds. Lastly, we want to make NHA a fun professional engagement that encourages participation of the junior officers and enlisted aircrewmen who will one day fill our shoes as leaders of this organization. Given the explanation above, if you have ideas on how to improve the Symposium or NHA in general please let us know… it is your organization.

Join us for the 2018 NHA Symposium

All Aviation Golf Tournament Friday

NAS Oceana Aeropines Golf Course Virginia Beach,VA Friday May 18, 2018 ENTRY FEES: Retired/Civilian - $90 Active Duty - $75 Fees include: Green fees and cart; Range Balls; Breakfast Goody Bag; Lunch; Prizes FORMAT: 4 Man Captain’s Choice (Scramble)

Registration opens March 1, 2018 To register or for more information visit NHA's website: Proceeds benefit: Wings over America Scholarship Foundation, Naval Helicopter Association, Tailhook and ANA Hampton Roads


Symposium 2018

75 Years of Naval Helicopters and Aircrew


he United State Navy's interest in helicopters dates back to 1912. It wasn't much of an interest. After deliberation, the Secretary of the Navy allocated up to fifty dollars for developing a model design submitted by Chief Machinist’s Mate F.E. Nelson of West Virginia. A typical political statement accompanied this expenditure authorization. “The Department recognizes the value of the helicopter in principle in the design of naval aircraft and is following closely the efforts of others in this direction." The Navy followed “closely” for thirty-one years, at which point on October 16, 1943, the Navy ordered its first helicopter, a Sikorsky design, the R-4 Dragonfly. This was the history that preceded Commander Clayton Marcy when he was assigned to a small group in the Bureau of Aeronautics that was responsible for the Navy’s rotary wing development. It took the Navy another five years to establish operational helicopters in the fleet in the HU-1 and HU-2 squadrons in Lakehurst, New Jersey and the rest is…as they say, helicopter history. Excerpted from Fleet Angels of Lakehurst by Dr. Barbara Marriott, used with permission.

We extend our congratulations to CAPT Joseph Torian, USN, our Vice President for Symposium for his selection and promotion to the rank of Captain.

Symposium Is Coming - Stay Connected!

Use the NHA app or website to access Symposium schedule, maps, bios, and more! Visit Look for “NHA” in your App Store

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18





Removing the Technological Bottleneck: Crew Integration and the Lethality Chain Article by LT Alex Morgan,USN

HH-60 CSAR U.S.A.F photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron D. Allmon II.

F-86 providing ground support during the Korean War.


t is a long recognized fact that the victor in any conflict is the one best able to shorten the lethality chain. Col. John Boyd, USAF, father of the E-M Diagram, and theorist behind the revered theory of the “OODA Loop,” upon which much of the modern theory of warfare is based, derived his later work from his time in the cockpit of an F-86 during the Korean War. While he was a single seat fighter pilot, he managed to apply the tactical lessons learned in the dogfight to warfare as a whole, and these lessons are easily applicable to the crew concept of rotary wing aviation. You see, Col. Boyd recognized that to beat the enemy, your “OODA Loop,” needed to be quicker than your adversary’s. Whether it is in an air-to-air engagement, in the planning phase for a CSAR, or the planning phase of First Gulf War, the victor is the one able to “Observe, Orient, Decide, Act” and repeat faster than his adversary. Sounds simple, right? The problem is that there are “Bottlenecks” in every cycle. Some can be attributed to Crew Resource Management (CRM), some, the fog of war, and still others, technological limitations. While there are many crew interface and system firebreaks that greatly hamper the seamless employment and weapons switching common to more dedicated attack platforms, the intent of this article is to identify some technological bottlenecks and equipment already on the horizon to improve lethality. To exemplify this point, imagine a straits transit. The geography and likely threats are well defined. Adversary tactics are well studied, and many stationary threat locations, like SAM sites, are also known. With this information upfront, the aircrew already has a good start on the “Observe” and “Orient” portions of the loop. However, a straits transit is a dynamic, constrained environment, and reaction times can be on the order of seconds if hostilities flare. A standard HSC crew faces numerous bottlenecks between evidence of a hostile act and weapons release. Situational Awareness of the battlespace, target acquisition, and actual Rotor Review #140 Spring '18

weapons employment are severely hampered by the outdated design and technology that HSC crews interface with every day. These precious seconds wasted due to technological shortfalls can be the difference between mission success and serious loss of life. But, there are three pieces of hardware/ software available now or in the very near future that will aid in bringing our community into the 21st century. First and foremost, is the Helmet Display and Tracking System, or HDTS. HSC-14 is the first Navy squadron to take delivery of this new system, and its advantages are astonishing. The system incorporates a full-color Heads-Up Display (HUD) for both day and night use. The unit is bore sighted on start-up, and user preferences are saved to the individual’s helmet. This boresight is used to calibrate the Constantly Calculated Impact Point (CCIP) for fixed forward firing weapons to include 20MM, Unguided Rockets (UGR), and Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System (APKWS). This targeting system is a serious upgrade from the laughable “grease pencil” targeting system we adopted from our Vietnam-era predecessors. However, the most important upgrade HDTS brings to the game is enhanced situational awareness. Each pilot can see where the other is looking at any given time, so if one pilot has eyes on, the copilot’s ability to visually acquire the point of interest by looking at the pilot’s boresight is far faster and more reliable than the cue copilot function. These functions alone are extraordinary, but there may be more to come. Elbit Systems has a multi-phase approach to the HDTS. The Navy is fielding phase one now. Later phases, which are currently unfunded, could include the ability to designate points of interest or targets, MTS FOV integration, helmet-mounted HUDs for the aircrew, and even virtual 3-D mapping. Think of the time saved in target acquisition and target handoff, not to mention the explosion of situational awareness for our aircrew. Finally, our aircrew will know our altitude, airspeed, rate of climb or descent, without having to ask. That instant 28

FEATURES information available to all crewmembers will improve lethality through enhanced CRM. Additionally, the incorporated 3-D mapping brings the mission display to life in the HUD. Files loaded through an enhanced Data Transfer System (DTS) could allow the user to have the route displayed in color, threats with domes around them defining max engagement envelopes, and synthetic geometry overlaid on the ground showing terrain contour in low illumination conditions. In addition to all of this, a virtual altitude ladder for overwater hover would give pilots and aircrew visual reference for height above ground and drift even in the midst of a black abyss. Obviously, we have a long way to go before the hardware is updated with enough processing power to support the software, but we as a community need to make our voices heard. The future conflicts are not against the insurgent threat of the last two decades. Our future adversaries could very well be state actors with advanced near-peer technologies, making our business infinitely more complicated and substantially more dangerous. We have to push for that edge within our community now. The next piece of technology is also well into development and comes at a surprisingly low cost. The AHCU, or Advanced Hand Control Unit. This Xbox-like controller replaces the traditional HCU, which is usable only on the copilot side of the aircraft in the MH-60S and distributes the capability to the entire crew. This concept is similar to the video game type Universal Hand control Unit (UHCU) that the USMC has employed with success in the UH-1. Not only can both pilots use the AHCU, but so could the aircrew. Because of the familiar game console design, use of the AHCU is intuitive. As LT Brian Cramer of HSCWSL discussed in his article, “Game On! Evaluating a Video-Game Style Attack Hand Control Unit in the MH-60S” acquisition times and engagement times by aviators, both familiar and unfamiliar with game consoles and the current HCU, were faster overall and operators tended to prefer the AHCU by wide margins. The best part is that initial projections for program cost are estimated at around $1 million and only one year, meaning this technology could be available to the fleet in the very near future.

Prototype Attack Hand Control Unit (AHCU)


Android Tactical Assault Kit (ATAK)

The final piece of technology is right off the shelf of your nearest Best Buy. The military has already developed numerous applications for Android tablets for use in flight but has yet to begin providing issued tablets to the fleet. I think we can all agree that the MH-60S is long past due for moving map in the cockpit, and the Digital Map Kneeboard (DMK) program is an abysmal execution of a fantastic concept. Its fragility and failure rate is so astronomical that it cannot be relied upon. When HSC-14 and HSC-21 took the system to Red Flag in 2017, all of the eight DMKs were broken by the end of the second week. Fortunately, there is a stopgap. Off the shelf tablets already cleared for in-flight use can provide that much desired moving map with applications such as Kinetic Integrated Low-cost Software Integrated Tactical Combat Handheld (KILSWITCH), and Android Windows Tactical Assault Kit (ATAK), all capable of displaying map data at scales all the way down to unclassified half-meter color imagery. These programs also have the capability of networking so users can share points, information, and even full digital 9-lines over secured Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. Information is shareable between aircraft, crew, and ground personnel with a properly integrated network. Also in development is the ability to connect android tablets through the 1553 bus so that flight parameters, such as altitude, airspeed, rate of climb/descent are displayed for aircrew, as well as Multi-Spectral Targeting (MTS) imagery, much like the current DMK. This capability, integrated with the AHCU, distributes sensor operation to any crewmember and immediately allows for a more even distribution of task loading. Once again, there are quite a few steps to take for the full concept to be realized, but the Marine Corps has already made serious strides with integrating their tablets on secured networks as described in “Marine Aviation: Observing the Benefits and Risks of New Tactical Data Links”, a study published in February 2017. The HSC community can easily capture these lessons and utilize the same technologies to integrate tactical tablets into secure networks able to interface with Link-16 and Blue Force Tracker. Now, take a look back at the straits transit mission and apply these technologies. Before launch, the crew loads the tactical tablets with appropriate charts and includes the locations of known SAM sites with the associated Weapons Engagement Zone (WEZ) for situational awareness. As the crew launches, they have a digital SITREP available, and they pass their check-in digitally via the tactical tablet. From there, the crew knows the location of all friendlies in the area as they arrive on-station and receive their first tasking. The location of the

contact of interest is automatically populated on both the tactical display and the tablets for all crewmembers. Once a Hostile Act is observed, and multiple threats are declared hostile, the crew receives Target tasking, and the Mission Lead passes the section attack brief, while the copilot acquires the target visually. The crew chief sees where the copilot is looking, takes control of the AHCU, acquires the target with the help of the MTS display on his tablet, and passes the AHCU back to the non-flying pilot. Once within valid shot parameters, the pilot releases the HELLFIRE and observes good effects. Selecting the next target in the swarm, the crew easily transitions to APKWS, takes a shot off of the HUD prompted parameters, and releases consent. Then, using the Mixed Loads Enhanced Targeting Capability (MLETC) that is available with System Configuration 16 and the LAU-61G/A rocket pod, the crew sets up for an unguided rocket run due to range on the third target and instead of wasting spotting rounds, achieves desired effects immediately due to the increased accuracy from the CCIP. Finally, the crew breaks away, while the gunner engages the target to cover the egress. Before the pilot enters a WEZ on egress, the crew chief sees it on his tablet and calls for the pilot to maneuver away. The HSC crew’s increased accuracy and streamlined CRM accelerates its OODA loop, giving both the crew and the strike group a notable advantage over the adversary in this vulnerable environment. With future focus on pilot ability to cue sensors via line of sight, seamlessly switch between weapon systems, and minimize keystrokes to release ordnance, this process can be further refined. These capabilities are all small incremental changes, but significantly increase our overall effectiveness through enhanced crew integration. Removing the technological bottlenecks quickens the OODA loop cycle, increases overall mission effectiveness and ensures the HSC community maintains its tactical edge against the adversary. None of this happens unless we come together as a community and advocate for ourselves. We cannot afford to wait for industry to anticipate and solve our problems for us. All of these advancements were born out of fleet identified need and often conceptualized by first and second tour junior officers who were empowered to investigate, research, and test their theories by supportive, forward-thinking commands. Moreover, a critical eye towards the aircraft systems with which we interface today will pay dividends when the future HSC platform begins development. The improvements we implement now can be seamlessly incorporated into the spine of our next platform. In the meantime, fully fund all phases of HDTS, purchase and equip squadrons with the AHCU, and replace the DMK with modern tablets while funding capable and currently available software. We, as a community, have a duty to continue this proud tradition of tactical innovation, for the success of future engagements rests on the actions we take to advance our lethality today.

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18

Heads Up Display (HUD)

Works Cited Brown, A. H., Lasley-Hunter, B., Megan, G.-Y., & Fredlake, C. (2017). Marine Aviation: Observing the Benefits and Risks of New Tactical Data Links. CNA Analysis & Solutions, 51-59. https://intelshare. Tablets/MAGTAB/USMC%20Tactical%20Data%20 Links%20Report%20FEB17.pdf Coram, R. (2002). Boyd: The Fighter Pilot Who Changed the Art of War. Boston: Little, Brown. Cramer, B., & Chris, C. (2018, January). Game On! Evaluating a Video-Game Style Attack Hand Control Unit in the MH-60S. Rotor Review.



Naval Aviation Article by CAPT Morris Steen, USN (Ret.)


aval aviation was raucous! I loved being a Navy pilot. I loved flying around the boat, particularly during daylight hours. Flying at night was a different story. That was when you felt your heart beat, and on black nights, it beat the loudest, and awful things go bump in the night! I loved the incredible sunrises and sunsets painted by the Almighty’s hand. I love the sea but I greatly feared the mighty storms and typhoons that could sink an aircraft carrier or a Task Force of warships and not leave a trace; they were not to be trifled with!Oh, the awesome power of God was never so evident as during those storms! I loved the camaraderie of squadron life. We knew each other by call signs; Boomer, Red Dog, Smoke, Flack, Rack or Hollywood (the names have been altered to protect the innocent and the guilty). We had each other’s “six”! The creativity of “Foc’sle Follies” make “Saturday Night Live” feel like nursery rhymes. I loved an occasional formal Navy Dining In or Dining Out function. I loved participating in a “Green Light” call at the Skipper’s house at midnight after night flying was secured. I loved the humor and imagination of the “Falcon Codes”. I loved the Ready Room banter among the pilots and the call of “Dead Bug” or “Roach”. On deployment, I loved “Liberty Call” and the “Admins” in foreign ports. Fun was at the core of Naval Aviation! I loved the daily routine of Navy traditions; Reveille at 0600, “Reveille, reveille, reveille, all hands hit the deck! Now sweepers man your brooms!”, Colors at 0800 and at sunset, and Taps at 2200. I loved the deck-plate leadership of working with young enlisted sailors and Marines and seasoned Petty Officers and Chief Petty Officers who would risk their lives and run into a flight deck fire with a bottle of PKP to save a shipmate, or an aircraft, or the ship. I loved being around men who put it all on the line. They know why they serve! I loved being around men who lived life on the edge. Some smoked cigarettes, some chewed tobacco, some may occasionally drink too much, some may use foul language, and some may do all, but they are men of action. They work eighteen hours a day. They are not little office boys! They are iron men with hearts of gold! I loved flying with men who, tethered by a small webbed belt, would hang out of the aircraft with total disregard for their own safety, and lay withering M-60 machine-gun fire on the enemy to protect their fire-team, and men who would jump out of their aircraft in the middle of the night into the black ocean to save another human! Of all the men in the world, only a small handful would ever muster the courage to do that. I loved the Navy-Marine Corps Team concept that has stood the test of time in defending our nation throughout history. I loved the steel deck picnics that were a reprieve from gruelingly long days and weeks and months of hard work at sea. I loved “swim call”, a real treat for young sailors and Marines who do the dirty work. Life at sea is tough. It is not for the faint of heart. 31

Re-enlistment for HM-14 1978

I loved the euphoria of returning home from a long deployment with a Navy band on the pier. The joy of greeting our families at the brow or on the tarmac is indescribable! Few things in life are comparable! The trip home following the reunion is dangerous. As a senior officer, I loved pinning a medal on a sailor who was being recognized for his achievement, often heroic. I loved promotion ceremonies where the best and brightest are advanced to the next pay grade. I loved re-enlistment ceremonies where a sailor recommits his life for another tour of duty to his country and his family is present to support that decision! I loved the Navy’s ceremonial traditions and cutting cakes with a Navy sword! But, where there is great reward, there is always great risk. The burden of command sometimes weighs heavy. The agony of delivering a eulogy or writing a letter to the parents or wife of a lost shipmate who has made the ultimate sacrifice is heart-wrenching and stays with you forever! The closest parallel to losing a member of your squadron, particularly if you know them personally, is losing a member of your family, although not exactly the same. In summary, I loved taking care of my people! I loved my people! Individual names who inspired this essay come to mind but I dare not list any for fear I would omit so many others who were so significant in my life and career. I love Naval Aviation! I love the Navy! I wore our nation’s uniform over a span of 33 years, including ROTC. I wish I could do it all over again! It was the best of times! Homecoming

Developing the Future Article by CDR Justin McCaffree, USN


eadership training. Ethics training. Those two phrases usually land with a large mental thud in the minds of many people. All too often if anything resembling leadership or ethics training is given, it is either conducted by someone standing behind a podium droning on about one of our revered, long dead leaders or by a JAG. The former tends to be stuffy and usually minimizes discussion, while the latter only scratches the surface on the type of training modern leaders need. While our JAG brothers deserve a high level of respect for their profession, they deal in the binary construct of the law. Most JAG run leadership or ethics training we sit through are usually centered around, “if you don’t do this then these are the consequences,” or “if you do this then these are the consequences.” Neither the stuffy nor the JAG approach is as effective as it needs to be to adequately explore the minefields that exist that leaders will need to navigate. If you examine a handful of the most recent firings of senior leaders you realize that more often than not these officers didn’t simply wake up one day and decide to drive full speed ahead into the closest mine. Typically, as the details emerge, we find that many leaders began their downfall with a series of increasingly poor decisions that culminated in an inauspicious end to what had been a highly successful career. It is very likely that these officers could speak eloquently about the lions of Naval history and have also sat through numerous ethics training sessions. What this tells us is that we either need more training, which will have to be packed into an already busy schedule, or that we need a much more effective approach. The path the Wildcards decided to take was to develop a training series that was more effective and engaging than was currently offered. The way we decided to tackle this issue was to create a leadership series based on a seminar vice lecture style. The main reason the seminar style was chosen is because it is far more engaging than a lecture format and it encourages a higher level of audience participation. Once the style was selected we next looked at what leaders we wanted to discuss but decided that we needed to do more than just examine a person and their thinking during a pivotal moment. Critical thinking is one of those things that we probably think we all do all the time but if we are honest will realize that often we don’t take the time to really examine an issue hard from all angles. We felt this piece was missing and that being able to analyze an issue is a benefit in its own right but would also pay off when studying a leader. What this all culminated in was a seminar series that rotated between critical thinking pieces and leadership profiles. The leaders we profiled were not exclusively Navy because fantastic leaders are not unique to the Navy or even the military. For the first year we ended up choosing President Abraham Lincoln, Major General George McClellan, and Admiral Husband Kimmel. Students of history will quickly raise an eyebrow about two of those names, since history has judged Rotor Review #140 Spring '18

Major General George McClellan, Admiral Husband Kimmel Abraham Lincoln. There are times when we can learn as much from a bad leader as we can from an excellent one.

them to be poor leaders, but there are times when we can learn as much from a bad leader as we can from an excellent one. The actual execution of this entire process consisted of sending out read ahead information a week prior to the seminar. The read ahead was either a short article or an excerpt from an article intended to stimulate critical thinking or a profile on a leader which focused on their background and the specific event that had a major impact on their career. Next, a short list of questions was drafted to specifically address certain discussion points but to also relight the fire should the conversation begin to dwindle. There was some concern that the first of the series would be difficult and that the members of the wardroom would need a little coaxing to participate but that was not the case. There was so much appetite to discuss the topic and engage with the wardroom that 45 minutes flew by before we knew it. The discussion was so robust in fact that we never managed to work through all the pre-drafted questions because the conversation went in more interesting directions than the questions intended. One important piece of advice for prospective moderators is to be active. It is easy to let the same voices be heard because it takes very little effort to allow the people who have no problem wading into a discussion monopolize the conversation. However, for those who are introverts, they are waiting patiently for a break in the conversation in order to contribute. A good moderator understands this and will develop a strategy 32

FEATURES to engage all personality types so that everyone has the opportunity to participate. At the end of the day the Wildcards don’t claim to have the market cornered on leadership but we identified a problem and developed a way to better train our wardroom. As warfighters we tend to focus most on our tactical qualifications,

and we need to be combat ready, but the truth is that more leaders are fired due to moral or ethical failures than lack of tactical prowess. In order to defeat an enemy like that we will need to have engaging, targeted training to better prepare our officers to face the challenges that come with being a leader in a world class organization like the Naval rotary wing community


The Ultimate Makeover – An Aviation Story Article by RADM Gary Jones, USN (Ret.) and CAPT Earl Rogers, USN (Ret.)


he timeframe in this part of our aviation story finds us in Bloomfield, Connecticut nearly 55 years ago. It was then that Kaman Aircraft Corporation finished manufacturing a UH-2D Seasprite for delivery to the U.S. Navy. Over the next 29 years, this particular airframe would log 10,278 flight hours while serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets, assigned to squadrons onboard among other ships, USS Saratoga (CVA-60), USS America (CVA-66), and USS Lexington (AVT16). Its flying days ended in 1992 with HSL-31, the West Coast LAMPS FRS. Undergoing modifications, airframe and model changes over the years, the original UH-2D finished up service as a SH-2F, Bureau Number (BuNo) 151312.

Shortly after ending its flying career at HSL-31, BuNo 151312 finds its way into the care and custody of the National Naval Aviation Museum (NNAM) in Pensacola, Florida. It then settles into long-term parking on the ramp adjacent to the NNAM onboard NAS Pensacola, taking its place with dozens of other distinguished aircraft on outdoor display. An earlier time in this aviation story is required to set the stage for the future fate of BuNo 151312. The year is 1945 and a young, innovative engineer named Charlie H. Kaman starts Kaman Aircraft Corporation and sets his sights on a new helicopter design based on his invention of the servo-flap controlled rotor. With ~ $5000 worth of laboratory rigs and a bold idea, Kaman Aircraft Corporation (KAC) is launched in Bloomfield. In 1947, KAC’s first helicopter (the K-125) takes flight; the K-125 is an intermeshed contra-rotating twin rotor helicopter. Other innovations at KAC follow, to include manufacturing the first helicopter in the world (the K-225) to fly powered by a gas turbine engine. This milestone ushers in a transition of helicopter power from

Kaman’s first helicopter: HTK-125

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


reciprocating to gas turbine engines. In 1954, KAC manufactures and flies the world’s first twin-turbine power helicopter, the HTK-1. Design and engineering innovations continue, and in 1959, KAC manufactures the first of more than 240 HU2K helicopters, later designated the UH-2A Seasprite. In 1973, the Seasprite is selected for upgrades and modifications to function as the airborne platform for LAMPS (Light Airborne Multipurpose System) Mk I and enters U.S. Navy service at the height of the Cold War as the

Kaman’s HTK-1

SH-2F. Fast forward to 1996, and that is the year that the NNAM recognizes Charlie Kaman’s design genius and record of rotary-wing innovation and accomplishments with his induction into the Naval Aviation Hall of Honor. He joins 80 other remarkable individuals represent-

FEATURES ing every element of the Naval Aviation family, to include pioneers in flight, space, industry and even the 41st President of the United States. Back to BuNo 151312. In 2015, the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation (NAMF), the charitable and administrative foundation that supports the NNAM, begins discussing how to properly dispose of the growing collection of aging aircraft on outdoor display at the NNAM. Most of the aircraft have been in an unrestored condition and thus experienced extensive environmental damage over the years. BuNo 151312 is no exception, with the Florida sun and salt air taking a toll on its condition the last 20+ years. The decision was made by the NAMF to approach Kaman Corporation (no longer “just” Kaman Aircraft Corporation) to gauge its interest in taking on the restoration and refurbishment of BuNo 151312. Upon learning of the effort to restore BuNo 151312, the Association of Naval Aviation (ANA) joins in and offers their endorsement of having a Seasprite on permanent display at the NNAM. Following discussions in Pensacola and Bloomfield, an agreement is reached in April of 2016 whereby Kaman Aerospace Group (a Division of Kaman Corporation) will restore BuNo 151312 with the understanding that following refurbishment, BuNo 151312 will join the 150+ other beautifully restored aircraft on permanent display inside the NNAM. Part of the discussions between NNAM officials and NAMF Trustees that lead to the commitment of interior display space for BuNo 151312 was the 40+ year legacy of the Seasprite, to include serving as the airborne platform for LAMPS Mk I. The SH-2F not only validated the LAMPS concept, it excelled in its role with surface combatants on 700+ deployments, recording over 1.5M flight hours during the turbulent years of the Cold War. The NNAM is devoted to the history of Naval Aviation – its mission is to select, collect, preserve and display historic artifacts relating to the 100+ year heritage of Naval Aviation. Since it rolled off the assembly line in Bloomfield

in 1959, the Seasprite has more than earned the privilege and prestige of taking its place alongside other remarkable aircraft that represent the rich history of Naval Aviation. So on a January day in 2017, BuNo 151312 was loaded onto a flatbed truck in Pensacola for delivery back to Bloomfield for restoration at the same location where it had been assembled nearly 55 years earlier, aka “the ultimate makeover”. Plans call for a refurbished BuNo 151312 to return home to Pensacola and the NNAM in the March/April 2018 timeframe. The NAMF and NNAM anticipate a ceremony sometime thereafter to recognize the generosity of Kaman Corporation in undertaking the refurbishment and to formally “welcome back” a refurbished BuNo 151312 for permanent display inside of the National Naval Aviation Museum. NHA and Rotor Review will keep all aware on the

status/timeframe of the Pensacola ceremony celebrating BuNo 151312, and the Seasprite’s 40+ year legacy of extraordinary service in the U.S. Navy. An addendum to our aviation story: while no longer in service with the U.S. Navy, upgraded/modified H-2’s are still operated by naval forces in Egypt, Poland, Peru, and New Zealand. Now powered by T-700 engines and equipped with an all-glass cockpit among other mission upgrades, Kaman’s SH-2G Super Seasprite is projected to be operational well into the 2030 timeframe, 85+ years after Charlie Kaman’s invention of the servo-flap controlled rotor.

BuNo 151312 on outdoor display at the NNAM


Remotely Piloted Vehicles (The Pioneer System) Focus: UAVs

Article by CAPT Buzzell,USN (Ret.)


n a Friday morning in April 1986 I received a call from the Executive Assistant to VADM Joe Metcalf, USN, OP03, the head of Surface Warfare in the Navy. I was on his staff in the billet OP-353H, the naval aviator assigned to the Surface Warfare Community in the Pentagon. Op353H was responsible for LAMPS MK 1 and LAMPS MK 3 weapons systems, Penguin Missile Program, all shipboard ASW equipment, NATO HOSTAC and InterAmerican Navies HOSTAC. I was about to take on a far more important assignment. Let me first set the stage. I was in the Pentagon during the final years of the President Reagan build- Crewmen disengage a Pioneer I remotely-piloted vehicle (RPV) from a recovery up of our post-Vietnam military. net erected on the stern of the battleship USS Iowa (BB-61). Goldwater – Nichols legislation U.S. Navy Photograph: PHC Jeff Hilton had just been passed which would transform how the military acquired new weapon systems. In 1986 the Pioneer integration into the USMC was going We had more money than we could spend. We were build- well; not so well with shipboard operations. Secretary Lehing towards a 600 ship Navy. LAMPS MK 1 (SH-2F) was man was not happy about this. So on that Friday morning I phasing out and being rapidly replaced by LAMPS MK 3 was called down to the Secretary’s office where VADM Met(SH-60B’s with the SSQ-89 datalink; revolutionized surface calf greeted me. He had just spent time with the Secretary warfare). John Lehman was Secretary of the Navy. He was where he learned the responsibility for introducing the Piobringing the battleships out of mothballs and modernizing; neer System in the Navy had been transferred from OP-05, USS Iowa (BB-61), USS New Jersey (BB-62, USS Missouri VADM Dunn, USN, head of Naval Aviation to the Surface (BB-63) and USS Wisconsin (BB-64). They were to be the Navy and I was to be the new Program Coordinator for the nucleus of Surface Action Groups (SAG). The problem was program.1 He had just fired the Marine Corps Colonel who how to effectively utilize the awesome fire power potential of was running the program. As it turned out the Colonel had these platforms. Secretary Lehman had a plan…Remotely been “slow rolling” the introduction of Pioneer on the batPiloted Vehicles (RPV’s). tleships at the behest of his superiors in OP-05. The senior In the mid-1980’s, Israel Aircraft Industries partnered leadership of Naval Aviation was concerned that “unmanned” with AAI Corporation, Hunt Valley, MD to develop a fol- aircraft systems would be the end of “man-in-the-cockpit” as low-on, RQ-2 Pioneer RPV System, to the Israeli Tadiran we know it today. Prescient? Mastiff UAV System. Secretary Lehman became aware of I inherited a mess. And the Marine Corps Colonel was this capability and directed the Navy to purchase a number in no mood to cooperate in a turnover as his career had just of these systems with the first units going to the USMC for ended. I was to report to the Secretary monthly on progress ground support operations and subsequent units to the Navy to field the Pioneer system on battleships. My Program Manfor shipboard operations. The Navy’s effort was assigned to ager at NAVAIR was Captain Pete Mulowney, USN, who had VC-6, Norfolk, VA where a detachment was established at also been personally picked by the Secretary to get the Pioneer NAS Patuxent River, OLF Webster Field, MD under the system integrated onto the battleships. We were both highly leadership of a Lieutenant H-46 pilot. His primary respon- motivated! sibility was to integrate RQ-2 Pioneer RPV onto battleships for gunfire support and OTH-T.

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


Focus: UAVs The shipboard Pioneer System consisted of four essential parts: the aircraft, the command & control suite, launch and recovery system and the enlisted operators. All had their unique challenges. We methodically worked through the difficulties and were able to get a system installed on the USS Iowa by the end of 1986. However, in getting to this point in the program we had lost most of the airframes due to accidents in the launch and recovery phase of operations. Secretary Lehman was concerned that maybe this was just too hard given the state of command & control (computer technology) for this new weapon system (remember DASH?). So he asked VADM Metcalf to embark on USS Iowa while she was doing sea trials off Puerto Rico and come back with a recommendation as to the future of the program. I accompanied him to USS Iowa. We flew out to the USS Iowa from NAS Roosevelt Roads to witness the RQ-2 Pioneer providing gunfire spotting for the battleship 16 inch guns on the target range at Vieques Island. VADM Metcalf ’s first tour after graduation from the Naval Academy was on the battleship Iowa. He spent the first couple of hours showing me around the ship. Then it was time for the gun shoot.

We went to the stern of the ship to watch the VC-6 Pioneer detachment launch the air vehicle and to erect the recovery system (a net) as the flight deck had to be clear to recover the H-3 we had flown to the ship earlier. Next, we went to the CIC to observe the Pioneer providing images and coordinates for the “big” guns to target. There is no words to describe a salvo of 16 inch guns! Then to watch “real time” via the images from the Pioneer the devastation on target caused by the impact of the enormous shells.2 Now it was time to recover the aircraft, so we proceeded to the stern of the ship to observe. This did not go well. The aircraft missed the net on the first approach and on the second attempt crashed into the number #3 16 inch gun turret. The vehicle was a total loss, but barely scratched the side of the turret. VADM Metcalf said “Let’s all gather in the Captain’s cabin. I want to hear everyone’s opinions on what do we tell the Secretary of the Navy. We are now down to 3 aircraft in the inventory.”3 After a long discussion it was agreed that the Pioneer System had provided a significant increase in capability to the battleship especially in utilization of its 16 inch guns. A capability that was fraught with consequences when using manned helicopters in support of the battleships primary missions; gunfire support and over the horizon missile shoots (Tomahawks and Harpoons).4 VADM Metcalf recommended to Secretary Lehman to continue the program. Additional funding was quickly provided to purchase more airframes and component’s to install the Pioneer System on battleship’s Missouri and Wisconsin. I turned the Pioneer Program over in April 1988 to my relief Cdr Bill Fetzer, USN who had just finished his command tour at HSL-37. The helicopter community made the early attempts at integration of “unmanned air vehicles” into shipboard operations successful. It will continue that tradition as we move forward today with MQ-8B Fire Scout and the larger MQ-8C.5

VADM Metcalf and CAPT Buzzell on the deck of USS Iowa 1. The term Program Coordinator was in use during Secretary Lehman’s' time at the Pentagon. Today the term is Requirement’s Officer/Resource Sponsor. Because Goldwater-Nichols had not been fully implemented the Warfare Community Tsars’ (OP-03, OP05, & OP-07) controlled the acquisition process. Today, the System Commands make those decisions. 2. Everyone remembers during the first Gulf War (1991) the images of the Iraqi soldiers on Failka Island surrendering to the USS Wisconsin’s RQ-2 Pioneer. They knew what was coming next. 3. Present at this meeting was the CO of USS Iowa, XO, Weapons Officer, VC-6 Det OINC, VADM Metcalf and myself. 4. The SH-2F and SH-60B had secondary missions of gunfire support. In fact, on my last cruise UNITAS 23 my detachment was cross-decked off USS Connolly (DD-979) in port Rio de Janeiro to go join USS Briscoe (DD-977) for gunfire spotting, supporting the invasion of Grenada. 5. In 1988 we were already writing requirement documents and budgeting to integrate command & control of UAV’s into the LAMPS MK 3 and follow-on airframes (Romeo/Sierras). 37

Trailblazing is Tough Article by LT Brian Larson, USN


SC-23 recently completed our community’s first rotational deployment onboard USS Coronado (LCS 4). The maiden deployment of an Independence-class LCS, this cruise was full of “firsts”, as you would expect on a new class of ship. Our detachment was a new concept as well. Outfitted with one MH-60S and two MQ-8B Fire Scouts, we were exploring the capabilities and opportunities afforded us with manned and unmanned aircraft working together. We were still working on the issues when we received word that our next exercise, Pacific Griffin, would be contingent on our MQ-8B being in an up status. The exercise centered around an over-the-horizon, ship launched, live Harpoon missile engagement. We were tasked to provide the over-the-horizon targeting for Coronado’s missile utilizing the Fire Scout and its ZPY-4 radar. The coordinators of this event deemed integration of the Fire Scout so important that they made the missile shoot contingent upon us getting an air vehicle into the sky. Being trailblazers in anything is challenging. Our squadron had participated in other major milestones for the MQ-8B, designating targets for laser-guided weapons, and executing a long-range transit and control station hand-off. But those events and others like them had taken a great deal of work, as we discovered unexpected challenges that are inherent to any new technology, particularly one that is as great a leap forward as MQ-8B. Needless to say, we were excited for the opportunity, but we knew there would be challenges. We knew that once we got the Fire Scout flying, it was an enormous asset and we were finally getting the opportunity to showcase the role it could play in the realm of distributed lethality. This would be the first time the MQ-8B provided information for this kind of operation. Still, the upcoming HARPOON shoot was another “first,” and we were starting basically from scratch. There are no cheat sheets, no examples, and not much to go off of. The only metrics we could use to compare were standoff ranges for manned helicopters. The ship needed to make adjustments as well. Only having procedures for an autonomous Harpoon engagement, it took time, effort and practice to integrate the Fire Scout team into the busy scripts and checklists the combat watch team was familiar with. However, with weeks of preparation and collaboration, we finally came together with a plan and a script to execute. The day of the missile shoot finally came and there was a sense of cautious optimism around the ship. The Harpoon watch team was called away over the 1MC, the AV was on the spot, the crew was briefed, and everything was in place. We were ready. “Buckshot 10 requesting amber deck for engine start and rotor engagement, spot 3.” The AV came to life as the rotors started spinning up. As rotor speed increased, so did our excitement. Shortly after engine start, the blades started winding

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18

Following a four-day underway in the South China Sea, littoral combat ship USS Coronado (LCS 4) pulled into Sembawang Wharves in Singapore for a scheduled maintenance period starting Feb. 3. 2018. U.S. Navy photograph: PO2 Class Amy Ressler

down. The ground maintenance vehicle operator (GMVO) called over the radio and declared a failed start— electrical gremlins were rearing their ugly heads. Tensions rose as our maintenance personnel were sent out to investigate the problem. We felt the weight of the entire operation on our shoulders. After some troubleshooting by our expert ATs and AEs, we tried another start. This time, it worked. We moved expeditiously through all of our systems checks and were ready for takeoff. The AV departed the ship and headed to accomplish its first mission—find the target. Dodging rain clouds and scanning with our radar, we were filled with pride and purpose. Despite the small hiccup on deck, we were doing something important. All of our indications were green and our systems were working as advertised. As we closed on the target’s location, our video stream started to cut out and our primary data link (PDL) began to lose signal. We immediately sent out one of the technical representatives to assess the status of the ship’s Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL) antenna, which had caused us headaches in the past. “The forward TCDL antenna is down and won’t reset,” he said. Immediately, we began flying back into the region of aft antenna coverage. As we tried to regain the link, changing altitudes and dodging rain clouds while closing the distance to the ship, the harpoon watch team kept charging forward with the checklist. “Steps 4 and 5 complete AVO, waiting on your Lat/Long,” the ASTAC called. Trying not to let it rush us, we continued trying to find a sweet spot where we could get our radar picture back.


Focus: UAVs Eventually our EO/IR and radar pictures sprang back to life—we were in business. We immediately turned the AV back toward the target to get a fix to pass to the bridge. As soon as we completed the turn, the link dropped again. Frustrated, we continued back toward the ship with the full weight of impending mission failure falling on our shoulders. “AVO, ASTAC. Do you have that Lat/Long yet?” We maneuvered again to reestablish the link. And then it happened. The connection bars turned green again and we were going to do everything in our power to keep them green. We turned ever-so-slightly to direct our radar in the direction of the target. The link held. We studied the picture, deciphering rain clouds from surface tracks. The link held. We found the target and immediately passed the position to the bridge. The link held. The ASTAC confirmed the position and informed us that they were 2 minutes away from firing. Shortly thereafter we heard the ASTAC state, “Missile away, estimated time 4+35” as we heard the roar of the missile departing the ship. Mission Accomplished.

Another task we were to have completed was BHA. Unfortunately, the unstable link prevented any good imagery of the target vessel. After the Fire Scout RTB’d, the MH-60S, Bullet 45, went outbound to get eyes on the target—or what may be left of it. After shutting down our Fire Scout and our control station, we rushed up to the bridge to wait for the call. Standing over the ASTAC like a nervous father in the maternity ward, we finally heard back from Bullet 45. The missile hit the target. A hole perfectly in the center of the radar-reflective sheet. The MQ-8B is an asset unlike any other. An eye in the sky with a far reaching radar, augmented with infrared and electro-optical video capability, it can extend the ship’s detection range significantly. Being unmanned, it eliminates the risk of losing lives in the air, and expands the envelope of distributed lethality. This, first ever, over-the-horizon targeting mission proved to be a qualified success. HSC-23 will continue to experiment, discover new obstacles and overcome them, and exercise the capabilities of the MQ-8B. Despite the challenges, Wildcards Never Fold.


DASH: UAV 55 Years Ago Article by LCDR Tom Phillips, USN (Ret.)


s the 1960s decade approached, the Navy was facing a frightening nuclear-armed Communist Soviet Union boasting about burying us. Rather than try to build a surface navy to challenge the US Navy, they went for submarines, in todays babble, they went asymmetric. Speaking of babble, because Russian names were hard to pronounce and even harder to spell, NATO assigned each of the proliferating Soviet submarine classes a letter designation. We had gone through the entire alphabet by the early seventies, and all the letters were still in use. And they didn’t just have a lot of classes, they had a LOT of submarines. While about 260 diesel torpedo boats, still on the books, were reserve or old, 93 were modern F and T classes, plus 70 SSN torpedo boats. There were 16 J class long range cruise missile diesel boats, and 57 long range cruise missile nuclear powered boats, adding up to 236 SS, SSG, SSN, and SSGNs, which were, inter alia, anti-carrier platforms. A huge problem for an aging US Navy. Strategically, there were also 24 Golf class ballistic missile diesel boats and 79 nuclear powered ballistic missile boats. But they were the concern of the SOSUS community, the VP community, and our submarines, not us embarked air ASW warriors. Antisubmarine warfare was the number one priority mission, and worry, of the US Navy, and we assigned tremendous effort to it. We had SOSUS listening across virtually (in the old fashioned definition of the word) the entire North Atlantic and North Pacific. We had 24 active duty VP squadrons and 12 reserve VP squadrons and they spent almost all their time doing ASW, unapologetically prioritized against those ballistic missile boats on patrol off our coasts with their nuclear tipped missiles. Our submarines played thrilling and sophisticated games of blind man’s bluff with Soviet submarines but were outnumbered four to one. To protect our strike aircraft carriers - about 16 attack carriers of Essex, Midway, Forrestal, Kitty Hawk classes, plus the unique nuclear-powered Enterprise, and another conventional one-off: John F. Kennedy - both the Atlantic Fleet and the Pacific fleet each had at least four Essex Class carriers dedicated to ASW, taking up the task of the World War II escort carriers so effective in our success against the U-boats. Those CVS’s had a 16-plane helicopter squadron, 24 VS, a division of A-4s, and a four-plane squadron of Willy Fudds (the Stoof With a Roof ), And to protect our aircraft carriers of all flavors, we had a lot of destroyers which were vintage World War II, the product of our colossal building programs as that war unfolded and we built the Fleet That Came To Stay. We had 200 of them still in the inventory of some 333 built during the war, and modernized 146 of them with new sonars, which had greater range than the ship over-the-side torpedoes, so we added rocket-thrown torpedoes (ASROC), but there was still a gap between theoretical range of the new sonar and ASROC, so we developed DASH, the Drone Antisubmarine Helicopter, QH-50. LAMPS did not exist back then and none of the Rotor Review #140 Spring '18

DASH on Deck

ships we are talking about could land a full-sized helicopter anyway. There’s plenty about the specs of the QH-50 on line, so we’ll skip that but suffice to say, the production DASH was a jet turbine engine, counter-rotating two-blade rotor system, two skids, and could carry two MK-44 aerial torpedoes. Believe it or not, DASH was initially planned to carry a B-57 nuclear depth charge (up to 10 kT, but dial-a-yield with 2Kt and 0.4 kT options), and to be expendable since it probably could not escape the base surge of an underwater nuclear blast. Rushed into production, much of it was off-the shelf, with no complaints since it was expendable. But saner heads prevailed when they sobered up and imagined a few unwanted complications if a remotely controlled radio-flyer drone got loose out there with a nuclear bomb slung under the turbine engine. Between 1961 and 1969, the fleet accepted delivery of 750 of them, but losing THREE HUNDRED SIXTY THREE. Each ship had two and received new ones when they lost one. Mean time between loss of the QH-50C was about 60 hours, and MTBL of the 50D was about 106 hours. These were considered ACCEPTABLE losses. The program was terminated in 1969 and gave way to LAMPS. All in all, it may be thought the DASH was ahead of its time in concept but the technology was not there yet. One great serendipitous benefit to the Navy of DASH was all those tin cans with JP-5 fuel bunkers remaining. That allowed the imaginative development of HIFR by Commander Don Hayes, skipper of HS-2 (now HSC-12), which allowed Navy SH-3A helicopters and later HH-3A helicopters to be forward deployed near the coast of North Vietnam in good position to make rapid and daring combat rescues before new destroyers and DLGs came into the fleet with decks big enough, barely, to land manned helicopters. DASH can be said to have been ahead of its time, but it wasn't. It was off-the shelf technology cobbled together quickly to meet a rapidly emerging need, back in the days when such a thing was possible.  Had it had some new technology, especially reliable control systems, it might have changed history.  It was rushed into the fleet ahead of itself, and one legacy of it was tougher rules for the acquisition process, which slowed innovation WAY DOWN as we can see around us.  Perhaps its lasting legacy is that it was a shot in the arm of the concept of LAMPS; which some called the manned DASH early on. 40

Focus: UAVs


Helo History:75 Years of Naval Rotary Wing Aviaion

MacDee & Swede

Article by LCDR Barett "Tom" Beard, USCG (Ret.) Published originally in The Coast Guard © 2004/2010/2016, Foundation for Coast Guard History and by Universe Publishing. Edited for Rotor Review by the author.


he Coast Guard had two dreamers emerge from World War II. Each bore a vision for Coast Guard aviation. Both joined the Navy and served as seamen aboard battleships in the 1920s. They graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in the early 1930s and later attended Navy flight training, but each led Coast Guard aviation in a different direction at the end of World War II. One had an immediate solution; the other believed in a little machine that one day would do the job. The Coast Guard aviation officer corps divided as the aviation proMartin P5M-1G/2G “ Marlin” c.1954. Image: USCG Aviation History gram itself moved into uncertainty following World War II. Intense ( differences ensued between the two groups, at times with bitter acrimony. Most officers, following service tradition, accepted the seaplane with its inherent problems as the future of Coast Guard aviation. Commander Frank A. Erickson’s helicopter school began with a small cadre learning to fly this newfangled contraption. Also in that month, July 1944, the Coast Guard’s use of seaplanes started its termination, although no one was yet aware. The Chief of Naval Operations, about the same time, assigned the Coast Guard a task of conducting off-shore landing tests for seaplanes with Captain Donald Bartram MacDiarmid, USCG, in charge. At sea, winds drive a wave system before it, making typical landings into the wind like crashing into a series of onrushing walls. Early seaplanes’ speeds were slow enough that these small, lightweight aircraft, operated by the Coast Guard up to WW II, could land and take off between the waves’ crests. The navy’s larger, wartime seaplanes could not land in open seas. To open this capability for their use by the Coast Guard, MacDiarmid developed procedures based on an earlier technique Pan Am Clipper pilots utilized, by landing in the troughs parallel with the major swell system. This tactic overcame the dangers of crashing into the face of onrushing waves but had hazards from landing crosswind, at higher touch-down speeds, and on an un-level surface. MacDiarmid believed the PBM Mariner, and later P5M Marlin, offered far better service for Coast Guard rescue missions if, using its long-range ability, the seaplane could land anywhere at sea to retrieve downed flyers and shipping-disaster victims. He intended to prove this. The consensus among Coast Guard aviators then was that the future of Coast Guard aviation continued to require the operation of seaplanes anywhere—on any waters or open oceans. MacDiarmid's experiments encouraged this supposition. Even his crashing a PBM in tests did not distract supporters. An alarming belief by MacDiarmid drove his unwavering pursuit toward maintaining the past glories of the “flying lifeboat.” He expressed in his papers, based only on suspicions, the Navy would assume the Coast Guard’s aviation search and rescue responsibilities at war’s termination. MacDiarmid’s fears saw the end of three decades of a rag-tag Coast Guard aviation attempt at maintaining a viable air force principally supplied with cast-off airplanes. Meanwhile, Erickson, with equal, unremitting arrogance and single-mindedness, believed some officers—with a definite nod toward MacDiarmid—distracted the Coast Guard from dedicating attention to developing the helicopter, which he deemed was rightly the aircraft of the future for Coast Guard aviation.

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


Upcoming Rotary Wing Squadron Command Anniversaries and Reunions in 2018 HSL-46/HSM-46 30th Reunion Celebration, April 5, 2018, Jacksonville POC: LCDR Timothy J Grant, USN HSM-46, 31 COMHSMWINGPAC 25 Years-1993-May 11, 2018 A Wing Wide Picnic with the Chief's Mess making food as a fundraiser at Heritage Park along with Golf at Sea and Air NAS North Island, POC: LT Tracy Fridye, USN CHSMWP Readiness Officer cell: 281-974-6080 work: 619-545-4883 2018 NHA Symposium Squadron Reunions Norfolk 14-18 May 2018 72nd Anniversary HU-2/HC-2/HSC-2 OPEN HOUSE 1400, HSC-2 SPACES, NAS NORFOLK, MAY 14, 2018 POC: LT Baileigh E. Kimball, USN, HSC-2, Operations HC-6 Chargers/HC-8 Dragon Whales In work-POC: eff Berger HM-18 Norsemen In work-POC: Walter Steiner HS-4 Black Knights 88-91 POCs Bob Lineberry and Carl Robertson HS-12 Wyverns In work-POC: Hartmann “Hardy” Kircher HSL-46/HSM-46 Grandmasters 30th Reunion POC: LCDR Timothy J Grant, HSM-46, HC-7 Sea Devils May 17-19, 2018 San Antonio, TX POC: Charlie Akins HS-85 August, 2018 Alameda, Ca HAL-3 50th Anniversary of formal establishment, September 2-7, 2018 at the San Diego Wyndam Hotel San Diego POC: Gary Ely, Treasurer, Seawolf Association HS-15/HSC-15 Red Lions America Vets Reunion September 2018 Mobile, Alabama. For more information check the HS-15/HSC-15 Facebook Group Seasprite Reunion October 25-27, 2018 Will be held during the NHA Gulf Coast Fly-In, National Naval Aviation Museum at NAS Pensacola, Florida. POC; CAPT Ernie Rogers USN (Ret) 434 841-6067 Check the NHA website for the most current information on anniversaries and reunions or contact If you need more information or are interested in helping organize an event, contact the listed POCs.


Rotor Review #140 Spring '18



Born Free (or The Great Chicken Chase!)

Article by CAPT Marty Twite, USN (Ret.) CO 4/70-4/71 and submitted by LCDR Tom Phillips, USN (Ret.)


peration "Born Free" started out with a bang, but ended in a whimper. Not everything worked successfully in Vietnam. The fiasco eventually became known as The Great Chicken Chase. The Binh Thuy Wolves must have thought the skipper has visited Ben Xe Moi once too often when he directed the Dets to practice chasing birds. That's right, he directed that our guys practice chasing birds! Any birds! Anytime! Just get used to it. Why? No reason given at that time. Meanwhile, there was a pigeon living the good life on the roof of the COMNAVFORV Headquarters in Saigon. A sailor with pigeon care experience had been ordered in for that purpose. A veterinarian was employed. The food was great! All in all, the pigeon must have thought it had died and woke up in pigeon heaven! By now you're wondering what this is all about. So read on. It turns out that the North Vietnamese sea supply system supporting the Viet Cong used homing pigeons for communications. A ship off the coast with supplies would release the pigeon thereby alerting the VC ashore that they were ready to rendezvous. Our

Market Time forces intercepted and sank one of these small ships in shallow water roughly off the mouth of the Mekong. Subsequent capture of survivors revealed the presence of a homing pigeon. Somebody decided it would be great if we could release the bird, follow it, and make a SEAL insert on the VC position. The bird was somewhat the worse for it's recent experience. In addition, other preparations had to be made. This would take time. Thus it was that the pigeon got VIP treatment in Saigon while the Seawolves were terrorizing all the other birds in the Delta. The plan was to return the bird to the place where it was captured off the coast and release it. A double gunship fire team, two Sealords with SEALs aboard, and a Black Pony flight all under the command/control of an Air Force C-121 Constellation "Spy in the Sky", would then follow the pigeon to it's destination. We learned that visually following a bird was somewhat chancy so the NARDUV command (super technical people) designed a tiny radio transmitter to be strapped to the bird with the anten-

na affixed to it's posterior (details unknown). The gunships had a rudimentary tracking capability using the ILS needle and would at least know when the transmitter was directly ahead. The great day came and the forces assembled. The pigeon was taken to the half exposed sunken ship where it was originally captured. The Seawolf gunships, Sealords with SEALs, Black Ponies, and C-121 were in a holding pattern to seaward waiting for a signal. The agreed upon signal for start was the term "Born Free." The pigeon was released and the show was on. The pigeon apparently took one look at the flock of iron birds heading his way and decided to abort the whole thing. It dropped the antenna and didi mau'ed out of there. As a result, the gunships lost both visual and radio contact with the bird leaving all concerned unemployed, and very frustrated. There was nothing left to do but to return to base. That's the end of the story. A long shot that didn't pay off. P.S. The pigeon showed up back at the COMNAVFORV HQ demanding chow!

First Liar Doesn't Have a Chance" Hey, wait a minute! That's a TRUE Sea Story! Article by LCDR Tom Phillips, USN (Ret.) ave you ever been eavesdropping at the bar (in the soda shop) while a Truthteller of Unquestionable Repute weaves his word tapestry in a manner which should be spellbinding the audience? But there is a glimmer of skepticism from at least one of the listeners. He(she) has heard enough sea stories (lines) in his(her) time to KNOW that there may be some damage being done to the strictest definition of TRUTH as the story unfolds. The skeptic does not yet have enough sea time to have learned that there is usually a little truth in each of them (the sea stories, that is, there is no truth in the standard line). You can't believe the skepticism! After all, you are fascinated because you know this story to be The Truth; you were there! Imagine my surprise when I was allowed to read an advance copy of the "Great Chicken Chase" (See preceding article by Captain Marty Twite, CO of HA(L)-3). There was an ongoing veracity check as one reader pantomimed rolling up his trouser legs. But it is a true story! I was there! I flew that mission! There I was...... While the pigeon was getting the VIP treatment in Saigon,


Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


Landing on a Small Deck

HISTORY we Seawolves actually did spend some time trying to stalk some of the local flying fowl. You take your entertainment where you can find it when in a combat zone. The birds were not amused. They resorted to time honored evasive maneuvers known to all types of birds, proven techniques known among them as the Wright Split. This maneuver was developed by the sea gulls, who were residents at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903, after their raucous laughter at Wilbur's first solo subsided. It has been passed down to other avian species as a public service when it became apparent that the Wright Brothers would not be denied. Although called the Wright Split, the maneuver, as most aviators will attest, is a left break, folding-wing autorotation, accompanied with a burst of "chaff", evidence of which can be We rapidly tired of being reminded by the birds of exactly how limited we humans were in the realm of flight, and went back to harassing water buffalo, a species to which we were clearly superior when it came to powered flight sometimes found on the windscreen. We rapidly tired of being reminded by the birds of exactly how limited we humans were in the realm of flight, and went back to harassing water buffalo, a species to which we were clearly superior when it came to powered flight. We solemnly referred to the Skipper's order with the time-honored signal to start number one applied to the side of the head muttering the phrase "dinky dao.� (VN for crazy) Imagine our surprise when our det was pulled in to the home base at Binh Thuy to begin practice with homing on the FM signal which would be attached to the Chieu Hoi (turncoat) Pigeon. We worked on tracking riverine force patrol boats dashing up and down the river with the homer onboard. It was like flying a very squirrely UHF-DF. Nobody had much confidence in our ability to track for long, and we were really skeptical about being able to track the pigeon to touchdown with enough accuracy and speed for a successful surprise SEAL insert. The SEALS were the

most skeptical of all. They were victims of their own reputation as "P Hour" approached. The popular picture at the time of them dropping in, guns blazing, among the chosen victims, was far from the preferred method of operational employment, had anyone from the Saigon headquarters consulted the SEALS themselves. They would rather slip in completely covert, do their thing, and be quickly extracted. Failing that, they wanted to hit a known target in a carefully planned insert. By this time in the war, intelligence in the Delta, where we operated, was sufficiently developed that we were conducting numerous helicopter inserts of SEAL teams into occupied LZ's, looking for POW compounds, VC hospitals, VCI (VC Infrastructure, i.e. headquarters containing their intelligence people and political officers), and VC weddings. (Yes we actually inserted SEALS to crash a wedding for some local VC. Good party and reception, bad pooh-poohs, no honeymoon. According to the hosts, the SEALS were obnoxious, rowdy, and showed no respect for the traditions and customs of the locals at the solemn occasion. But that's another sea story.) These inserts were organized; with good charts and photos, planned helicopter approaches to minimize early detection and provide best cover, and landing zones located to control the area without SEALs getting in each others line of fire, or the line of fire for the supporting helicopters. This plan had none of these. Nobody knew where the LZ would be, or what the enemy strength was. We didn't even know if there would BE an LZ. The Saigon Commandos were not exactly working overtime thinking this one through. Came the day and it went as the Skipper related. The radio transmitter may have naturally failed, after all, we were dealing with the state of the art in technology, (if not intelligence) weren't we? Weren't we? There is also the possibility that party or parties unknown may have caused the transmitter, or transmitter-pigeon interface unit, to malfunction at a critical time‌. the SEALS really didn't like this operation. The "Chieu Hoi"


Pigeon may have merely turned chicken. Whatever the truth, once airborne the transmitter went off the air and the pigeon apparently executed a smart Wright Break. (use of "chaff" during the evasion is problematical, unsupported by any visible evidence or excrescence.) We returned to base and proceeded to join up with the SEALs and search for a wedding to crash. We found no wedding as I recall, but that did not prevent a combined SEALs-Seawolves insert into the Army Engineer Officers Club adjacent to the squadron base at Binh Thuy, and adjacent to the Third Surgical Hospital, which explains the popularity of the club. It had female nurses in regular attendance, the good news. It also had lots of rear echelon Army officers trying to monopolize the only women in sight, the bad news. They had to be shown the folly of their ways, and the nurses had to be shown the TRUE WAY. No contest. The SEALs were obnoxious, rowdy, and showed no respect for the traditions and customs of the local Army officers. We, on the other hand, being Naval Aviators, were perfect gentlemen. But that's another sea story too. The Indestructable Monster! (The Other Sea Story) Have you ever been sitting at the bar (the sushi bar) eavesdropping on the SEA STORY being spun near you in a separate private conversation which has gone semi-public as the teller captivates (or corners) his audience? And you realize that you have a similar story, one that goes hand-in-hand with the established theme for the Sea Story Session in progress. You can't wait to find a way to join in..... Now that you have heard about the Great Chicken Chase, let me tell you a second-hand sea story related to it. Our heroes, the Saigon Commandos, returned dejectedly to the drawing board after the defection of the pigeon and the failure of the plan to Successfully Terminate The War On Terms Acceptable To The Allies. But not for long. They were needed. It seems there was a problem with pilfering of office equipment from the vast complex of administrative supply warehouses, which was threatening

to cause the Termination Of The War On Terms Acceptable To The Enemy. If this critical leakage of war support equipment was not curbed soon, the entire administrative apparatus of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, the complex system of administration, which drove every operational decision, controlling every aspect of the war, might grind to a halt. This, of course, would set up conditions which could lead to one of two results; failure of the war effort and defeat for allied forces, or a renewed surge of initiative and combat effectiveness resulting in swift tactical victories and capitulation of the North. To catch the thieves, a typewriter was bugged with the same type radio transmitter used for Operation Born Free. The plan was to track the typewriter to the location of the thief, apprehend the monster, and conduct swift and merciless NJP. The typewriter vanished in accordance with the plan. Search aircraft were launched to localize the emitter, and the MP's were alerted. After a few days, the aircraft were able to successfully localize the emitter as planned. Unfortunately for the MP's, they were not able to make the arrest. The location was deep in the U Minh Forest, a triple canopy swamp in the Delta, which was, and had been, a haven for the VC since the beginning of the insurrection. It was impassable by any ground vehicle, which meant that the MP's, brave as they were, could not go, they being virtually helpless without their jeeps (the targets of numerous Seawolf search and snatch missions throughout the HA(L)-3 operational and liberty area. But that's another sea story). Surmising, perhaps correctly, that the typewriter was probably located in a headquarters area (it takes one to know one), the staff decided to attack, rather than make it easier for the VC to steal more typewriters, Xerox machines, file cabinets, safes, and desks with comfortable chairs. Any officer with operational experience, who is also a student of history, cannot help but be irresistibly drawn to what I firmly believe to have been a critical turning point in the history of the war. Had cooler heads prevailed, the VC stooges and their Communist

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18

Masters From The North could have been drawn into a war which they had neither the manpower nor the administrative experience to win. More and more administrative equipment might have been funneled to the Navy intelligence photo suspected to be Viet Cong administrative personnel moving the precious typeVC, clogging up writer to a different location after B-52 bombing. their chain of command, creating imstrike was organized and flown against mense demands on their limited combat the coordinates of the typewriter. An manpower, forcing them to resort to air ARCLIGHT strike, if ever seen, is conditioning, and tying them down to never to be forgotten. A formation of the complex supply system necessary "BUFFs" flying so high that they cannot to provide vital Xerox fluid, white-out, be seen by the other units in country, bonded paper in multi colors, etc. etc. drops a concentrated load of high explo(Remember children, this was before sives, scientifically weaponeered by the the advent of desk-top computers imwarriors back in Guam, to be the most plemented to reduce the administrative destructive for the existing conditions. burden we labor under. You HAVE Having been within a mile of this phenoticed that the reduced administrative nomena one day, at an altitude of 1000 burden since the introduction of the feet, I will never forget it. The world desk-top computer in large numbers, blew up. A concentrated area simply haven't you?) disappeared in a hurricane of smoke Had we succeeded in forcing the enand dirt, and tree parts, rising almost to emy to play OUR game instead of us our altitude (including the tree parts). playing theirs, we might have reduced It seems to happen in slow motion, the number of combat soldiers arrayed just like the movies. We could see the against us to the same percentage of shock waves racing across the tree tops military manpower that we employ ourtowards us from a mile away, and feel selves, cutting their combat forces to them buffet us as they passed. It defies a mere tenth of their former strength. the imagination how anything could And the remaining warriors would have have survived that attack, since the altibeen reduced to having available only tude of the BUFFs was so high that no the same amount of non-administrative warning could have been received until time as we have. This would have conthe bombs started going off. stituted a tremendous victory, changing But survive they did, at least the typethe balance of combat effectiveness irwriter did. Flying in after the strike, the revocably in our favor. This alternative homing aircraft discovered that the typeplan is still believed by most Vietnam writer was still emitting and had moved combat veterans to have been a bloodto another area of the forest. A Second less method to have Successfully TermiARCLIGHT strike was launched. The nating The War On Terms Favorable To typewriter survived again, an indestrucThe Allies. table monster. In a frenzy of initiative But, alas, it was not to be. No combat and perserverence, matched only by a man was consulted. The clear and presdispersing clerk disapproving a travel ent danger was there. The rear echelon claim, for a third time, the Buffs rained acted with uncharacteristic speed. In an destruction on the U Minh Forest. No incredibly short time, a record for this further signal was received from the phase of the war, a B-52 "ARCLIGHT"


typewriter. Did they get it? The evidence is clear. The fledgling monster was dead. There was no development by the VC or the North Vietnamese of the huge administrative apparatus deemed vital by our Defense Department to the prosecution of a modern war against a sophisticated enemy. The rest, as they say, is history. We lost. For a brief shining moment in time, however, the opportunity to win the war was at hand. But the brilliant mind

required to see the opportunity, seize the moment, and make history, was not there. On the other hand, maybe he was, he just couldn't get his request approved through the chop chain before it was too late. Or maybe he had tried to fight the monster before, on less important matters without success, until he became dulled by it all, was molded in the image of the monster itself, and quit trying. One final lesson should be taken from this true story. It took three concentrat-


ed strikes to exterminate even this tiny flicker of an administrative bureaucracy. Combat forces in the area would have been obliterated with the first mission. Anyone who has ever tried to reduce the size of the administrative chain of command, or even reduce the amount of required paper work demanded by this network, can attest to the truth of the invulnerability of the monstrous system. Those who have tried have been run over by it with nary a noticeable bump. Worse, they are consumed by it, and end up feeding it. No amount of ordnance, short of Nuclear holocaust itself can destroy it. It feeds on peace, but war only serves to temporarily curb it. You are warned.

Med Cruising, 70’s Style (Part 2)

Article by CDR John Ball, USN (Ret.) All photos by the author. Part 1, in the Winter issue, described the author’s arrival at his first squadron, HC-6 at NAS Norfolk, and his first deployment to the Mediterranean aboard USS Mount Baker (AE-34) in late 1973.


t was early 1974 and I had just returned from my first deployment on which I flew a grand total of 99 hours. Back at my squadron, HC-6 at NAS Norfolk, I wanted to qualify as a Helicopter Aircraft Commander (HAC) and even more I wanted a more satisfying second deployment. Since my primary task was to qualify as a HAC, I went through a training regimen, learning to fly the H-46 to its limits and practicing emergencies - all to prepare me for my oral HAC Board and the actual check flight. Within six weeks I was ready for my HAC Board. The squadron brain trust grilled me with NATOPS questions and “what-if ” scenarios to see if I had the knowledge and judgment needed to be a HAC. Would they trust an aircraft and crew to me? Being as prepared as I was, the board went well, and I was scheduled for my HAC check flight. As often happens the HAC check was straightforward, with the anticipation being a lot worse than the actual flight. I flew with a veteran pilot and after demonstrating my competency, we concluded with a handshake and congratulations. My wife and I celebrated that evening - after all, she had quizzed me too, and knew those emergency procedures nearly as well as I did. Things just got better. Going to Sea With my HAC qual in hand, I was thrilled to be assigned to HC-6 Detachment 2 to deploy aboard USS San Diego (AFS 6), a combat stores ship scheduled for a Mediterranean deployment over the summer of 1975. Now I’d be a HAC on an AFS, a ship that carried food and supplies to ships of the Sixth Fleet. Lots of flying in the Med in the summertime. And the AFSs were known for having good chow!

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18

Our det would have two CH-46D helicopters, six pilots and 15 enlisted men. Since I was learning to be a Functional Check Pilot, I was designated the maintenance officer. This was in the times before that role was filled by a salty chief or warrant officer. In fact, our senior enlisted man was a first class petty officer, so a lot of responsibility fell on his shoulders… and mine to ensure our helicopters were ready to fly when needed. GITMO It was fortuitous that our ship was working up to deployment with a trip to Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for its Refresher Training (REFTRA). The squadron arranged to send a small det along for training and to support the ship. There would be one helicopter and four pilots, with plenty of flying opportunities. This det was to last nearly a month in late 1974. The det certainly had its rewards though, with tropical weather and plenty of flying, albeit mostly training. The ship was a pleasure to work with. Instead of carrying ammunition, the San Diego was akin to a seagoing general store, with plenty of food and stores such as lobster, steaks, ice cream, Cokes, paint, eggs, and even fresh vegetables at times. In fact, there were five supply officers assigned, the senior one a commander who actually outranked the executive officer. The commanding officer was Captain John Burns, a naval flight officer whose claim to fame was that he and his F-4 pilot were rescued from North Vietnam in a daring night helicopter rescue by LTJG Clyde Lassen, whose exploits that night in 1968 earned him the Medal of Honor. Captain Burns was a good CO who understood aviation, making it a pleasure to serve on his ship. Steaming independently, the ship was able to provide plenty of deck time while transiting to and from Guantana50

The author aboard USS San Diego (AFS 6) in 1975.

mo Bay, known as GITMO. We left cold Norfolk and arrived nearly a week later at the tropical base, the lone American outpost on the Marxist-Leninist socialist Castro-led island. Isolated as it was, and still is, GITMO was a unique base surrounding a large natural harbor, with one side being the naval station and the other side the airfield. On the other side of the base fence was the Republic of Cuba. The Navy ran a shuttle - grey landing craft - between the two sides. We flew off the ship and based at the airfield, happy to be ashore and on our own, except when we were needed to support the ship’s training there. There were a few station aircraft there, and I even flew two hours in one of the station HH-1K Hueys. The airfield’s BOQ was quiet and nearly deserted and we were a little surprised to find that it included an honor bar, at which you just left some money and helped yourself to drinks and beer. Vertigo During the ship’s transit to and from GITMO we four pilots flew many day and night landings, getting us all current, especially the junior pilots who were flying on their first ship. One flight stands out in my memory. We were on our way south and decided to fly night touch and goes. These were the days before night vision goggles so we only had our eyeballs available at night around the ship. Single ship operations can be

HISTORY more difficult with no referArriving at the Naval Staences for a horizon except from tion Rota, Spain, we met the the moon and stars. This was a AFS we were relieving, and clear moonless night, with litexchanged supplies and tips tle to no horizon. It would be and gossip with our seasoned all instruments from just after squadron mates. All smiles, takeoff and around the pattern their detachment was headuntil turning final. The pilot ing home. Yet our introducnot flying would monitor intion to the Med was not yet struments, keep an eye on the complete. With our two heship, and call the turns around licopters safely parked at the the pattern, which all dependair station, we headed to the ed on the ship’s speed and true BOQ and the O’Club. The winds. A new copilot and I next morning we arrived to A CH-46 of HC-6 Det 2 hovers above USS San Diego (AFS 6) launched off into the black fly, only to discover that we in 1975 off the coast of Sicily. The hookup man is night, with only a few stars vishad a dead battery. Not only about to place the pendant onto the hook, assisted ible. Now that’s the meaning was it dead, it was not ours. by a crewman in the helicopter who is laying on of DARK. I flew the first few It became obvious that somehis belly and will reach down and ensure a smooth patterns and approaches, and one had removed our good hookup. we became accustomed to the battery and replaced it with a view of the flight deck on fidead one. We soon surmised who had nal approach as we slowed our relative We arrived home a week before done it - someone from the squadron motion while maintaining a glide slope, Christmas. It had been an interesting of Marine H-46s that had been parked all with a rolling deck. It all required short det with good flying nearly ev- nearby. Well now the Marine birds were diligent focus and attention, the black ery day. In fact I logged 28 hours in all gone, having flown aboard their ship salt water an ever present danger. those four weeks, more than all but one and out to sea. Lesson learned - watch out for those Marines. month of my first cruise. When it was my copilot’s turn to fly we reversed roles and I was busy clearing Flying from an AFS To the Med on an AFS the superstructure, monitoring altitude Soon enough we began doing what we with up formed det In January our and airspeed, and directing his turns were there for, flying supplies from ship filling began we and our two helicopters around the pattern. It was during a turn to ship VERTREP. It was normal for stuff, with boxes those gray metal cruise that he suddenly said, “I have vertigo.” an AFS to be assigned to the Med, and necthose all doing getting shots, and Immediately I grabbed the controls, it met up with nearly every ship in the home leaving before essary little things replied, “I got it,” and brought us back Med each month, sending over anything in Norfolk departed for six months. We to straight and level. This extended our the ship needed in the way of food and way. our on get to late February, eager pattern downwind, so we had to adjust drink and supplies. Fuel oil and ammuhome-ported was Since the San Diego our course up the wake to regain the apthere, most of the det personnel boarded nition was left to the oilers and ammuproach path. I came in high and fast, the ship pierside while two crews flew nition ships. Life was good on an AFS, waving off and flying directly over the the helicopters aboard while the ship with good food, plenty of work, plenty ship, a no-no. Unsettled, I then develsteamed out to the Atlantic. It was a of flying, and port visits. Sometimes a oped my own case of vertigo, but my cogood day, and satisfying to finally get on load of perishable food, such as steak or pilot was unable to help us. My second our way and leave the squadron, the bu- lobster, was left on the flight deck too approach was too fast, necessitating anlong, making it available for dinner that reaucracy, and preparations behind. other wave off. On my third approach evening. I slowed down early and maintained a ran we crossing During our Atlantic glide slope, but came to a hover about In those days a ship’s wardroom into some heavy weather and some of us 100 feet short of the deck. Creeping had its own food, galley, and stewards. we Eventually were battling seasickness. forward to the flight deck lights, I was Meals were relatively formal, depending to flights training were able to fly some finally able to land safely. I radioed on the ship’s XO, who was president of ship. the from flying get current again that we were finished for the night, rethe mess, the captain dining in his own be to enough large The flight deck was lieved to be safe on deck. When I finalcabin. Normally officers had to wear unobstructed, was comfortable, and ly crawled out of the seat, exhausted, I khakis to meals since flight suits were that poles steel huge without the two stepped down to the deck and did someconsidered work clothes. It was a reBaker’s Mount the had loomed over thing I’d never done before or since - I laxed wardroom, and I recall sneaking cruise. first flight deck on my kissed the deck. into the wardroom galley after a good 51

day of flying - in our smelly flight Bridge Watches suits - when a cook would rustle up It wasn’t all flying. A few of us some food that tasted heavenly, all were career-minded and on this washed down with bug juice. “And cruise we developed a plan with they pay us to do this.” Captain Burns so that we could We pilots often adjourned from voluntarily stand bridge watches dinner to play cards, usually games when available with the goal of of Hearts or Spades. There were earning the coveted designation as also games of Acey Deucy. Movies Officer of the Deck (OOD) Unwere on 16 mm reels, run on a noisy derway. We’d have six months to projector, and most of us got adept train and qualify, so two of us volat weaving the delicate acetate film unteered to stand bridge watches through the machine, making sure USS San Diego (AFS 6) on the left alongside as Junior OOD when we weren’t it was on the sprockets correctly. USS Kalamazoo (AOR 6) in the Med, 1975. flying or needed sleep. Of course Movies were a boost to morale, as This was prior to the Kalamazoo's conversion it took a lot of extra effort and was the mail, but we had no choice that would add two helicopter hangars. Note more than a few mid-watches, what movies we’d see. Movies were the staged deck on San Diego and the heli- but over the course of the cruise swapped from ship to ship by high- copter spotted for takeoff. we became skilled at conning the line or helo, and it was just luck as to ship, practicing emergency proNight VERTREP which ones would come aboard. cedures, and learning engineering and After a few months it was satisfying to Flying was fun on an AFS. Each day navigation. I already had a start because see us pilots and aircrew gel into a wellone of us pilots would serve as Air Boss of my Naval Academy training and my oiled machine, flying gracefully from in the tower overlooking the flight deck, six months aboard USS Wichita (AORship to ship, with a round trip taking talking on the radios and coordinating 1) right out of the Academy. The exas little as 30 seconds. Privately, we piwith the bridge and other ships. A big tra work was worth it and I was pleased lots and crew agreed that we would fly VERTREP would involve many ships when late in the cruise Captain Burns VERTREP for free, but we also agreed traveling together and last 6-8 hours or designated me as an Officer of the Deck, that when flying at night we should get more. The flight deck would be staged Fleet Operations. During our transit triple flight pay. Night VERTREP was hours in advance, with fork lifts placback to Norfolk, I was able to serve as demanding and tiring. When the ships ing netted loads around the sides of the OOD on the bridge, a satisfying reward were not alongside it demanded conflight deck, leaving just enough room to for all my time and effort. centration to make the constant transpot an H-46. We often lifted off the sition between visual and instrument flight deck with less than a foot of clearflight. It was also fraught with danger, ance to the stub wings, a test of a pilot’s Mail Call and in the 1970’s there were incidents skill. As the loads were hauled to a ship, A big difference between 1975 and of H-46s flying into the water at night, more loads would be brought out to the today was communications. There usually when the pilots were tired and deck by forklifts during the inevitable were no cell phones, personal computdistracted so that a slow descent went lulls. Often we were so efficient that undetected until it was too late. Often ers, smart phones, telephone answering we would inundate the receiving ship’s this ended tragically, with the helicopter machines, photocopiers, internet, or deck, forcing them to call for a pause crashing and sinking quickly with loss cable TV. We used pencils, typewriters, so they could break down the loads. of life. Sometimes it resulted in only carbon paper, white-out, and land-line During a lull we would fly around for the nose gear being ripped off, requir- telephones. fun, climb a few thousand feet to cool The U.S. Mail was the primary means ing the stunned pilots to land back on off, or more likely come in to top off of communication for all but Navy opmattresses hurriedly rushed to the deck with fuel. erational messages. It was such a key to to support the helicopter’s nose. I had This cruise was vastly better than my morale that a vast, efficient system of a close call in this regard one dark night first, because we were on a good ship fleet mail delivery had been developed, when I noticed the altimeter steadily in warm weather and we were busy. I and Navy postal clerks did an admiragoing below 50 feet and snatched the averaged 40 flight hours a month, over ble job keeping the mail moving around collective up in time to avoid flying into twice what I’d flown on the USS Mount the world. From the United States, mail the water. Somehow we’d both missed Baker. We had a good captain and crew, was flown overseas, sorted, then sent to the little yellow light on the RADALT. good liberty, lots of flying, good food, either a port near the ship or to an airAfter that we made it standard practice and a fine group of men on the detachcraft carrier via COD and then delivered at night for one of the two crewmen to ment. crouch just behind the pilots and moni- by helicopter to nearby ships. To hear tor the radar altimeter - for safety’s sake. that mail was inbound sparked delight, and the sight of those red and yellow mail bags was cause for anticipation. A Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


History went well, and after hours away, our helicopter radioed in, located the ship, landed safely, and a week’s worth of mail arrived, piled high in the cabin of the helicopter.

Coast, the hundreds of beach umbrellas along the Costa del Sol, white-washed mountain villages in Spain, and the famous Isle of Capri. Summer in the Med was so much nicer than winter there. For example, we were anchored off the French Riviera one warm summer day, when a hubbub developed on deck. It turned out that a sailboat was passing nearby - someone out for a day sail. As the sailboat approached, the crew on deck noticed that it carried five women on deck, taking in the Riviera sun. As it passed close aboard it became clear that the five young women were totally naked, waving at us poor sailors on our big gray steel ship. For a while it did seem that the ship actually listed to starboard.

Join the Navy and See the World I was pleased that our ship was busy throughout the cruise. We hauled a lot of external loads, with some VERTREPs going all day and into the night. We Picking up the ship’s mail at Nice Airport, France. A Navy CH-46 from operated with nearly every Navy ship HC-6 Det 2 is in the foreground. Note in the Mediterranean. We even made a the tracking flags on the helicopmonthly delivery to the submarine tenter’s rotor blades. There was likely der moored at La Maddalena, a beautia recent rotor blade change with the ful archipelago off the northeast coast of flags not yet removed. Sardinia. We saw a lot of the Mediterranean, and spent some quality time in personal letter from home could raise ports such as Palma, Nice, Genoa, Rota, one’s spirits immensely. In my opinion and Naples, although the latter was nothe sweetest announcement over the Finally Home torious among sailors because it was just 1MC was always “Mail Call.” Our summer cruise continued at a a dirty city. It did have delicious pizza One of the good deals in the Med was though! We could always tell when the good pace, and in mid-August we arflying off the ship to pick up the mail. ship neared Naples - we could see trash rived in Rota for the final time, ready to If the ship was near an airport or even meet our relief ship. Soon enough our floating in the water. steaming near a base, arrangements were I was thrilled that my wife was able to sister ship the USS Concord (AFS-5) made to fly to an airport and get the fly overseas while the ship was in Palma pulled in next to us and this time we had mail, cutting days off the normal delivde Majorca and Naples. We spent a few the smiling faces. It was a happy day ery time. I recall the times when the San days together in Palma at a hotel over- when we took in the lines at Rota and Diego was moored in Malaga, Spain for looking the harbor and rented a tiny car, steamed westward. Approaching Norliberty. We would takeoff from the ship driving around the island. As the ship folk after six months, we were excited to at the pier and head west to NS Rota, left Palma and steamed to Naples, she fly the birds off the ship near Virginia following the scenic Costa del Sol. Near and another wife made an adventurous Beach, each aircraft heavy with our lugthe resort of Marbella we’d head inland journey by plane and train and met the gage and the gedunk we had bought. It over the mountains to the base, sightship in Naples. With San Diego an- was another sweet homecoming. seeing along the way. We would refuel, chored in Naples she had a unique opload the mail bags and packages, and portunity to take a boat out to the ship return with a sense of accomplishment. and watch me from the tower as we flew We did the same thing when anchored VERTREP to ships in the harbor. Too off the Riviera, flying to Nice airport soon we travelled to the Rome and meeting a four-engine Navy transairport where I put her on a port C-118 that was flying around the plane so that she could resMed delivering people and mail. cue her parents who had been I recall one notable mail flight when watching our toddler son for the ship “passed by” Naples. The ship two weeks. It was a fantastic had arranged for our mail to be ready at visit, but a bittersweet farewell the airport for our helicopter. However for us both. we didn’t pass close by - it was going to Flying around the Med be 110 miles to Naples, an hour’s flight was a sightseeing opportunity over water. The return flight would be which I describe as “Seeing past “the point of no return”, making it the World from 500 feet”. We essential that the pilots could locate the flew over the ruins of Pompeii, ship. Since this was long before GPS, the crater of Mount Vesuvius, Navy submarine tender USS Howard W. Gilmnavigation was by dead reckoning or the stunning green and blue ore (AS 16) moored at La Maddalena, Sardinia, homing. Our ship had a TACAN - that waters near La Maddalena, Italy in 1975. External loads were dropped usually worked - and our radios had a the grandeur of the Amalfi onto the small flight deck platform on its stern. UHF DF steer function. The flight Alongside is a Navy nuclear attack submarine. 53

UAVs and their integration into our operations: how they have helped, where they lack, what would you like to see in the future? From: Edward Zapolski UAV: Organic carrier tanker support as well as organic battle group surveillance, this area seem to be lacking. From: Thomas Phillips, CTR FACSFAC DET SCORE UAVs have been around for a lot longer than you think. Plenty of old rotor heads and shoes know a lot more than me about our first venture into UAVs before they were called UAVs; when they were called DASH - Drone Antisubmarine Helicopter. Peddled by Gyrodyne, that company still maintains a very interesting website about that history. Check out and there are several other internet sites with factoids of amusement. Just as the first Navy helicopters were procured for ASW, the first UAVs were also procured for ASW and deployed in threes on 240 destroyers. Fleet introduction, rapidly, in 1962. Had some teething problems and we lost 411 of 746 in service for mostly technical reliability reasons. By 1965, it had been used for NGFS spotting, night recon, "snoopy" missions and it is recorded that a DASH actually rescued a Marine who had become separated from his mates in hostile territory. While removed from ships by 1970 (to be replaced by LAMPS Mk-I), they continued in research service with the Navy until 1996 and with the Army until 2006. Possibly the greatest benefit of DASH is that all those destroyers configured for DASH had JP-5 on board and facilitated HIFR refueling for combat Rescue H-3s - the Big Mothers of HS-2, 4, 6, 8, and finally HC-7. From: Hon. Richard F. Healing, P.E. Properly equipped UASs offer a low cost means of expanding business opportunities and offering new capabilities for traditional rotorcraft companies. The biggest concern for any operator is the threat of collision between a UAS and any other aircraft. However, low cost, lightweight, highly capable avionics have been designed, developed, produced in prototype, and flight tested, that enable any equipped UAS to avoid collisions. This avionic system functions similarly to TCAS (aircraft-to-aircraft communication of position, course and speed) while receiving highly accurate ADS-B (In) position messages and powerful embedded computing capability to: (a) inform the UAS operator of potential loss of separation, (b) recommend changes in altitude, course and/or speed to achieve and maintain safe separation, or (c) to automatically direct the UAS’ autopilot to maneuver away from an imminent collision. What’s missing is a FAA requirement for all aircraft, including UASs, to be equipped with both ADS-B (Out) and ADS-B (In), which is the means by which an aircraft (like a helicopter, flying in airspace most likely used by UASs) will know where any other ADS-B (Out) transmitting aircraft is located in proximity, and be able to determine if any such aircraft is a potential threat of collision. Successful flight testing of this Navy funded system was conducted in 2012 at the Army Proving Ground in Yuma, AZ. For those flight tests, two Tiger Shark UASs were flown on intentionally designed conflicting/intersecting courses. Both aircraft were equipped with the same ADS-B (In/Out) system; one was connected to the UAS’ autopilot system and programmed to maintain a given separation. In all 44 different scenarios flown, the automatic collision avoidance system worked as expected. For those tests, the prototype system weighed just under 1 pound and occupied about 25 cubic inches. Today, using the very latest micro-chip technology, a new system weighing only 4 Oz. is being prototyped on a Navy Phase II SBIR, that will meet/exceed all FAA requirements for standard transponders, all requirements for dual-frequency ADS-B (Out), and will provide dual ADS-B (In), 1090ES, and a low power 1030 MHz interrogator (to function like TCAS). For military Mode 5 applications, the latest system will include embedded encryption of the ADS-B positions. Regulations cannot be drafted and approved quickly enough to keep up with the advances in technology that can make safe introduction of UASs into the NAS a reality; but only when such regulations are in place, and all aircraft are cooperative, will the promise of increased safety in NextGen, for all aircraft, be a reality.

Next Issue: "As our helicopters continue to take on an expanded role in the in Carrier Air Wing, what new missions do you see our community being relied on to execute in the future? What new opportunities do you foresee as our operations in this dynamic environment continue to evolve? What challenges do you foresee as our tactical requirements continue to grow? " Send reponses to our Editor in Chief: or comment on NHA's Facebook page. Anonymity is respected if requested. Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


NHA and Rotor Review Congratulates our Newest Helo Flags CAPT William E. Chase, III, USN has been nominated for appointment to the rank of rear admiral (lower half ). Chase is currently serving as chief of staff, Naval Information Forces, Suffolk, Virginia.

CAPT Nancy S. Lacore, USNR has been nominated for appointment to the rank of rear admiral (lower half ). Lacore is currently serving as commanding officer, Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Africa.

CAPT Eric C. Ruttenberg, USNR has been nominated for appointment to the rank of rear admiral (lower half ). Ruttenberg is currently serving as commanding officer, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Reserve Program, San Diego, California.

CAPT John E. Gumbleton, USN has been nominated for appointment to the rank of rear admiral (lower half ). Gumbleton is currently serving as director, Operations Division, Office of Budget, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Financial Management and Comptroller), Washington, District of Columbia.


Commander Naval Air Forces

Change of Command

VADM DeWolfe Miller, USN relieved VADM Mike Shoemaker USN January 11, 2018


HSC - 23 Wildcards

CAPT George R. Aguilar, USN relieved CAPT Kavon Hakimzadeh, USN January 25, 2018

CDR Justin T. McCaffree USN relieved CDR David S. Collins, USN March 1, 2018

HSC - 28 Dragonwhales

CDR Lynden Whitmer, USN relieved CDR Steve Thomas, USN April 26, 2018

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


HSMWINGPAC Weapons School Honey Badgers


CDR Christopher Conlon, USN relieved CDR Jon Baron, USN December 7, 2017.

CDR G. Shon Brown, USN relieved CDR Bradford P. Crain, USN March 16, 2018

HSM - 74 Swampfoxes

CDR Nicholas DeLeo, USN relieved CDR Daniel Testa, USN September 21, 2017

Code Of A Naval Officer Attributed to John Paul Jones It is by no means enough that an officer of the Navy should be a capable mariner. He must be that, of course, but also a great deal more. He should be, as well, a gentleman of liberal education, refined manners, punctilious courtesy, and the nicest sense of personal honor. He should not only be able to express himself clearly and with force in his own language both with tongue and pen, but he should be versed in French and Spanish as well. ("Own language" obviously means English, which is relevant even today as English is the universal language of officers and the reference to French and Spanish probably pertains to languages of the crew of those days and in today’s context may refer to the languages or mother tongues of ship crew). He should be the soul of tact, patience, justice, firmness, and charity. No meritorious act of a subordinate should escape his attention or be left to pass without its reward, even if the reward is only a word of approval. Conversely, he shouldn’t be blind to a single fault in any subordinate, though at the same time, he should be quick and unfailing to distinguish error from malice, thoughtlessness from incompetence, and well-meant shortcoming from heedless or stupid blunder. As he should be universal and impartial in his rewards and approval of merit, so he should be judicial and unbending in his punishment or reproof of misconduct. In one word, every commander should keep constantly before him this great truth, that to be well obeyed, he must be perfectly esteemed. 57

Zero-Zero Humble Pie

There I Was

Article by LCDR Ashley “Sniffer” Preston, USN


apidly deteriorating weather can catch any aviator by surprise. Daily aircrew flight briefs always include contingency plans, but when these contingencies come to light the situations usually prove more difficult than the briefers and crew imagined. Fortunately, on January 5, 2018 when my contingency plan for recovering my MH-60S helicopter on board the Aircraft Carrier (CVN) in rapidly deteriorating Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) proved both necessary and completely inadequate, my crew, squadron, and the greater CVN and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) team walked away with humbling but valuable lessons learned to avoid similar or worse challenges in the future. My CVW was on board the CVN and operating approximately 50-60 nautical miles (NM) from Naval Air Station (NAS) North Island, my home field and the CVW’s primary divert airfield. The CVW was conducting fixed-wing Carrier Qualification (CQ). My mission was to launch from the CVN, fly ashore, and complete basic emergency procedure training at Navy Outlying Field (NOLF) Imperial Beach and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) training around the greater Southern California area. The sortie was long, at nearly six hours, and the training event itself went as expected. The suspense began during our attempt to recover at the CVN. Weather along the coast included Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) at all intended operating airfields to include NAS North Island, NOLF Imperial Beach, and aerodromes throughout San Diego County for IFR training. After completing our training near NAS North Island, we cancelled our IFR flight plan above the clouds and preceded VFR toward the CVN. Our callsign was BLACK KNIGHT 614 (BK614) and we were to join our playmate, BLACK KNIGHT 611 (BK611), near the CVN and prep for a VFR recovery at 1615 local time, which was 30 minutes prior to sunset. Approaching the CVN, the thin but overcast cloud layer at 800 feet became broken then scattered, and we soon descended to where helicopters “enjoy” flying: low altitude and clear of clouds. The CVN was finishing the daytime CQ portion of the schedule as it began to encounter intermittent rain. Visibility for the fixed-wing CQ aircraft was challenging. BK611 and my crew in BK614 also began to struggle to maintain sight of the CVN. As a Unit Level Training (ULT) aircraft, I was relieved of any pressure to maintain close proximity to the CVN. I remained clear of clouds and approximately 10 NM from the ship. BK611 was the assigned Plane Guard Search and Rescue aircraft and as typical, its crew attempted to maintain close proximity to the CVN. As the CVN began to either recover or divert aircraft to shore due to the deteriorating weather, my crew assessed Rotor Review #140 Spring '18

our fuel state and was pleased that we had plenty of fuel to conduct a Carrier Controlled Approach (CCA) for recovery to the CVN and divert to NAS North Island if needed. BK611, however, was not as fortunate. Helicopters rarely maintain divert fuel. This day was no exception and BK611 continued below what would have been a safe divert fuel level. Primary Flight control, or Tower, directed the helicopters to “snuggle up” and expect a recovery soon. The CVN was finding “better weather”. Both aircraft, operating miles apart from one another, attempted to find the ship visually below the clouds, but the ceilings had deteriorated to nearly 150 feet and visibility beneath the clouds was between one and three miles. My crew elected to maintain clear of clouds, climb above the layer, and proceed at 1,000 feet toward the CVN. If we were unable to descend visually we would commence a CCA and recover via IFR procedures. BK611 continued longer with the visual recovery attempt, but soon elected to recover IFR as well, approximately 10 miles behind my aircraft. Once on top the CVN, the clouds were thick and the CVN could not be found visually. My crew and I assessed our fuel and determined we had two approaches worth of fuel before we were to divert back to NAS North Island. BK611 was not so lucky. They reported sufficient fuel for two approaches before reaching minimum fuel with insufficient fuel to divert. Although the time was 30 minutes after sunset, the setting sun’s illumination was high enough to not require Night Vision Devices (NVDs). Our first approach was challenging to say the least. Having briefed an actual IMC CCA recovery to the CVN many times over my nine years as a fleet aviator, I was surprised to feel nervous. As my co-pilot was the subject

MH-60 in the fog

of today’s IFR training, she maintained control of the aircraft for this approach. Maintaining parameters was challenging but safe. At our minimum altitude of 200 feet, we remained in the thick clouds, tried our best to see the CVN without success, and commenced our missed approach procedures. My crew donned our NVDs and I assumed controls to fly the second approach to the CVN.


As BK611 commenced its approach, its crew asked the CVN for the current weather observation. Our squadron representative (REP) on our backup radio reported “zero-zero”, meaning the ceilings were as low as the flight deck with zero feet of forward visibility. Luckily, the pilots of BK611 visually acquired the ship through their NVDs as they leveled off slightly below 200 feet, and successfully maneuvered for landing. I heard REP report “611 broke out!” On our second approach, my crew reported our intentions to REP. We would execute the CCA, attempt to “break out” at 150 feet, and without visual sight of the ship we would divert to NAS North Island. My point in clarifying this was that due to our high fuel level, I did not intend to risk a vertigo-inducing VFR transition in IMC nor commence a non-standard and non-published Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) assisted approach to a low hover from IMC to, hopefully VMC. Flying the aircraft under high stress in thick IMC was challenging. I slowed to slower-than-optimal airspeeds to improve our chances of recovery. As the ship raced to find better weather, our true wind component was strong on our tail and influenced a high ground speed component. At 200 feet, we remained in thick clouds. I flew the aircraft to 150 feet and 60 knots of airspeed and we remained in the clouds. Through our NVDs, we saw the lights of the CVN’s bow and the control tower - we were high above the flight deck in IMC and in no position to maneuver to land. I commenced my missed approach, received vectors to NAS North Island from the departure controller, and we breathed calmly again, now understanding - or, assuming - we were on our way to a safer landing environment. As we received priority handling from approach controllers, we listened to the Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS) transmission at North Island and learned the airfield was reporting ceilings of 200 feet and visibility of one-half of a mile. Figuratively, my crew and I looked at each other with a dropped jaw as we realized the gorgeous weather we experenced only hours prior had deteriorated. The ceiling requirement for our Precision Approach RADAR (PAR) recovery was 100 feet. Although the airfield reported observed ceilings above the minimum required ceiling, my crew knew this would be a challenging recovery. Without fuel to proceed to an alternate airfield, we agreed we must proceed to a landing on this attempt. We configured our AFCS system so that at our Decision Height, we would commence an AFCS-assisted approach to a 10 knot forward creep at 100 feet of altitude above what we knew was the waters south of the airfield. Proceeding through 200 feet of altitude, still staring at thick clouds, the nerves quickly returned. Flying this close to the ground in IMC was challenging. Fortunately, we were not forced to test our unpublished AFCS-approach procedure as we achieved visual sight of the runway lights at 150 feet of altitude. We continued for landing in thick fog and mist and remained overnight NAS North Island. 59

My experience on January 5th is one of humility and one that bolsters my respect for deteriorating weather. After recovering, my crew debriefed a few assumptions we should have never made: the CVN was below the clouds and not in the clouds, and NAS North Island remained VMC. Furthermore, we neglected to offer a weather observation of clear skies only 10 nm south of the CVN position before committing to the IFR recovery. Additionally, upon our return to the CVN and a thorough debrief with Carrier Air Traffic Control Center (CATCC) it became apparent that the ships assumption was that Helicopters, with their ability to fly low and slow, would always be able to maintain visual sight with the CVN and affect a VFR recovery. This assumption was substantiated when we discovered that there is not currently an assigned decision height for helicopter CCAs nor is there a published emergency approach procedure for helicopter approaches to an aviation ship. I am now the lead drafter of procedures for recovering helicopters in weather below published CCA minimums of 200 foot ceilings and one-half mile visibility, which will be similar to the Air Capable Ship recovery procedures using dropped smokes in the ship’s wake to assist recovery aircraft visually acquiring the ship. Although frequently briefed, these events prove that helicopters might not always be able to recover VFR to an aviation ship after fixed-wing flight operations terminate for poor weather. The contingency plan in this instance must be understood by all parties before it happens. Next time, the comfort of NAS North Island might not be within fuel’s reach.

Did You Do That?

Article by CDR Gerald Voorhies, USN (Ret.)


hat’s the first thing you say when something sounds or feels wrong in any aircraft cockpit. You already know the answer of your copilot even before he utters….”No.” The inevitable next words spoken are “Aw, shit.” There it is. The stinks on you to handle whatever those warning lights were when they blinked on and off. You knew their position on the warning panel and you pretty much know what they were but you hit the panel test button to confirm ‘what’ they were by lighting them all up. Yep, it was the Fuel Pressure, the Fuel this, and the Fuel that. All the caution lights were for the number 2 engine. Please, not now. Here you are heading to a seemingly random spot in the water flying the Navy’s SH-2F Seasprite helicopter and you’re already 25 miles from your little ship (Knox Class Frigate). We’re doing real world Anti-Submarine Warfare Tactics (against a real live elusive Soviet Submarine) in the middle of the Atlantic, and it’s Oh-Dark-Thirty (actually 2330), the moons waning (whatever that means – it’s just dark), and my co-pilot is an Ensign (and his first time out on a boat). In fact, this is my first time back out to sea after a tour as an instructor pilot in Pensacola, Florida, and almost through the Fleet Replacement Squadron syllabus. The squadron I’m in, pulled me out of the Fleet Replacement Squadron early (Called me Sunday night, checked out Monday, checked in Tuesday and gone Thursday to catch a ship departing from Charleston, SC) because they needed me on this detachment, NOW. We turn our helicopter around and start heading back to our only landing spot for about 800 miles around. We radio the ship and brief our situation and our desire to land ASAP before anything does go wrong (besides warning lights flashing in your face). They were skeptical at first (remember we were tracking a real Soviet Submarine off the United States east coast) but when I became adamant we were RTBing (Returning to Base), they conceded.

That’s when my co-pilot makes this utterance, “We’re losing the # 2 engine!” I didn’t hear or feel anything different in the controls, but I was in the left seat away from the right-side, # 2 engine. Checking the instruments with a quick scan showed a definite reduction in power and before my eyes it all came back up to normal power range. Oh boy, fuel caution lights followed by an engine slowly flaming out can only mean one thing. We might be going for a swim tonight. I announced to the ship we were declaring an emergency, described what was happening with the aircraft (starting to sweat), performed the emergency landing checklist (harness – locked, doors – open, gear – down, stores – dump them if you got them but not yet, lights – on, IFF – squawk emergency but no need to because the only people that hear you is on the ship and they already know, restart the engine – she’s still running, sort of ), requested to speak to one of the other 2 helicopter pilots (that way he can go over anything I might have missed in diagnosing what was going on), and continue to motor back to the ship staying within the single engine airspeed range (my preflight information indicated minimum 42 kts and maximum 94 kts but that’s at our takeoff weight), 90 kts is just fine. My true wind is 30 degrees to the right of the nose (man it’s dark out there) just in case we have to do a real autorotation* to the water (22 miles to go). “An autorotation is a condition of non-powered flight in which the rotor speed and lift result from the reverse flow of air through the rotor system. An autorotation enables a pilot to perform a safe landing in the event of a loss of power.” I thought we were pretty smart by not wearing our dry suits (they rub your neck raw, hot and sweaty, and a little restrictive in your movement) on this flight because the water temperature had come up to 64 degrees Fahrenheit. Now, all I could think about, if we go down, is that damn water is cold and it will take the ship an hour to get in the area and more time to pin point our position and even more time to lower the gig (their little boat) to retrieve us out of the water. Wet, cold and swimming at night is not what I want to do. The longer I keep this aircraft in the air, the better our chances of staying dry. I’m sort of old school, they pay me flight pay and not crash pay. So, I’m going to do all I can to get this aircraft back to my ship. I don’t care, call it, self-preservation (probably) or protecting my men with me (maybe) or looking out for the tax payer dollars (naaww). I just didn’t want to get wet. While I’m monitoring the gauges, the #2 engine loses a little power (20%) and then gains some power back (10%). We call that a slight fluctuation. Then it loses a lot of power (50%) and again gains just a little back (10%). We call that a major fluctuation. Then she slowly loses all the power. Again, “Aw #@$%.” Boys, we are flying on one engine and we have 20 miles to go. I gingerly pull the levers and switches

HSL-30 SH-2 in flight

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


There I Was for the affected engine only after both of us confirmed the handles I was holding was for the #2 engine. Don’t touch the good one. From our first call to the ship with the initial problem, the Captain ordered the ship to steer a direct course to our position (bless you) but on the other hand the Combat Information Center (CIC) Duty Officer was still trying to do an Anti-submarine Warfare operation, requesting information from the helicopter sensors (bastard). I’d like a reality check, please.   After the realization and chill of flying on one engine back to the ship, my training kicked in.  “Let’s get rid of some of this weight.” Sonobouys are expendable tracking devices that are used in the prosecution of submarines. For this situation the optimum word is expendable. At 40+ lbs each and 15 currently aboard for the mission, we jettison over 600 lbs. I did this by the manual method of one at a time and then I got rid of the 8 smoke markers at 2 lbs each. If we go in and one of the salt water activated smoke markers ignite, we might have a problem if the fuel starts to float up around us and then mingles with the torch(es).  Now, to get rid of some real weight, dump fuel. Back on the ship the CIC Duty Officer was asking Ensign Ferguson what the frequencies of all of the sonobouys we just jettisoned (rat bastard). I’d like to see what your pucker factor would be sitting in here. Our maximum fuel capacity is 3000 lbs but at this time period we had about 2500 lbs left onboard.  I was now speaking with one of the helicopter pilots aboard the ship who had the Naval Aviation Training and Operations Procedure Standardization (NATOPS) manual out. He was working the emergency procedures and figuring the charts on flying ability with weight and relative wind speed while the other pilot went aft to the Helicopter Flight Deck Tower. I had a warm and fuzzy about the min/max airspeed on takeoff weight but I wanted to punch the books again for landing weight (figuring multiple weights) and flight characteristics.  We came to the decision for the amount of fuel to dump, which I had already decided in my head before we began to hit the charts. Dump until 900 lbs are left, which we did.  (15 miles to go) Flying towards the ship and the ship steaming our way would seem like we would eat the distance up quickly but when the adrenaline is pumping, time and distance tends to drag. This is when my co-pilot announces to me “we’re losing number 1 engine!” (13 miles to go) I’m at the controls flying, and as all good helicopter pilots do when informed of loss of total power (remember, I just left the training command teaching this shit), you enter an autorotation by pushing the collective down but the Barometric altitude hold is pushing back. Wait a minute, the instruments are all reading in the normal zone of operation.  Stop the auto, crawl back up to altitude (from 400 to 500 ft) and ask my

SH-2 F in a hover over smallboy.

co-pilot “What the .... over?” He showed me what gauges he was monitoring closely and how they were oscillating. He was correct. They were oscillating because of the Barometric Altimeter Altitude hold is on and it oscillates the remaining engine power to maintain the altitude that was initially set. Works like your car’s cruise control, plus or minus 2 miles per hour. Okay, at least he’s focused on the problem. After we achieved our decided weight for approach I decided to try to re-start the dead engine. Co-pilot thought it was a good idea too. Fuel switch was still on, so pushed the start button and started motoring the engine to the proper engine rpm and rotated the engine condition lever to the start position. Still, nothing. So I continued for the maximum starter motor time limit (a time limit for the motor’s longevity) and continue for another minute. My co-pilot informs me I’m exceeding the starter limit, which I reply with “I really don’t give a #%^*. This @&^%$ of an engine is trying to kill us.” After that extra minute, I know the starter is red hot but there’s another one in the supply pack-up somewhere. (8 miles to go) The pilot on the ship asks me where we wanted the relative wind for landing (because they didn’t know which seat I was sitting in and the landing line up lines are painted at 30 degrees to the right and left of ship’s center line). This way, when we hit 5 miles of separation, the ship turns to the final helicopter recovery course. I requested 20-25 knots (kts) of relative wind 20-25 degree on the starboard (right) side. This means, the relative wind will be 20-25 degrees to the right of the ship’s bow at 20-25 kts of speed (that’s true wind plus the ship’s speed adding up to the relative wind). You might ask why we didn’t ask for the relative wind speed of 35-40 kts? Anything above 25kts of relative wind aboard a single spot ship such as a Frigate, Destroyer, or a Cruiser, you enter the battle of being buffeted by swirling winds around that big barn door we call the hangar. It’s not real comfortable with two engines and 61

power to spare, much less with one engine and only enough power to do a no hover landing. Thus, I made my choice. (7 miles to go) You could see the ship’s itty bitty running lights as we approached each other. Then, right on cue, at 5 nautical miles of separation, the ship starts its turn to the final helicopter recovery course. Approaches to the back end of a boat starts at 1.5 NM from the ship at 400 feet with a gradual descent to the flight deck, hitting check points (specific altitude per quarter mile closure) along the glide path. With visual aids on the ship (Aldis lamp and Line-up strobe lights which look like an airport’s approach lights but can go steady state) you can fly the glide path crosschecking your references outside with what your instruments inside are reading. Flying from the left seat is no big deal. You have the same controls on both sides. The only thing you cannot see with a quick visual check when your close aboard the ship is your Nr. Your Nr is the RPM gauge for the main rotors. The SH-2F flew at 106% Nr and everything starts to go to hell at about 92-95% Nr. So, the idea was not to droop the main rotors (no sudden power changes) while you slow the aircraft during your approach all the way to the deck. This is what is known as a no hover landing to a spot. One engine may or may not be able to keep the aircraft flying in a hover with the main rotor rpm maintained at 106%. Thus, it’s imperative to know where your Nr is headed (drooping or steady state). My instructions to my co-pilot were pretty simple, “When I call for the strobe lights to go steady (meaning - I have the landing area in full view, Landing Signalman Enlisted (LSE) in sight and my scan is totally outside), all I want to hear from you is a constant reading of the Nr. I have my visual cues; I just don’t know where the Nr is.”  At a half mile from the ship I hear someone over the radio saying “On course, on glide slope.” What was that? So, when the same voice came over the radio a second time, with the same call, I quickly stopped it by saying “Whoever is on the radio, SHUT UP.” (the individual was the Detachment Officer in Charge, watching from the tower, and by the way, he was turning the detachment over to me after this short underway period). Oh well, niceties had to be set aside. Take a deep breath and make the call. This is just like what you have been teaching for the past three years (in a pig’s eye). I took that breath and made my call, “Steady.” The line-up lights stopped their strobe effect and went steady state.  The slow repetitive call from my co-pilot commenced, “ 106….106….106”  I made the landing with a slow controlled pull of the collective (power) to slow the closure and all the way to touchdown without ever hearing anything but “106…106…106.”   After shutdown and unstrapping from the seat, I saw the hangar door start opening and the Captain was the first under the door and on the deck. I was standing next to the helicopter checking the aircraft footprint on the landing spot and noted I was a little right of dead center but the landing gear was in the circle.

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18

“Nice job.” The Captain says patting me on the back. “Thanks Captain. Can we say ‘Splice the Main Brace’?” feeling that chill growing up my neck. “Yes, you can but it will never happen on my ship.” “Okay, how about a cup of coffee?” I countered. “Sure, I’ll buy.” That’s when everyone started the attaboys and that chill started to melt. The next comments were something like “Boy, Mr. Voorhies you could of put the helicopter more on the center line. You weren’t paying attention to your LSE again. Who’s going to wash the engines and do we have to wash # 2 since you didn’t use it that much?” The chill was gone. The coffee was strong, sweet and creamy. Splice the Main Brace! - The great sailing ships were propelled only by the wind in their sails which were attached to spars called yards. The lines to trim the sails were called braces and ran from the ends of the yards to the deck. The main brace was the largest and heaviest of all the rigging being up to 20" diameter on the big ships. To splice it was one of the most difficult tasks on board ship. Sometimes in the heat of battle, the braces were shot away making the ship unmanageable. To those that "Spliced the Main Brace"! went a double issue of rum. It became customary to always "Splice the Main Brace" before battle, always after victory, and to reward a ship's crew, or sometimes the entire fleet, with the order to "Splice the Main Brace!" which meant a double issue of rum for a job well done. The ritual was always preceded by hoisting the flag signal to "Splice the Main Brace!" In recent times, to say to a friend, "Let's 'Splice the Main Brace'!" is akin to saying "Let 's have a drink!". Why the engine failed. When we changed the engine, the pack-up engine was missing some lines and other small components. We did what any detachment would do; we robbed the lines and old components off the bad engine.  The engine re-work facility was ticked but we had an operational ready engine/helicopter doing real world ASW. The re-work facility found the inside components (stators & rotators in the compression section; combustion area and the drive rotor) were at their max limits or more after running it for awhile. The consensus (nothing definitive) was after heating up for that time period of flight the insides of the engine expanded out of tolerance and slowly quit. Doesn't explain the caution lights that blinked at us. Remember, before we removed the engine I started it the next morning. So, that theory fit.  However, fast forward from  all of these engine failures of  Spring/Summer 1987 to Spring 1991.....I'm flying the H-60 now and I'm down at AUTEC dropping torps and run into the Senior Helicopter pilot stationed there. We were instructors at HT-8 and he was a Reservist. The Navy brought him on active duty to fly the H-3 in support of AUTEC. Great deal for both. After telling some sea stories back and forth he lets drop about a paper he's writing. It's about the multiple engine failures the H-3 community were experiencing.


There I Was The H-3 and H-2 flew with the same GE-T58 engine but different fuel controls. I data dumped all of my engine failures and the ones I heard about. He got on the phone with the H-2 Wing Maintenance Officer and got the details. Long story short.: his paper hit, an investigation was done and it was revealed that one engine re-work facility wasn't doing a very good job. Those engines were all pulled and the community suffered awhile for a lack of ready engines but the engine failures went away. I feel like Paul Harvey... now you know the rest of the story.


Article by LT Larry Wheeler, USN


RM has become a cornerstone of Naval Aviation. It is discussed prior to every flight and revisited in depth annually. Yet, like all humans, pilots are prone to error. An erroneous fire light over the South China Sea put the Crew Resource Management (CRM) of our MH-60R crew to the test. The flight began like every other flight we had flown over the previous weeks for our two aircraft detachment. First, an Operational Risk Management (ORM) and NATOPS brief as a crew, then aircraft pre-flight for an on time departure. After launch, our mission progressed uneventfully as we passed down contacts to the Anti-Submarine Tactical Air Controller (ASTAC) like we had done many times before. That’s when the red glow of the master warning panel fire light flashed, along with the #1 Engine T-Handle fire light. An engine fire during blue water operations, with only a small flight deck to return to, would make even the most experienced crews anxious. But thanks to our emergency procedure (EP) training, our response was second nature. “Standby,” the aircraft commander radioed to the ASTAC before beginning the External Engine Fire emergency procedure. He asked the crew to confirm a fire on the #1 engine. This is where our CRM breakdown began. Thinking he heard his aircrewman (AWR) report “confirmed engine fire,” the HAC moved to the next steps of the procedure and proceeded to the Engine Malfunction in Flight emergency procedure. He then asked for my dual concurrence in securing the #1 engine. I did not have nor did I hear any confirmation of a fire; I thought the HAC had confirmed indications, so I provided my concurrence. Seconds before activating the fire extinguishers, the HAC noticed no indications of a fire besides the fire light. He asked our AWR if he still had fire indications and he reported he couldn’t really see the #1 engine at all. The HAC then asked the crew who had said, “confirmed engine fire.” I told him I’d said “confirm engine fire” while reciting the EP at first indications. While not verbatim it is essentially the first step of the external engine fire emergency procedure, and this statement was interpreted as confirmation of the fire. Once the miscommunication was discovered, we reassessed the situation. The NATOPS manual notes that sunlight filtered through haze can trigger the fire detectors, so we restarted the engine in flight and returned to the ship without further incident, where we safely shut down to have our aircraft inspected. In hindsight, we analyzed several CRM skills that would have helped us avoid our CRM breakdown. The first is communication. Prior to flight we didn’t discuss who would verbalize the emergency procedure steps in the event of an actual emergency. When the fire light illuminated, we both said the procedure aloud, and at different times, causing the miscommunication.


Det Tango

Article by Bill “Red Dogg’ Moss AFCM (AW/NAC) USN (Ret.)


n 1970 I was stationed at a small Detachment in Tainan, Taiwan. NAF NAHA Det Tango located within 3 acres on a Republic of China Air Force Base. We were 15 Sailors strong, all accompanied and on Sea Duty, and provided fuel and ramp services for transient Navy C121’s, C118’s, the Navy MAAG C47 and C130’s. The maintenance arm of Air America, Air Asia Co. Ltd, was at the other end of the Chinese Air Force taxiway and provided the handling of all commercial transients. At the time Air Asia had the contract for overhaul of the Navy C118’s and Marine F4’s. This contract called for a COMFAIRWESTPAC representative to be stationed at the Air Asia Facility. During the summer of 1970 Air Asia won the contract for Combat Battle Damage repair of all in-country (Viet Nam) OV10’s and UH1E’s. This contract called for Naval Aircrewman to fly as observers in the Marine Corps aircraft. There were two aircrewman stationed at Det Tango. I was the only 8215 (SAR Swimmer) but my Shipmate ADR1 Bob Kautz was a fixed wing crewman from VR7 (C121’s) and he was deemed adequate to perform as a Helo observer. We received our flight orders from COMFAIRWESTPAC in October of 1970 and began flying the next month. The OV10 drivers had an excellent deal and were sent to Tainan TAD about a week before scheduled completion of the overhaul. They got some really good liberty in considering they had just transited from Danang VN. They were some wild and crazy guys but one stands out in my mind. He was a Navy LT from VAL4 I will not mention his name but he came in with a scheduled overhaul OV10 and was supposed to take one back out within the week. He wore a nasty chammie rag around his neck that his dad had in WWII. He was always concerned that every day he spent in Tainan was a day without an Air Medal so was anxious to depart the area. Long about test flight day a typhoon was blowing across the Pacific and headed toward Taiwan. We were in condition 2 and tying everything down. This pilot calls from Air Asia for a test hop gas load. I go down and fuel him up that is the last we see of him. He took off and went to Cubi Point enroute to Danang. We did find out that he made it and without consequence. Worst case of “gethomeitis” I have ever seen. He had to have flown thru some really bad weather. As I said I flew both OV10 Test and H1. The OV10 test flights were always fun. That little airplane could scoot. I believe the red line on it was like 475 knots but what it could do was turn on a dime. We worked out of the US Air Force Det 9 AFCMC office at Air Asia. This was the test flight office where they flew the F105 and F4 test hops. There were some really nice guys down there and it presented the opportunity Rotor Review #140 Spring '18

Air Asia Compound

for some trash talking interservice rivalry. On any given day there were at least two or three test hops and the OV10’s were usually included mid morning. On this particular day we were scheduled behind the F4 launch and as we signed off the test hop paper work the 1st Lt I was flying with told the F4 driver that he would see him at 5000 feet. I was looking the airplane over so heard none of this conversation. We launched and did the formal test hop procedures then went looking for the F4…This is all very exciting stuff and we had an empty sky. We finally saw the F4 and snuck up on him from below. The chase was on, we did loops and rolls and “bang bang your dead” calls but what really got me was when the F4 was literally on top of us and we banked hard right and pulled about 6.6 G’s only to end up inside his turn with USAF in the windscreen.. “Bang bang”……… OK I know this is about Helo’s but its also about “the old days” and that was some of the old days. Probably go to jail for stuff like that now. The H1 program at Air Asia was quite a contract. On any given day there would be two or three big boxes on the Air Asia supply hanger deck with a side number written on it. Yep, we got most of our H1 CBD’s (Combat Battle Damage) in boxes and it was not unusual to have several in various stages of assembly with up to 140 NORS (Not Operationally Ready/Supply) items. Air Asia literally made parts in their manufacturing division when the Navy Supply System fell behind. As I said, myself and Bob flew alternating flights to get our time in every month. We always managed to do that and on the occasional month we didn’t get the helo test flights out we flew as crew on the MAAG C47. We usually took the radioman’s slot so he did not have to go to Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur or Taipei. Life was tough!!! Our test pilot for the H1 program was a great guy who was the MAAG Air Liaison Officer. He was a Marine Corps 64

There I Was Major named H.W. “Dub” Shaw. As you can see the Navy tapped local talent to save some money. Dub was in Tsoying at MAAG about 10 miles away and Bob and I were right there in Tainan. I think Dub had about 7000 hours in H1s and was a walking NATOPS. Even if you did not know about it Dub had already done it!! He was a great stick. We had 48 CBD’s come thru during the 13 month Huey contract and I believe we had about 50 post test flight discrepancy’s total during that 13 months. Air Asia maintenance was the best there was and their Chinese crew leaders were excellent. This maintenance record was outstanding but it did not come without some interesting and in some cases down right terrifying lessons learned. On our very first test hop we had been towed to the helo pad and set up for the first engagement. This was a helo that was in 3 boxes a month ago and now assembled and ready for test. This was just an amazing feat that the Air Asia guys just took as a matter of stride. We turned engine (Single holer) and released the rotor brake and normal engagement of rotors ensued. After doing the engine checks and pulling some pow-

Entrance to U.S. Navy Base

er rotor track was next on the list. Now I don’t know how many of you guys have ever done “pole tracking” but it is interesting. I will give you the condensed version. Long Pole, 12-14 feet or so, with white rags wrapped and covered with masking tape. Black and Red grease pencils for marking blade tips. Rotor engaged, pole placed on perimeter of Rotor track and eased into rotor track until slight “ticking” is heard. Lay pole down outside of track and check to see if the black and red grease pencil marks are within required parameters. If not the necessary adjustments are made on the pitch change rods and the evolution is done again. Technically it was pretty straight forward. We proceed to perform the rotor track. At the 11 o’clock position I have 3 Chinese maintenance techs and one white shirt or crew leader with pole. This crew leader was our guy 65

thru all 48 test hops and the only one that spoke English. The standard signal for commence tracking was a thumbs up from the pilot at the different power settings. The crew leader would acknowledge and tell the maints crew to perform the track check. Major Shaw had asked me during the brief if I had ever tracked and having had two years in H34’s my answer was definitely yes, more than once! Major Shaw sets power and gives the thumbs up…..without looking up the maintenance techs proceed to stick the pole right into the track and of course all three and the white shirt end up ass over tea kettle with the pole some 50 feet behind the aircraft. Now not wanting to make the White Shirt lose face in front of his peers we delicately reduced power and shut down the moderately vibrating H1. Lesson learned? Do not let the Chinese crew run the pole. From that day on it was accepted that I would do the pole track under the direction of the White Shirt. That really meant I watched Dub and ignored anything the White shirt did. But the politics of it was that the White Shirt lost no face and everybody went home happy. The amazing thing about this was that the Air Asia guys could static track an H1 to a point that it would reach test hop parameters with minimum adjustments on the ramp. Sometimes there were no adjustments needed at all! There was another Maintenance function that stands out in my mind. I believe it was the rotor over speed adjustment. My memory of the type of adjustment is cloudy but the event I am about to describe is seared into my memory. This function required a maintenance electrician with a long screw driver to crawl thru the pilot’s door, over his feet (which were on the rudder pedals as the function is performed with the rotor engaged) and into the forward chin bubble for access to the adjusting screws. This function was only required if there was some question as to the rotor power check. So we tell the White Shirt we need the adjustment made. The White shirt tells the Maintenance tech and we settle in for some deck time. We got AFRTS on the ADF and some Cat Stevens tunes over the airwaves. The electrician crawls in over Dubs feet and I feel Dub give the cyclic a little shake and look at me. I back him up on the cyclic and we wait for the tech to make the adjustment and crawl back out. The tech touches Dubs leg to let him know the adjustment has been made and Dub pulls a little power. The adjustment was good so Dub waves the tech out of the chin bubble. Now it gets exciting. The tech reaches back and grabs the cyclic which we both had hands on but when the tech pulls the cyclic forward Dub realizes what has just occurred and pulled in collective. We shoot up in the air in a nose down position while trying to wrestle the cyclic out of the techs hand. The tech feeling his departure from Terra Firma only has the cyclic to hold on to and is screaming in Chinese with his feet dangling out the door. While we are wrestling the cyclic the weight of the tech on Dubs feet put pressure on

the rudder pedals and we do a little turn on top of the helo pad which causes all personnel in the area to immediately depart in order to miss the approaching tail rotor. All the while the tech is screaming in Chinese I’m swearing at him in English and the pilot is just trying to land the airplane safely. As Dub finally gains control and we eliminate spin we managed to get the airplane back on the skids and pull off power. With that the tech feels earth and exits the aircraft in a dead run…as he turns to run away from the airplane a stench fills the cockpit and when I look at the tech from behind during his departure the stain was ever increasing. We never saw him on the Test Flight Crew again. Not all incidents were that exciting. When we needed time we would perform the test hop procedures then go bore holes in the sky for an hour or two. One day while out “chasing clouds” and after a flight down to the south of Tainan along the beaches. Yes the eyeball liberty was good there too. We headed to the Tsoying and Kaoshung area. Now the US Navy was pretty well represented in Tsoying as the China MAAG HQ was there. Major Shaw worked there and every time we flew down there we got a lot of waves and smiles from the wives and school kids. Kaoshung, Taiwan was a major seaport and believe it or not in 1964 this old Master Chief was able to board the Seaplane Tender Salisbury Sound there. Anyway we flew over Kaoshung and headed south along the beach to Ping Tung where Chang Kei Shek had his summer residence. There was some opulence there. All in all a pretty flight with beautiful scenery. We decided that the gas load was low enough to head back to Tainan and came up the middle of the southern end of the Island. Then we spotted it….The Train!!! We dropped

down about 25 feet off the deck right over the rail road tracks and went to 120 Knots. Straight at the train….as we closed we could see, at first one, then two, then three heads hanging out the window of the engine. Now both side windows had heads in them. We were closing rapidly in a game of chicken with the Train that had no where to go….then just as we were within 100 or so feet we pop up and over the engine and I can see the Chinese guys eyes were as big as hubcaps. We came back around and they were all out giving us the Ding How sign (Thumbs Up) and grinning and waving. Guess Chinese train engineers don’t have much excitement in their lives. Now I do need to mention what happened to the H1’s after we test flew them at Air Asia. VRC50 would fly a C130 in and the the blades and tail rotor gear box would be pulled off and the airplane would be loaded into the C130 and flown to Danang VN where it would be reassembled and tested (25 foot hover check, right rudder, left rudder and once around the pattern) then it would be picked up by whoever owned it and flown back into combat. I only saw one side number come back in the 48 CBDs that we did. And as I said earlier we only had 50 post overhaul discrepancies in 48 Hueys and none of those would have downed the airplane. Unless of course we discuss the tracking incident. The previous story is about as true as I can recall and just one of many fine experiences this old Master Chief SAR Crewman had during his 28 years of Naval Service. So others may live. Images from: the-us-navy-at-tainan-updated.html

NHA Sympsoium 2018- Norfolk Virginia - Be There

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


The Coronado Conspiracy

Book Review LCDR Chip Lancaster, USN (Ret.)


his fast paced novel is an update of George Galdorisi’s original 1998 work. Galdorisi has used his considerable expertise in character and plot development, honed through several previous novels, to bring his original work into the twenty first century. Making it into a tightly knit story of intrigue, treachery, murder and above all conspiracy. The president is unpopular it seems in certain circles, circles that are determined to do the unthinkable to remove him from office. While an overt military coup is out of the question, a conspiratorial plot to ruin the president is not. A plot which swirls through military commands from the top on down as well as the halls of congress, finally coming to a focus aboard the command and control ship USS Coronado. All actions are designed to create a catastrophic military intervention which can be blamed on the president. The flies in the ointment are CIA officer and ex-SEAL Rick Holden and Naval Intel officer LT Laura Peters who suspect foul play. Their efforts to intervene are intercepted with their lives ending up on the line facing murder and desertion and forced to evade a nation-wide manhunt. Galdorisi has successfully moved his original novel’s plot line into headlines right off of current newspapers and the internet with topical issues ranging from sexual harassment to a raging drug war to impeachment. Everything from congressional investigations to military command and control to drug interdiction to murder and espionage are wrapped around a story flow from the jungles of Central America to the White House. The action ranges from riding a Blackhawk into a jungle war zone to chases through the streets of Panama, Miami and Washington DC, all while political wrangling and intrigue take place from darkened afloat control centers to white hot fire fights to Pentagon passageways and the halls of Congress. How The Coronado Conspiracy resolves is more than a great read. It’s an adventure played out in real life scenarios with true to life characters. It is worth the price of admission and you won’t be disappointed. Check it out!


Book Review

by CAPT George Galdorisi, USN (Ret.)

Green is the New Orange

Funny but True

Article by LCDR Barett “Tom” Beard, USCG (Ret.)


few years back a friend invited me to accompany him on a Huey ferry-flight from Seattle to Anchorage. I dug through some old flight gear to wear on the trip and discovered an ancient, orange flight suit. Wearing it for this flight made sense until I considered the consequences of me walking out of the Canadian wilderness from a downed helicopter wearing an orange jump suit. The potential complications struck me— explaining why I was not an escaped prisoner. Instead, I wore Levies and checkered shirt like the other pilots. Similar implications happened some 40 years before this flight to Alaska that doomed the very-short practical existence of the seemingly correct color, military flight suit. Steve Caple, Ed Marsyla and Vic Vicari are returned to the USS Intrepid by The tale of the short history of orange Clementine in their new orange flight suits courtesy of the HC-2 Det. flight suit reported here is from personal recall based on my experiences and not, as after innocents using the BOQ’s washing machines. At home, perhaps it should be, based on recorded facts. wives, too, had similar complaints. Most of the clothing of The Navy flight suit, until a half-century ago came in pilots in this squadron appeared in various hues of Kelly green only one color, khaki and in a non-stylish cut that resemfollowing the home-style dye jobs on their unique flight suits. bled mechanics’ overalls of the 1930’s from which it preA violent midair collision between two Whiting T-28s left a sumably originated—but with an added cigarette-pack solo Marine student ejected from his aircraft and missing, lypocket on the left-hand sleeve. The cotton cloth was treating somewhere in a farmer’s field south of Brewton, Alabama. ed with a fire-retardant, a starch-like finish that emitted a At the time, in 1962, I was a flight instructor in T-28s at North noxious odor and caused bare skin, where sweat leached Whiting Field. The Marine’s body lay undiscovered, dressed in the chemicals from the cloth, to itch. Instead of tossing the the typical khaki flight suit, in a plowed field, for a couple dirty flight suits in our own wash, we were instructed to of days—maybe more. The marine captain investigating the exchange them for Navy cleaned and treated suits at ‘Flight accident was livid over a situation that allowed a dirt-colored Gear Issue.’ For the noted reasons, few ever did. flight suit to impede discovery of the body. He was adamant Wearing flight suits away from the flight line was always in his formal recommendations and to all within his hearing prohibited. Lockers were usually provided in the hangar at the time: all flight suits should be of a color astronauts were area to facilitate this order. Some days, depending on a using. His arguments were effective. And surprisingly soon, complicated schedule, might call for several switching of our khaki colored flight suits disappeared and the replacement clothes to meet these cumbersome regulations. in the bright orange willingly accepted. Everyone felt good Cleanliness was another problem. Flying up to four and we appeared pretty sharp looking, too. We looked almost flights a day often six days a week in the back seat of a SNJ, like astronauts. T-34, or T-28 out of Whiting during the summer quickly The shift to orange was swift and complete by the end of rendered a flight suit odoriferously unbearable even to the 1963. And only six months later in 1964, a new event ocwearer after a short time—maybe a reason for the flightcurred to destroy the existence the new orange flight suit. I line restriction. For these reasons, most pilots washed their was deployed to Yankee Station off Vietnam with the air group own flight suits disregarding the fire protection offered by in the aircraft carrier, USS Constellation. All the carrier’s pilots the Navy. and aircrews were vividly decked out in orange. The bold colThe skipper of an attack squadron to which I was ator now offered us the advantage of being quickly spotted by tached in the late 1950s wanted his troops to look sharpour rescuers, as intended, if we were downed in the jungles of er than what was possible with the ubiquitous khaki. He South East Asia. Unfortunately, the other side had the same ordered all his pilots to dye their suits a Kelly green. This thought. Immediately after our first aircraft went down in the didn’t work out too well. BOQ managers were strung out jungles piloted by an orange-clad aviator we learned that our answering irate residents complaining about green skivvies opponents, not only could locate pilots easier, but could also Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


Funny But True attract rescuers on crashes (or fake crashes), by draping one of their soldiers with Monk’s saffron robes in a clearing, surrounded by a ring of firepower. The orange color now became the cheese in a trap. This new awareness brought panic-time in the air group. We had nothing else to wear over our skivvies except orange or maybe dress blues or dress khakis. An order went out immediately for a company in Japan to manufacture camouflage flight suits. The shipment came swiftly—only days later. Japanese tailors, apparently, did not have or use standard body measurements. From the flight suits we received, they must have judged Americans sizes on what they viewed on movie screens. I am tall at a little over 6 feet 2 inches. The suit I got had sleeves and legs that were several inches longer than these extremities. My recall is, almost a foot! We all wore our new jungle suits initially with large roll-ups on both arms and legs until we got them scissored shorter. The cloth, apparently of a density for military field tents, was a nearly inflexible, medium-weight canvas. The air temperature was always 92 degrees that summer on the Gulf of Tonkin, and unfortunately, the plane I flew (E-1B) had no air-conditioning nor did we fly in cool air high up. Life in the cockpit was miserable just to be invisible from the enemy should we take an unscheduled stroll in the jungle. I don’t know what happened later—probably in early 1965—to these first camouflaged fight suits that replaced orange. We packed them up and sent them on to our relief air group when we departed Yankee Station. Shortly thereafter, the standard flight suit turned green, grey, or tan in color and the cloth to a comfortable Nomex. The style and cut took on an appearance that later allowed a nicer uniform look that might be worn, without disgracing the command, away from the flight line. And orange went to prisoners everywhere. Other fashion colors for flight crewmembers’ flight suits, came later but not orange. Today I fear for my personal security from the law if I should ever walk around outside in my old orange flight suit. Furthermore, the once loose-fitting garment is now a bit tight around the middle.

About the Author: Lieutenant Commander Barrett “Tom” Beard, USCG (Ret.) earned his wings and Navy commission through the NAVCAD program in 1955. During an eclectic Navy flying career, he flew TBM-3 Avengers, AD-5/6/7 Skyraiders (carrier qualified), E-1B Tracers (carrier qualified), TV-2 Shooting Stars, and F9F-8 cougars, plus SNJ Texans, T-34 Mentors and T-28 Trojans—all as flight instructor. In 1965, Beard accepted a U.S. Coast Guard commission and flew the HU-16E Albatross, HC-130B Hercules, and HH-52A Guardian. During his aviation career, he accumulated 7,000 flight hours. He holds air transport, seaplane and commercial helicopter pilot ratings. Beard earned a master’s degree in history and is the author of more than 50 published articles and five books, including Wonderful Flying Machines (Naval Institute Press), contributor to U.S. Naval Aviation (Naval Aviation Museum Foundation), Association of Naval Aviation (book) and as editor in chief of The Coast Guard (Foundation for Coast Guard History). He is receiving the 2016 Naval Aviation Museum Foundation Arthur W. Radford Award for Excellence in Naval Aviation Literature. His most recent FAA biannual flight check was in a SNJ.


Phrogs, Snakes, Heroes and Goats Article by CAPT Mike Reber USN (Ret.)


hese stories were sent to Rotor Review by CAPT Reber and, except for LCDR Ross Russell, USNR and Walter Cronkite, all of the character names have been changed. LCDR Ross Russell was a member of a unique group of almost permanent LCDR USNR types who came into the Navy at the end of WWII, were mustered out and then called back for Korea. Most of them were transitioned from Fighter/ Attack into VR or Helos after Korea. Few (not all) had any viable career path and they served with a primary goal of reaching retirement. They were generally excellent pilots and those in helicopters were almost all assigned to HU, later designated HC, squadrons; as HS was recognized at the time as the only viable career path in the community. Because of their seniority, most of the HU/HC department heads were USNR, WWII retreads. I always felt fortunate to have served with them and I benefitted greatly from their considerable experience. Ross was a great character and one of my very favorite people.  He was Operations officer at HC-4, Det Norfolk for a while and his desk name plate had 5 stars on it.  When a new guy checked in we told him to be sure and ask “Mr. Russell” what the 5 stars represented.  Ross would answer in his strong Georgia accent, “Them’s the number of times I’ve been passed over kid.” I was the Schedules Officer under Ross. One day he came running into my office in a very exited state asking if we had an “up” H-46 available for an immediate launch.  As it happens we did and Ross ordered me to assign a crew with him as the HAC.  At the time, HC-4 Det Norfolk was assigned a “Ship Rigging” mission which required us to launch the SAR aircraft with a photographer and take pictures of foreign ships entering Norfolk harbor.  There was a photographer from the photo lab who was assigned to stand by every day in case he was needed. Ross told me to be sure and put the photographer on the aircraft he was taking.  Ross then called Maintenance and told them to roll a palletized ferry tank into the H-46.  He wanted it full of fuel, but not connected to the aircraft.  He also asked to have a hand cranked fuel transfer pump and some fuel hose put on board.  Ross’s excitement and this strange mission had been generated by a phone call from his old friend and shipmate, CDR Sam Smith, who was then CO of HC-2 in Lakehurst and one of the few WWII retreads who was selected for USN and found a career path to command. Ross and Sam went back many years and they had a history of playing elaborate practical jokes on one another.  For example, after the Korean War, Ross signed Sam up for the helicopter transition program without Sam knowing and did not tell him until 2 or 3 years later.   Sometime later, Sam retaliated by putting a dead snake in Ross’s flight helmet when they were both instructors in H-13s at HT-8 in Pensacola.  The helmet was on a hook outside the Ready Room where Ross was briefing a student prior to a training flight.  Sam put the snake under Ross’s gloves and Ross Rotor Review #140 Spring '18

never saw it when he grabbed the helmet on the way to the aircraft. It turns out that Ross had an almost pathological fear of snakes, which Sam knew.  Ross hung his helmet on the pitot tube of the H-13 while he strapped in.  The pitot tube was located above eye level so when Ross reached up to get his gloves he still did not see the snake.  When he was ready to go, Ross grabbed the helmet and put it on, still not seeing the snake, the tail of which was now hanging down his cheek.  The student reacted with a stunned look at the snake’s tail as he watched Ross’s initial puzzled reaction to the

When he was ready to go, Ross grabbed the helmet and put it on, still not seeing the snake, the tail of which was now hanging down his cheek. strange feeling of something in his helmet.  Recognizing the snake, Ross immediately began to scream so loud that the entire flight line was aware of something terribly wrong in the H-13 where Ross was engaged in a desperate struggle to get out of the aircraft. Still screaming and raving, Ross tore off the hard hat, threw it across the tarmac and clawed wildly at the harness to get free of the aircraft.  I hear that it took an hour for the flight line to get back to normal and the rest of the day for Ross to calm himself enough to drive home. It seems that we were about to witness Ross’s revenge. Ross had received a desperate phone call from his friend, Sam, begging for help.   Sam, now CO, HC-2, in Lakehurst, told Ross that he and his co-pilot, LT Chuck Johnson had launched an hour or two before in a UH-2A  enroute from Lakehurst to NAS Norfolk.  However, it seems that the H-2 had been forced to land in a pea field in Delaware because fuel could not transferred from the drop tanks.  The fuel transfer problem was a gripe on the aircraft prior to launch, however, LT Johnson flew a 30 minute test flight before departure and found things in order.  Sam and Chuck, therefore, departed Lakehurst without topping off.  When the problem reoccurred, they did not have enough gas in the internal tank to make it across Chesapeake Bay safely and they landed near a farm house in Delaware.  Sam called Ross from the farmhouse and begged him to send some fuel up in an H-46 so they could fly into Norfolk without anyone being the wiser.  He especially did not want anyone at the Wing (COMFAIR) to know that the CO of HC-2 had committed the almost inexcusable error of running out of gas.  Ross assured his old friend that his secret was safe, that he would tell no one and help was on the way. Ross quickly launched in the fuel laden H-46 and soon found the down H-2.  He landed near-by and fuel was transferred to the H-2 without a hitch.  All seemed to be going well until Sam noticed the photographer moving about taking pictures of the whole scene.  What Sam did not know was that Ross had briefed the photographer to disembark on arrival


and start taking pictures, but not to load his camera. If anyone asked, he was to say that he was from the Safety Center and all he knew was that he had been ordered to get on the flight and take pictures of what he found.  When Sam asked Ross about the photographer, Ross claimed not to have any idea where he had come from, so Sam asked the photographer what he was doing there.  The photographer gave the response that Ross had briefed him to give; that he was from the Safety Center and had been told only to get on the flight and take pictures.   Sam concluded that in spite of his desperate effort to keep his secret, the jig was up.  So, when he arrived in Norfolk he went hat-in-hand and reported the incident to his entire chain of command and the Safety Center; only to find out the next day that he need not have done so because no one knew of the incident until he confessed.  Ross got a big laugh at Sam’s expense and Sam decided that he had done the right thing by confessing, so all was well in the end.  It was just another adventure in the Ross Russell saga, one of the final chapters of which included the famous Walter Cronkite incident. Ross was the OIC of the H-46 Det on USS Sylvania in the 6th Fleet.  Vertrep was just beginning to get the fleet wide recognition that we all felt it deserved, and SERVELANT and AIRLANT were anxious to get some good publicity about the enormous contribution this new and exciting mission was making to fleet mobility and logistics.   As it happened, the famous Walter Cronkite was currently hosting an enormously popular TV series featuring military missions and the production crew was onboard the carrier assigned to 6th fleet.  When the production crew witnessed its first H-46 Vert rep they became very excited (who wouldn’t?) and demanded the opportunity to film it.  The film turned out to be spectacular

and the chain of command was alerted to the possibility of having an entire segment of the Cronkite program devoted to the Vertrep mission. Alas, it was not to be. Unfortunately for Vertvep and Naval Aviation, Ross Russell was a devoted son of the South and had insisted on painting Rebel Flags on the sides of the H-46’s which had carried out the mission. This was exactly the wrong time in our national history of race relations to have a Rebel flag on the side of a US Navy aircraft.  This was the late 60’s,  Martin Luther King was a national figure, there were TV reports of dogs attacking civil rights marchers in Selma, civil rights workers were being kidnapped and murdered and the Navy found itself under constant criticism for a perceived lack of black officers and enlisted leaders.  When CBS executives reviewed the film and saw the Rebel flags on the H-46’s they called the CNO’s office and things went quickly…very quickly… down-hill from there.  Of course the film was never shown, everyone in the chain of command got phone calls which they received while standing at attention, Ross was ordered to paint out the Rebel flags IMMEDIATELY and I heard that he was relieved as the Det OIC and disappeared forever from the fleet to some obscure staff job in Pensacola and retired. He has long since passed away and the world has lost one of the great characters in Naval Aviation.

USS Sylvania (AFS-2) conducting a (VERTREP) Vertical Replenishment employing her two Boeing (UH-46D) helicopters while underway in the Mediterranean Sea, late-1960s. In the distance USS Shasta (AE-6) is conducting a (RAS) Replenishment at Sea with two destroyers.


Around the regions

Vietnam Ace Shares Combat Insights with HSM Community Article by LT Matt “Regis” Philbin, USN


viators across HELMARSTRKWINGLANT gathered at Naval Air Station Jacksonville to hear firsthand aerial combat experience from one of the U.S. Navy’s most decorated Naval Flight Officers, William “Willy” Driscoll. An F-4 Radar Intercept Officer during the Vietnam War, Willy was awarded the Navy Cross, Purple Heart, two Silver Stars, and was a nominee for the Medal of Honor. With 170 combat missions over Vietnam, 500 aircraft carrier landings, and 3,300 flight hours, Willy and his pilot, Randall “Duke” Cunningham, would emerge as the nation’s only pair of Aces throughout the Vietnam war. However, Willy did not discuss his lengthy accomplishments to the room of HSM aviators. Instead, he shared how his aerial experiences have shaped his life and career as a leader, both while in the military and in the corporate arena. Willy stresses the importance of training and simplicity, stating “You don’t want to get too fancy. It’s usually the pilot who makes the fewest bad mistakes who prevails.” Using his most harrowing mission in Vietnam as an example, Willy and Duke were able to shoot down three enemy aircraft in a matter of minutes, while outnumbered and receiving enemy William “Willy” Driscoll (centered) surrounded by the Commodore and Commanding fire from the ground. Tactics were Officers of HELMARSTRKWINGLANT. Photo by LT Sara “Deebo” Burton essential to his survival that day, Willy explained; however, ‘easy tactics’ fostered an environment of easy decision making. While tactics by the book are important to mission success, Willy clarified that there will be times when the best tactic is simply to maneuver, take a deep breath, and reassess the situation. Captivated by the incredible story of three downed enemy aircraft in one mission, Willy quickly silenced the room with a firsthand account of what can transpire when aviators drop their situational awareness. Elated with excitement following their three kills, Willy explained that “Cunningham and I were shot down when we lost concentration.” While transiting back to the boat, a surface-to-air missile hit Willy’s jet, which caught fire and ultimately became uncontrollable. Consequently, Willy and Duke were forced to eject over the Gulf of Tonkin, eventually being rescued by a U.S. Navy helicopter as North Vietnamese patrol boats raced to capture the two downed aviators. Willy demonstrated that victory can quickly turn to tragedy, stressing “the flight is not complete until the aircraft is safely on deck and shut down.” Shifting to current events, the conversation quickly turned to the primary missions of the MH-60R: Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Anti-Surface Warfare (SUW), Electronic Warfare (EW), Command and Control (CC), and Non-Combat Operations (NCO), missions that are essential to Carrier Strike Group operations and security. Willy emphasized the importance of adaptability in Naval Aviation, especially for aircrew in the HSM community, flying such a capable aircraft. Relentless planning and preparation before strapping into the cockpit facilitates mission accomplishment when tasking changes unexpectedly. As the demand for the MH-60R continues to grow within the Carrier Air Wing, Willy highlighted the associated demands that will be asked of HSM aircrew and maintainers. These increased demands will likely carry inherit stressors; however, as aviators, if stress is not handled appropriately everything can break down – alertness, training, patience – which can eventually result in an unsuccessful mission or loss of aircraft and crew. The ability to identify and manage stress while airborne and on the deck is critical to mission success. Willy concluded with a statement which resonates with all Naval Aviators throughout the Naval Aviation Enterprise: “The day you stop wanting to get better is the day you stop being good.” Planning, preparation, focus, assessment, improvement, and self-discipline are all necessary facets and characteristics which enable an individual to reach peak performance and achieve mission accomplishment.

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


HSC AIRCREW STUDENTS EARN THEIR WINGS Newest Aircrew are getting their first set of wings. Wings were provided by NHA.

Class 70800S Graduated March 2, 2018 From left to right: AWS3s: Coble, Wood, Earnhardt, Santana, West, Shahrabani, and Laprise

HSMWINGPAC Weapons School

Pulling Chocks

LCDR Brian L. Snook, USN Enlisted: 10MAY93 Retired: 01FEB18 Sea Duty Tours: HSL-45, USS NIMITZ, CTF-57 / 72, FMP MOCC MED, CTF-67, CSG-1 Shore Duty Tours: HSL-41 FRS Instructor, HSMWSP Awards and Achievements: CPO (16SEP02) / ENS (01NOV04) AWRC (NAC/AW/SW) Kenneth R. Ball Enlisted: 03Jul97 Retired: 31Mar18 Sea Duty Tours: HSL-51, HSL-47, HSL/HSM-49 Shore Duty Tours: HSL-41, HSMWSP Awards And Achievements: CPO (16AUG11), SWTI (01OCT08)

NHA wants to hear from you! If you are leaving the Naval Service... Please send us an email at Are you transitioning to civilian life? Be sure to check out NHA’s Transition Assistance section of the NHA website. 73

Exercise Dynamic Mongoose 2017

Command Updates

Article by LT Leighton “LP” Pleasants, USN


ven at first glance, the MH-60R looks different. Her swollen belly yields a shielded radar that looks like it could scrape the ground during any take-off or landing. The tail wheel is slid forward to the point it looks to be in the center of the aircraft. It can be armed with missiles, rockets, or torpedoes. Yet the first question a spectator wants to ask is if the pitot tubes are machine guns. The multi-mission capability of the MH-60R makes it ideal for a variety of missions. With a full sensor suite crammed into every free space of the helicopter, it may not be ideal for passenger transfers, but it will retrieve every bit of tactical information in the area to pass on to Cutlass 467 flying with HDMS Esbern Snare (L17), HoMS Roald tactical commanders. Recently, Detachment Three “Despicable 3” Amundsenand (F311), Icelandic Coast Guard ship, RFA Wave Ruler (A390), and HNLMS Evertsen (F805) in formation during from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron FOUR Exercise Dynamic Mongoose 17. US Navy Photo SIX (HSM-46) “Grandmasters” participated in aNATO exercise that allowed them to demonstrate the helicopter’s capability off the southern coast of Iceland. With glaciers rising above the horizon in the background, the detachment offered 24 hour coverage, monitoring three different submarines, in a coordinated effort with a variety of NATO Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and ships. Working under the command of Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1), Det THREE utilized passive sonar, active sonar, ESM, radar, and FLIR sensors to continually track both nuclear and conventional submarines in the deep icy waters while embarked on USS James E Williams (DDG-95). Using Link 16 and Hawklink, the aircraft was able to provide real-time updates to the tactical picture for all ships and aircraft, enabling enhanced short time-late decision making. While the surface assets maintained a safe stand-off from the “adversary” submarines, the Romeo was able to fly into the problem and deploy sensors with precision. In situations such as these, the MH-60R has a trump card… the Airborne Low Frequency Sonar (ALFS). This on-board dipping sonar can be placed anywhere in the water. Sprinting to the most advantageous hover position, the transducer can quickly be deployed up-doppler from the submarine, yielding an accurate firing solution for the deployment of torpedoes or allowing the location to be passed to other assets for their own weapons employment. Additionally, the helicopter can work in conjunction with the ship’s sonar suite, other MPA assets and their sensors, or other helicopters equipped with airborne sonars or receivers. NATO assets may use a different unit of measurement requiring quick conversions for depth and distance, but we all spoke the same language in terms of tactics, allowing for successful integration between multiple countries to accomplish the same mission together. Cutlass 467 of HSM-46 Detachment THREE conducting a deck hit aboard HNLMS Evertsen (F805) for passenger transfer of French MARCOM photographer. Deck crew shown removing chocks and chains from helicopter to prepare for launch. US Navy Photo

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


Vipers Have a New CO

Article by LTJG Wil Wilkinson, USN, HSM-48 PAO


DR G. Shon Brown assumed command of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 48 from CDR Bradford P. Crain on March 16th 2018. CDR Crain assumed command of the HSM-48 Vipers in November 2016. During his tenure as Commanding Officer, HSM 48 stood up four fully mission capable detachments. The squadron’s hard work was rewarded with 2016 Battle ‘E’, 2017 Retention Excellence Award, 2017 Blue "M" Readiness Award, and the 2017 Safety "S" Award. CDR Crain, a native of Windham, Maine, enlisted in the Navy in January of 1991 as a Nuclear Power Electrician's Mate. He was selected for the ROTC program, attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute earning a BS in Electrical Engineering and a commission in the Navy. His career has included operational tours with HSL-46, USS Tarawa ( LHA-1), HSL-45 and HSM-75. He has served ashore as a Fleet Replacement Squadron instructor at HSL-41 and with NATO Joint Force Command Headquarters Naples, Italy as an Operations, Plans and Policy writer and Executive Assistant supporting Assistant Chief of Staff (ACOS) J3 and the Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS) Operations. CDR Crain’s next assignment will be serving with CCSG-2 in USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH (CVN-77) at Norfolk, VA. CDR G. Shon Brown is a native of Sanford, Florida and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in July 1988. He served in a number of commands, primarily in aviation. His last enlisted assignment was in Fighter Attack Squadron 81 at NAS Cecil Field. He was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program and graduated from Auburn University with a BS in Aerospace Engineering in 2000. His career has included operational tours with HSL-42, Multi-National Force Iraq Strategic Effects, and HSM-70, including time as both Squadron Maintenance and Squadron Operations Officer at HSM-70. He has served ashore at Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tennessee as the Ratings Assignment Officer, and also with United States Special Operations Command (US SOCOM). While at US SOCOM he was the Operator Interface Team Lead for the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) initiative. CDR Brown has been the Executive Officer of HSM-48 since November 2016. CDR John Randazzo, previously assigned to Joint Force Headquarters, National Capital Region, will take over as Viper Executive Officer.

Vipers Lead the Way!

Strafing the Wake:

Article by LTJG Abby Khushf, USN


n addition to the routine logistical support of CVW-2, HSC-4 has taken every opportunity to refine the tactical employment of the MH-60S. Achieving 100% of their pilot Fixed Forward Firing qualifications, HSC-4 fired over 8,000 rounds of 20mm and 250 unguided rockets. Several such live fire training operations were conducted via strafing the wake of CVN-70, providing a substantial target for live fire practice and an opportunity to exhibit newly integrated tactics to the other Air Wing communities. HSC-4 has 100% Crew Serve Weapon qualification and extensively practices the combined employment of Fixed Forward Firing and Crew Serve Weapons to achieve maximum proficiency as they travel deeper into the Pacific. AO’s rig 610 to strafe the wake. Photo: MC3 Matthew Granito


“Exercise, Exercise, Exercise” – An A30 Launch: Article by LTJG Abby Khushf, USN


veryday, HSC-4 sets aside one aircraft with an assigned crew to hold the Alert 30 status. This means that there is an aircraft that can be airborne within 30 minutes. There are many reasons to launch the Alert 30, but the primary reason is in case of a man overboard. If someone were to fall off the edge of the carrier, this aircraft must be ready to launch and recover that person. CVN70 regularly conducts man overboard drills to practice mustering and preparing its personnel for such a scenario. On occasion, they even throw dummies in the water to test the vigilance of their watchstanders. However, there are few opportunities where HSC-4 is launched to recover the dummy ‘survivor’. At 0900 on Febraury 14, 2018, Legendary Black Knights received an opportunty to demonstrate their effectivness. “Now launch the Alert 30 helicopter, side number Maintenance crew await final signals from plane captain 610,” was heard over the ship’s announcement prior to launch of 610. Photo: MC3 Matthew Granito system. The Alert crew sprang into action and was off deck within 26 min of the announcement being made. “We can’t take credit for any of that,” said LTJG Alexandre, HSC-4’s newest HAC and copilot for the exercise. “Everyone on the flight deck brought their A-game. Line, Ordnance, QA, and maintenance as a whole did their part to ensure our aircraft was ready to launch quickly.”Before launching, crew chief AWS2 Mendieta prepared the cabin and rescue swimmer AWS2 Branson donned his gear. “We had all of our checklists completed prior to launching. As soon as we were airborne, all four of us were looking outside for the survivor,” explained LTJG Alexandre. The ship was circling as part of the drill and 610’s experienced crew found the dummy in the water within minutes of the launch. Once overhead, 610 determined the sea state was too high to jump their swimmer into the water and instead chose to lower him via the hoist. Once in the water, AWS2 Branson determined that the ‘survivor’ required a litter and AWS2 Mendieta expertly lowered the litter into the water. In eight minutes AWS2 Branson had the ‘survivor’ properly secured in the litter and AWS2 Mendieta recovered both the survivor and rescue swimmer in an amazing 11 minutes. "We train for days like these,” said AWS2 Branson, “we must be ready when the unfortunate happens and have the skill necessary to perform our mission. It was incredible training and great to see impeccable coordination between air and surface SAR assets with a common goal to save lives." AWS2 Mendieta reported, "It's these types of drills that demonstrate our competency and ability to execute. The ship can count on us to be there.” The value of the training and the effectiveness of the crew has brought a lot of positive attention to HSC-4 Legendary Black Knights.

AWS2 Branson calls for a litter to complete the rescue during the exercise. Photo: MC2 Zackary Landers

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


Humboldt Bay-Based Coast Guard Crew Returns Home after Counterdrug Deployment


Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and crew returned home Thursday  following a 77-day counterdrug patrol in the Eastern Pacific Ocean aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf. A maintenance team of three Sector Humboldt Bay flight mechanics deployed with the helicopter to the cutter in January to support the Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron (HITRON). “This was definitely a unique opportunity for us, to have a Humboldt aircraft and crew with HITRON pilots and a gunner,” said CDR Brendan Hilleary, the Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay operations officer. “It’s something that’s not normally done, but they worked together, and it turned out really well.”   While deployed, the Humboldt Bay crew kept the helicopter operational for the HITRON team, who flew it to search for vessels suspected of smuggling narcotics. The Bertholf crew completed four law-enforcement boardings that resulted in the seizure of 5,045 pounds of cocaine and seven gallons of liquid cocaine with an estimated street value of more than $78 million wholesale. The crew completed the patrol  Tuesday with a 36,000-pound bulk cocaine offload, worth more than $539 million wholesale, in San Diego. The offload represented 17 separate interdictions made by the Coast Guard cutters Bertholf, Diligence, Harriet Lane, Venturous and Bear since Feb. 8. “The patrol is a great example of how Coast Guard  men and women from different units work together to support this important  mission,” said Hilleary. “I’m proud we were able Pallets of seized suspected contraband sit on the deck of the Coast Guard to be part of an operation that can Cutter Bertholf prior to being offloaded by Bertholf’s crew at B Street Pier, ultimately help keep our country and San Diego, March 20, 2018. Over 36,000 pounds of cocaine was seized in 17 interdictions by five different cutters in the Eastern Pacific between community’s streets safer. February and early March. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Fireman Taylor Bacon.

Marriott Norfolk Waterside Hotel


World Famous Swamp Foxes Log the First Deck Hit and Embarkation Onboard USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) Article by LTJG Torres, USN


he World Famous Swamp Foxes of HSM-74 continued their series of firsts by logging the first deck hit and embarkation of any Maritime Strike squadron onboard the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) as it underwent a fresh round of testing in order to certify the ship and its crew for deployment. Radar and wind envelope testing were the focus for the Gerald R. Ford following electromagnetic catapult (EMALS) trials the week prior. HSM-74 was tasked with supporting these operations in conjunction with HSC-5 and HX-21. As one of three aviation detachments onboard, HSM-74 participated in the full spectrum of testing and overcame a series of challenges to further the certification of the Ford and her crew. The mid-August underway for the USS Gerald R. Ford marked the longest period that the ship spent away from HMS-74 taking off from carrier deck. U.S. Navy Photo the pier. The ship’s combat and support systems were evaluated during numerous live drills over the course of the two weeks. HSM-74 was a part of many firsts for the ship as the first Romeo squadron to conduct flight operations. The World Famous Swamp Foxes contributed to the flight deck fuel certification by providing knowledge and expertise gleaned from our own experience onboard USS Eisenhower, CVN-69. This hard work resulted in the first hot pump of any aircraft on the flight deck. Additionally, Swamp Fox aircraft were used in both static and dynamic spotting onboard the Ford’s new flight deck layout. Unlike the familiar Nimitz-class carriers, the unique flight deck design contains no ‘helo hole’ and features a shorter, wider tower which presents challenges for deck spotting and helicopter placement. HSM-74 also helped to certify the first use of the aircraft elevator. Swamp Fox aircraft once again were used to determine spacing requirements within the hangar bay below deck, providing vital training for flight deck and hangar crews. HSM-74 supported HX-21 as it conducted dynamic interface testing for the MH-60R and MH-60S during day and night operations to increase the general wind envelopes to match the Nimitz-class and in some areas expand them when warranted. The Swamp Foxes supported nearly 75 flight hours with aircraft, pilots, and maintenance teams working around the clock to complete the testing. HX-21 designed and implemented a battery of tests to assess the radar interference presented by the U.S. Navy’s newest technology. The onboard dual-band radar (DBR) system is the first of its kind and it replaces six different legacy radar systems that previously supported air traffic control, airborne search, fire-control, and navigation. It does, however, utilize a significant portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, some of which was already allocated to other assets and equipment. The DBR shares a portion of frequencies already in use by the MH-60R for its Automatic Radar Periscope Detection and Discrimination (ARPDD) system. As the primary anti-submarine warfare asset onboard the carrier, HSM-74 was keenly aware of the importance of this testing for every carrier strike group worldwide. Over 15 hours of radar testing was completed using 34 different helicopter-system configurations. This testing will allow fleet aviators, shipboard operators, and engineers alike to come together to shape the future operating procedures for the fleet. The challenge now becomes how to divide the spectrum amongst the fleet as platforms become more advanced. The newly appointed Secretary of the Navy, the honorable Richard Spencer, visited CVN-78 for a portion of the underway. Mr. Spencer addressed ship’s company and the small aviation detachments onboard. With a focus on meeting these trials headon, the SECNAV delivered his remarks to a silent crew that was already in the midst of completing the work required to achieve operational readiness. Indeed, HSM 74 was honored to be selected to participate in such a historic moment in naval history. With such advanced technology being implemented for the first time, many challenges are bound to arise. However, the efforts of Swamp Fox aircrews and maintainers directly contributed to the future operational readiness of the Navy.

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


Blackhawks Find and Kill Mines HM-15 Conducts Bi-Annual Advanced Readiness Program Exercise in Key West Article by LTJG Charlie Thomas, USN


uring February 2018, the Blackhawks of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 15 (HM-15) completed their bi-annual Helicopter Advanced Readiness Program (HARP), an exercise of HM15’s tactical competence in the realm of Airborne Mine Countermeasures. As an expeditionary squadron HM-15 conducts these bi-annual HARP exercises in the continental U.S. while simultaneously operating a forward deployed four aircraft detachment in Bahrain under the operational command of Commander Task Force 52. This year, the exercise’s operations were based out of Key West Naval Air Station (Boca Chica Field). Key West is an ideal location for the Blackhawks to exercise their weapons systems and tactics because the operating conditions and underwater environment closely mirror those of the Arabian Gulf, which is HM-15’s primary projected operational area. February’s HARP primarily focused on HM-15’s ability Q-24B being streamed. to tactically employ their mine hunting sonar and associated tactics as well as their Airborne Mine Neutralization System (AMNS). During this year’s exercise, Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 14 (HM-14), joined HM-15 to form the largest AMCM force to conduct mine countermeasures operations in over 15 years. Their mission was to detect and destroy all mines located inside two shipping and resupply routes leading into the Port of Key West. Operating simultaneously out of Boca Chica Field, the two squadrons operated as separate Task Units supported by 300 personnel that employed seven helicopters and eight weapon systems across 30+ square NM of ocean. A Combined Task Group (CTG) Command element, led by HM-14 and HM-15’s Commanding and Executive Officers, was formed to direct the CTUs’ tactical efforts and deconflict operations in the Mine Danger Area (MDA) water space. An example of a typical situation that HM-15 was evaluated on was responding to a FAC/FIAC threat while enroute to a minefield. This type of situation has become increasingly common around the Arabian Gulf and proficiency in the use of Crew Served Weapons is imperative. The crews were required to demonstrate tactical ability to deter hostile acts by executing escalation of force tactics, techniques and procedures. These situations are designed to test and train aircrews in unfamiliar conditions and to refine pre-planned responses. In addition to evaluating pilot and aircrew mission proficiency, this year’s HARP also focused on assessing technical updates to the AN/AQS-24B; a SONAR device with integrated LASER scanning capability that maps the sea floor and detects minelike objects in a water column. The Q-24B attaches to the helicopter via a long coaxial cable that transmits a SONAR and LASER image collected by the Q-24B. Once the data has been collected, the squadron’s minemen and tacticians evaluate the mission information collected using sophisticated data processing techniques know as Post Mission Analysis (PMA). The tacticians spend the better part of the night reviewing sonar imagery as they sort through objects like fish traps and rock formations in search of more specific mine-like objects. Once PMA is complete the tacticians develop the plans for the next day’s follow-on missions. Similar to the overseas bases out of which the HM community normally operates, Key West regularly plays host to a plethora of military aircraft. Through the course of the exercise HM-15, HM-14, VFA-106, VFC-111 and other squadrons were able to share a limited run up and ramp area and safely deconflict both air and ground operations. On any given day, upwards of twenty jets and a half dozen helicopters were taxiing, refueling, and taking off in concert. Thanks to the hard work behind the scenes by Boca Chica airfield operations, Fleet Liaison Office and ATC personnel, all squadrons were able to safely interoperate and complete their missions each day. Additionally, the Coast Guard and Air Traffic Control lent support to accommodate the exercise, sectioning off nearby airspace and sections of the Gulf of Mexico to help HM-15 maximize their mission execution. The Blackhawks would like to thank Key West Naval Air Station and the local businesses of Key West for making our training productive and our stay in Key West memorable. 79

HSM-40 Honors Fallen Canadian Pilot LT Matt “Regis” Philbin


t. Barry Troy was last seen on February 25, 1968 piloting his F2H-3 Banshee as he departed from Naval Station Mayport. Part of a division of four aircraft from the Nova Scotia based 871 Squadron, LTTroy was departing the Jacksonville area to recover onboard the HMCS Bonaventure, the last of Canada’s aircraft carriers. However, shortly after takeoff, Lt. Troy entered a dense fog bank a few hundred feet above the ocean, where communication with the 29-year-old fighter pilot was abruptly lost. It had always been assumed that Lt Troy became disoriented in the thick fog he encountered shortly after takeoff, and plunged into the sea. Despite the short disTwo MH-60R aircraft of HSM-40 conduct a flyby to begin tance to the Mayport coast, the only remnants recovered the ceremony to honor Lt. Troy. Photographer: Capt. Sean from the presumed crash were the nosewheel of the air- Conners (RCAF) craft as well as Lt. Troy’s flight helmet. “Entered dense fog bank at 200 ft above ocean, no further communication,” would be the final report released by the Royal Canadian Navy. The body of the Lt. Troy would never be recovered. However, nearly 60 years later, Lt. Troy’s family would finally be given some finality to this tragic story. The vicious hurricanes that swept through the Jacksonville area in the fall of 2017 would wash ashore items belonging to Lt. Troy, leading park rangers to reach out to the U.S. Navy who in turn, assisted in identifying the lost items. The recovered items included an oxygen tank, a parachute, parachute cover, parachute harness, an inflatable vest and straps, as well as small pieces of the aircraft. After nearly six decades, Lt. Troy’s name is still visible on his harness. 60 years and one day following the death of Lt. Troy, a ceremony was held on the beach at Naval Station Mayport, less than two miles from the crash site, returning these few remaining items to Lt. Troy’s family. A section of aircraft assigned to the Airwolves of HSM-40 conducted a low pass over the sand dunes to formally begin the ceremony. The roaring flyby honoring Lt. Troy was followed by somber words from Master Chief Bill Houlihan, Command Master Chief at Naval Station Mayport, “We are here this morning because, just as the sea sometimes takes, it also gives back. Today we can look to the sea and say thank you for providing what some military families never receive, and that is closure.” The recovered items will be donated to the Shearwater Aviation Museum in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where Lt. Troy was stationed. “This was a rare opportunity to honor a fallen shipmate and his family,” Lt.Stephen “McLovin” Bauchman said, an instructor pilot assigned to HSM-40, “it was a privilege to be a part of this momentous ceremony and a flight I’ll never forget.”

The recovered items included an oxygen tank, a parachute, parachute cover, parachute harness, an inflatable vest and straps, as well as small pieces of the aircraft. After nearly six decades, LT Troy’s name is still visible on his harness.

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


Birdies soar to new heights in Florida Article by LEUT Aaron Cochrane, RAN

Two Royal Australian Navy Officers were promoted while overseas at the FRS, HSM-40 Naval Station Mayport, Florida. From left to right: CDR R. Whitfield, USN, LEUT M. Grant, RAN, LEUT G. Rushford, RAN and CDR C. Brightling, RAN.


viation Warfare Officers Michael Grant and Grant Rushford are currently posted to United States Navy Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 40 and were both promoted to the rank of Lieutenant at a ceremony in Florida. Commander Colin Brightling of the Australian Embassy was joined by Commanding Officer, United States Navy Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 40 Commander Richard Whitfield to promote the two officers and present them with their new rank insignia.  “It is always an honor to promote personnel in the Navy but it is a privilege to assist in the promotion of two Australian officers,” Commander Whitfield said. Lieutenants Grant and Rushford are part of a contingent of 12 Royal Australian Navy personnel posted to the squadron conducting operational conversion to the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter. Both officers joined the Navy in 2012 and graduated from degree studies at the Australian Defence Force Academy in Canberra. They have completed initial rotary conversion, flying Bell 429 helicopters with 723 Squadron at HMAS Albatross in Nowra, NSW last year. Royal Australian Navy officers and sailors posted to United States Navy Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 40 are completing operational conversion training and are comprised of pilots, aviation warfare officers and aircrewmen. By late 2018 this will provide an additional four Seahawk crews.  Commander Brightling said Australia maintains a close relationship with the United States Navy. “Especially in the Romeo Seahawk community,” he said. “The MH-60R Seahawk is equipped with a highly sophisticated combat system designed to employ Hellfire air-to-surface missiles and the MK-54 anti-submarine torpedo." “Australian aviators will receive first class training in both the United States and in Australia, ensuring that personnel are ready to deploy in a task group environment and conduct the full spectrum of maritime security operations.” 81

HSM-70 Completes Weapons Detachment in AUTEC Article by LT Tim Dickhaus,USN LT Alex Stoll,USN Weapons HSM-70andCompletes Detachment in AUTEC Article by LT Tim Dickhaus, USN and LT Alex Stoll, USN


he ‘Spartans’ of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 70 recently completed an Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) training evolution at the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) located on Andros Island, Bahamas from January 16 – 21, 2018. A three plane detachment consisting of 16 pilots, 10 aircrewmen, and 30 maintainers executed the high-tempo exercise, affording them exposure to valuable ASW facilities and advanced training otherwise limited in nature at their home station in Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville. Having recently returned home after an eight month deployment in the Fifth and Sixth Fleet Areas of Operation where HSM-70 conducted operational tasking involving tracking of numerous actual foreign submarines, aircrew were eager to jump at the opportunity to continue to hone their skills as the need for the MH-60R’s ASW capabilities continue to grow and become an integral part of Carrier Strike Group operations. For many, the training evolution was their first visit to AUTEC, whose acoustic range and training facilities provide an invaluable experience for fleet pilots and aircrewmen. Normally limited to canned scenarios in short increments via simulators while at home, crews were able to complete tasking involving maintaining 12 hours of continuous coverage in a dynamic and complex environment against MK-30 training targets every day during the four day training exercise. Events included passive search and localization via directional frequency analysis and recording sonobuoys, including the utilization of the newest AN/SSQ-53G sonobuoy equipped with Global Positioning System technology, and active prosecution and tracking via dual dip operations. Aircrew were also able to receive valuable post mission analysis and training feedback for each sortie via AUTEC’s Tsunami playback system, providing crews with a breakdown of every aspect of their event. Commander Kenneth Colman, Executive Officer of HSM-70 and a participant of the exercise emphasized the importance of the detachment to both the squadron and Navy as a whole. “As the Carrier Strike Groups only organic airborne ASW asset, it is important for us as MH-60R pilots and aircrewmen to refine our skills in order to continue to function as proficient operators of our aircraft and systems. This weapons detachment provided our aviators with not only the ability to execute advanced ASW tactics, techniques, and procedures, but also the ability to maintain our proficiency as we enter the maintenance period of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan, a period in which opportunities to train in a dynamic environment replicating the intricacies of Fleet operRotor Review #140 Spring '18


Spartans at AUTEC

ations are far and few between. We thank both AUTEC and HSM Weapons School Atlantic, who provided two pilot and one aircrewman instructors, in supporting our training and giving us the opportunity to increase our ASW aptitude while maintaining a high standard of performance and execution.” The pilots and aircrewmen were not the only individuals able to gain valuable experience from the detachment, as the maintainers supporting the exercise were also afforded the chance to hone and refine their skills in maintaining two bird operations in a high-op tempo environment. Ready to address the wide range of potential maintenance issues associated with such intensive operations, HSM-70’s detachment maintenance personnel expertly overcame every issue presented to them and were instrumental in ensuring aircraft were up and ready for tasking with minimal delay. Of the 35 sorties planned, only 2 were cancelled due to maintenance issues and only due to the limitations with resources and equipment available on the detachment. However, through effective coordination with HSM-70’s home guard, detachment maintainers were able to overcome logistical hurdles and quickly correct maintenance issues in order to guarantee fully mission capable aircraft with minimal effect on training. HSM-70’s AUTEC detachment was ultimately able to execute 68 flight hours over the course of 33 sorties and expend 235 sonobuoys, execute 42 simulated torpedo attacks, and complete 25 grade sheets towards the tactical qualification of pilots and aircrewmen. Furthermore, four combat crews were able to expend Recoverable Exercise Torpedoes, increasing the squadron’s combat readiness while simultaneously enhancing their ability to effectively counter a subsurface threat. HSM70 plans on continuing to utilize the AUTEC acoustic range and its facilities throughout the duration of their maintenance period in order to maintain their ASW aptitude and proficiency.

Goodfellers in NYC

Article by LTjg Bryant Henderson, USN and LTJG James Halliwell, USN


MH-60R Seahawk (HSM-70) aboard USS Hue City (CG 66) - March 2018

SM-70 Detachment Two “Goodfellers” attached to the USS Hue City (CG-66) recently completed a 13 day underway to New York City from 7-19 November, tasked with representing the community and the Navy at the Veteran’s day parade. Hue City provided special recognition to several Battle of Hue veterans who sailed alongside the detachment as “Tigers”. While on the transit from Jacksonville to New York, HSM-70’s pilots had the pleasure of sharing their state room with one of the Battle of Hue veterans, John. John is a retired Navy corpsman that was attached to the US Marines during the Vietnam War. John and his fellow veterans spent their time touring

the ship and meeting the crew. All of the veterans marveled at the combat capabilities of the guided missile destroyer, and the capabilities of the MH-60R, the most technologically advanced maritime helicopter in the world. The USS Hue City takes its name from the pivotal battle and displays many relics including weapons and flags flown over the city during the pivotal battle. Additionally, the veterans compared their training, experiences and equipment they had at their disposal in 1968 with what the Navy is using today during a Veterans/Sailors forum session with the crew on their final night onboard the ship. All hands present were humbled by the stories shared that night. Once in New York City, the “Goodfellers” visited the 9/11 memorial, which serves as a reminder of the worst terrorist attack ever on U.S. soil. The memorial is dedicated to all those who lost their lives that day, including the hundreds of first responders from the NYPD and FDNY, who sacrificed their lives in an effort to save those in the World Trade Center towers. The attack that occurred on September 11th, 2001 served as impetus for many to enter into the uniformed services, and still to this day acts as a call to arms to many more. HSM-70 Det Two had the privilege of re-enlisting the two most senior members of its enlisted ranks at the base of the North Tower memorial in an emotional ceremony that had special weight to those with personal connections to the terror attacks of that infamous day. At the conclusion of the memorial visit, Det Two personnel continued on to 5th Avenue to form up with their fellow sailors from the USS Hue City and her sister ship, the USS The Sullivans, (DDG-68), to join the parade. Fifth Avenue was overflowing with New Yorkers who supported the United States military, and marching at the front of the Hue City formation were the Battle of Hue veterans. A parade like this one was impossible when they returned from Vietnam due to the unpopularity of the war, and the United States military in general. This parade acted as a long overdue celebration for John, and all other Vietnam veterans, for their unwavering courage and bravery during one of this nation’s most difficult wars. Once the “Goodfellers” reached the end of their march, the New Yorkers welcomed the sailors to their city as family. They shared their city’s rich heritage and culture, showing the Det Two personnel their own personal favorite locations in the city. HSM-70 and the Hue City reciprocated by giving tours of the ship and helicopter and answering any questions the visitors had. Additionally, the “Goodfellers” distributed command coins and patches to the people of New York as tokens of their appreciation of their city’s hospitality. The “Goodfellers” proudly represented the HSM community during an eye-opening, enjoyable, and humbling weekend in one of the world’s great cities.


NAS Whidbey Island SAR Transports Injured Snowmobiler Article by Thomas Mills, Public Affairs Specialist


Search and Rescue (SAR) team of five from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island conducted a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) from the slopes of Mount Baker to the Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Wash., on Saturday, Mar. 3, 2018. The SAR crew was notified of an injured snowmobiler on Mount Baker at an elevation of approximately 5,500 feet. The SAR aircraft took off at about 1 p.m. and was on the deck near the site approximately 20 minutes later. The patient was then transferred onto the aircraft after a brief assessment by a SAR hospital corpsman. The crew took off at about 1:35 p.m. and delivered the patient to the Harborview Medical Center half an hour later where the patient was turned over to a higher level of care. This was the first rescue of 2018 for NAS Whidbey Island SAR, which has also conducted two searches. The Navy SAR unit operates three MH-60S helicopters from NAS Whidbey Island as search and rescue/medical evacuation (SAR/MEDEVAC) platforms for the EA-18G aircraft as well as other squadrons and personnel (CDR assigned to the installation. Pursuant to the National SAR Plan of the United States, the unit may also be used for civil SAR/MEDEVAC needs to the fullest extent practicable on a non-interference basis with primary military duties according to applicable national directives, plans, guidelines and agreements; specifically, the unit may launch in response to tasking by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (based on a Washington State Memorandum of Understanding) for inland missions, and/or tasking by the United States Coast Guard for all other aeronautical and maritime regions, when other assets are unavailable.

Hurricane Ridge near Port Angeles, Wash.

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


December 15, 2017 Top Row: CDR Robert Dulin, USN, Commanding Officer HT-28; 1st LT Steven Maire, USMC, HT- 18; LTJG Isaac Babcock, USCG, HT-28; LTJG Conor Cross, USN, HT-18; LTJG Tyler Pryor, USCG, HT-8; ENS Nathan Hochstetler, USN, HT- 18; LTJG Thomas Zu Hone, USN, HT-8, LTJG Christopher Cavender, USN, HT-28; LTJG Joseph Bullington, USN, HT- 18; Col David Morris, USMC, Commodore Training Wing 5 Middle Row: LtCol Aaron Brunk USMC, CO HT-18; 1st LT David Schwab, USMC, HT-18; LTJG Zachary Pennington, USN, HT-28; 1st LT Daniel Pacheco, USMC, HT- 18; 1st LT Nicholas Portera, USMC, HT-18; 1st LT John Ruck, USMC, HT-28; Lt.j.G Charles Bongiovanni, USN, HT- 28; LTJG Daniel Butler, USN, HT-8; LTJG Travis Rhea, USCG, HT-8; Guest Speaker: CAPT Matthew Coughlin, USN (Ret.), Assistant County Administrator, Escambia County, FL. Bottom Row: CDR Stephen Audelo, USN, Commanding Officer HT-8; Lt. Catherine Schmitz, USCG, HT-18; 1st LT Jared Wilkins, USMC, HT- 18; LTJG Adam Hawker, USN, HT-8; ENS Alexander Thill, USN, HT-18; ENS Cameron Baxter, USN, HT-28; 1st LT Adam Fisher, USMC, HT-8; LTJG Eamonn Crumblish, USN, HT-28; LTJG Paolo Chiuri, ITN, HT-28

January 12, 2018

Top Row: CDR Robert Dulin, USN, CO HT-28; LTJG Philip Deford, USN, HT-8; LTJG Bradley Foster, USN, HT-28; LTJG Jonathan Gates, USN, HT-8; LTJG Daniel Vandegriff, USN, HT-18; Col David Morris, USMC, Commodore Training Wing 5 Middle Row: LtCol Aaron Brunk, USMC, Commanding Officer HT-18; LTJG Andrew Schwalbenberg, USCG, HT-18; LTJG Carlo Conte, ITN, HT-18; LTJG Michael Twardy, USN, HT-18; 1st LT Matthew Tate, USMC, HT-18 Bottom Row: CDR Stephen Audelo, USN, Commanding Officer HT-8; 1st LT Amanda Millard, USMC, HT-8; LTJG Kristen Cox, USN, HT-8; LTJG Kristin Manson, USN, HT-18; Guest Speaker: CAPT Timothy McGuire, USCG (Ret.), T6-B Simulator Instructor.


January 26, 2018 Top Row: CDR Robert Dulin, USN, Commanding Officer HT-28; LTJG Luca Levorato, ITNAV, HT-28; LTJG Anthony Vidal, USN, HT-28; ENS Robert Burns, Jr., USN, HT- 18 Middle Row: Lt. Col. Aaron Brunk, USMC, Commanding Officer HT-18; LTJG Jess Lubbe, USN, HT-18; LTJG Dillan Rice, USN, HT-28; Guest Speaker: CAPT Mark Murray, USN; Col. David Morris, USMC, Commodore Training Wing 5 Bottom Row: CDR Stephen Audelo, USN, Commanding Officer HT-8; 1st LT Jeffrey Sauers, Jr., USMC, HT-8; 1st LT Derrick Garner, USMC, HT-8; LTJG Matthew Hinkson, USN, HT-28

February 9, 2018

Top Row: CDR Robert Dulin, USN, Commanding Officer HT-28; 1st LT James Foley Jr., USMC, HT-28; Ens. Steven Camacho, USN, HT-18; LTJG Michael Dilenschneider, USN, HT-8; 1st LT David Hasegan, USMC, HT-28; LTJG Lucas Pany, USN, HT-28; Ens. Sean O’Donnell, USN, HT-28; LTJG Ryan Gibbons, USN, HT-8; LTJG Jackson Walters, USN, HT-28; LTJG Bryan Kamens, USN, HT-8; Col David Morris, USMC, Commodore Training Wing 5 Middle Row: LtCol Aaron Brunk, USMC, Commanding Officer HT-18; LTJG Kent Huang, USN, HT-8; LTJG Joseph Lyon IV, USN, HT-28; 1st LT Thomas Franklin, USMC, HT-18; Ens. Benjamin Camacho, USN, HT-28; 1st LT Travis Bryant, USMC, HT-28; ENS Mark, Hackworth, USN, HT-28; 1st LT Phillip Heironimus, USMC, HT-8; LTJG Alexander Dudek, USN, HT-8; 1st LT Matthew Nieusma, USMC, HT-18; Guest Speaker: CAPT David Walt, USN, Commodor HSM Wing Pacific Bottom Row: CDR Stephen Audelo, USN, CO HT-8; 1st LT Eric Viscardi, USMC, HT-28; 1st LT Lukas Ohman, USMC, HT-8; LTJG Philipp Storch, USN, HT-8; LTJG David Griffith, USN, HT-28; LTJG Logan Dahle, USN, HT-28; Ens. Jack Oberman, USN, HT-28; LTJG Ian Macfarlane, USN, HT-28; 1st LT Daniel Page, USMC, HT-18; LTJG Christine Semones, USN, HT-18

Rotor Review #140 Spring '18


CAPT Dick Catone, USN (Ret.) following a memorial service for a fellow helicopter pilot, is credited with the following statement: “I guess we are all in starboard delta waiting for Signal Charlie.” Starboard Delta is the holding pattern for the airborne Search and Rescue helicopters on the starboard (right) side of the aircraft carrier. They fly at a low altitude so as not to interfere with the fixed-wing aircraft recovery pattern, and only land when the last fixed-wing aircraft is safe on board. When tower calls the helicopter to pass “Charlie” to a landing spot, the crew knows the fixed-wing recovery is complete, all is well, and it is time to come back. Hence, the statement appears appropriate that someday we will receive our own “Signal Charlie” and will be called home for a final landing. Signal Charlie has been created to inform our membership and honor the passing of fellow unrestricted aviators. It is only as good as the information we receive.  If you have an obituary or other information that you would like to provide concerning the passing of a shipmate, co-worker, or friend of the community please contact the NHA national office at and we will get the word out.

CDR Lloyd L. Parthemer, USN (Ret.) CDR Lloyd L. Parthemer USN (Ret.), former CO of HC-7 Sea Devils, a founder of the Navy Helicopter Association Historical Society (NHAHS), and Life Member of the Naval Helicopter Association (NHA), passed away from pneumonia Friday evening, January 19, 2018 at Balboa Naval Hospital, in San Diego, California. The Parthemer family requests in lieu of flowers, please make a donation via check to the Naval Helicopter Association Historical Society (NHAHS), PO Box 180578, Coronado, California 92178-0578. Condolence cards and letters may be addressed to the Parthemer family at 3929 Bonita View Dr., Bonita, CA 91902. All donations to NHAHS are fully tax deductible. View the Naval Helicopter Association Historical Society Signal Charlie page for CDR Parthemer at

CDR John Joseph Connelly, Jr. USN (Ret.)


t is with deep regret that NHA shares the news that Commander John “Jack” Joseph Connelly, Jr., USN (Ret.), passed away on January 12. Jack’s funeral was held on Saturday, January 20, 2018, with full military honors.


CAPT Rosario "Zip" Rausa, USNR (Ret.)


e are very saddened to report that CAPT Rosario "Zip" Rausa, USNR (Ret.), perhaps better known as Grampaw Pettibone, has passed away after a short fight with acute myeloid leukemia and related complications. Zip's Navy career was 100% Naval Aviation – from flying A-1 Skyraiders, “Spads”, in Vietnam to the A-7 Corsair II. Shore duty assignments included two tours on the editorial staff of Naval Aviation News and Head of the Naval Aviation History Office. He was the writer for the popular "Grampaw Pettibone" safety feature in Naval Aviation News for 20 years. Zip wrote his own books and editorial assists, and was the guiding hand behind the flagship publication of the Association of Naval Aviation, Wings of Gold, for over 30 years. Most of all he was a true friend and a great Gentleman to so many of us. We were pleased to honor Zip at the time of his retirement as editor of Wings of Gold with a feature article in our most recent issue, and with a farewell luncheon hosted by the Anacostia-Washington, DC and Patuxent River ANA Squadrons. If you haven't yet read "Something for Zip", by CDR Peter Mersky, we encourage you to do so. Zip is survived by his wife, Nita, five children and five grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the Rausa Family ask that donations could be made to American Cancer Society or to the Fisher House Foundation. There will be a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery seven or eight months from now. Once we receive those details we will send them out. Many thanks to those who remained close by to Zip during his final journey, and to those who have passed the word to us.

CAPT Charles Silvia, USN (Ret.)


t is with a heavy heart that NHA passes along the sad news of the passing of CAPT Charles Silvia, USN, Ret,). Captain Charles (Charlie) Paul Silvia, 82, of Middletown, RI and Virginia Beach, VA died from complications following a stroke on Saturday, November 4, 2017. Born in Newport, RI on December 9, 1934, he was the son of the late Thomas and Rose Mary (Rosa) Silvia. Charlie’s naval service spanned historic events beyond flying in support of the Apollo recovery missions, including flying in HC-9 as part of the blockade during the Cuban Missile Crisis, operating off the coast of Vietnam when Saigon fell and working to rescue the SS Mayaguez while with CTF-77. He was a member of the unofficial “Tonkin Bay Yacht Club” as a result of his extended carrier operations off of Vietnam.





Now is an exciting time to become a NHA Member!

Now is an exciting time to become a NHA Member!

Naval Helicopter Association Naval Helicopter Association P.O BOX 180578 CORONADO, CA 92178-0578 Name ________________________________________ Rank / Grade _____________ Branch of Service:



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Aircraft Flown:___________________________________________________________ Mailing Address: ___________________________________________________________________ City: ________________________________________________ State_____ Zip Code____________ Unit / Squadron ____________________ Current Assignment____________ Ship / Station_________ Warfare Community (i.e. HSC / HSM / HM / VMM / CG) _____________________________________ Primary Phone Number: ______________________________________ Home



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Email Address:______________________________________________________________________ Level of Membership: 1 year - $40.00

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Rotor Review #140 Spring 2018  

Rotor Review # 140 Spring 2018. Published by The Naval helicopter Association. In this issue A look at 75 years of naval rotary wing aviati...

Rotor Review #140 Spring 2018  

Rotor Review # 140 Spring 2018. Published by The Naval helicopter Association. In this issue A look at 75 years of naval rotary wing aviati...