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Summer 2018 NUMBER 141

Gear - What’s Good and What’s Not On Also in this Issue: Symposium 2018 in Pictures Coast Guard Helicopter Pilots in Vietnam Ross to the Rescue

Gear: What’s good and what’s not on

A student attending the refresher course in water survival at Aviation Survival Training Center, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, orally inflates his survival vest.

FOCUS: Gear - What's Good and What's Not On New Navy Budget Request Moves Money Toward Top Two Aviation Safety Priorities Ben Werner......................................................................................................38 Seeing the Future: HDTS LT Luke Gunderson, USN .............................................................................39 DARI Motion Data Helping Address High Soft Tissue Injury Rate and Spend Michael Prewitt...............................................................................................41 Massif ’s Flight Suit Upgrade Mike Walters ..................................................................................................42

Smmer 2018 ISSUE 141 Naval Aircrewman 1st Class David Wertsch, assigned to “The Dusty Dogs” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 7, flies in an MH-60S during Fleet Week New York 2018. Now in its 30th year, U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jeff Atherton R o t o r R ev i ew ( I S S N : 1 0 8 5 - 9 6 8 3 ) 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. Views 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. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Naval Helicopter Association, P.O. Box 180578, Coronado, CA 92178-0578. 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 member ship 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.

Raising the Bar in a Single Hoist: Cadets Redesign Modern Helicopter Rescue Basket Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole Foguth, USCG.............................................46

FEATURES Symposium 2018 in Pictures ........................................................................22 Blade Spread:The Achilles Heel of Condition III Helicopters LT Charles “Saul” Goodman, USN and AE1 Thomas Moore, USN..........32 USS Coronado Underway for MQ-8C Fire Scout Testing LTJG Caroline Zotti, USN.............................................................................34 The Rise of the PHIBRON Staffer CDR Will “Easy” Eastham, USN...................................................................35

HISTORY Helicopter History HSL 37 War Wolves CAPT Brian Buzzell, USN (Ret.) and CAPT Bill Fetzer, USN (Ret.).................................................56

Imperial Beach’s Forgotten Aeronauts Toni McGowan ..........................................................................59

Helicopter Firsts Before the MK-54,There Was the Mk-54 LCDR Tom Phillips, USN (Ret.).....................................................48

NAS Fallon First Dog Rappel AFMC (AW/NAC) BIll “Red Dogg” Moss, USN (Ret.)..................50

Navy Helicopter Association (NHA) Founders CAPT A.E. Monahan, USN (Ret.) CAPT Mark R. Starr, USN (Ret.) CAPT A.F. Emig, USN (Ret.) Mr. H. Nachlin CDR H.F. McLinden, USN (Ret.) CDR W. Straight, USN (Ret.) CDR P.W. Nicholas, USN (Ret.) CDR D.J. Hayes, USN (Ret.) CAPT C.B. Smiley, USN (Ret.) CAPT J.M. Purtell, USN (Ret.) CDR H.V. Pepper, USN (Ret.)

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

Rotor Review #141 Summer '18


DEPARTMENTS Chairman’s Brief ...................................................................................... 5 In Review .................................................................................................. 6 Letters to the Editors ............................................................................. 7 From the Organization .......................................................................... 8 In the Community ..................................................................................10 Book Reviews - LCDR Chip Lancaster, USN (Ret.) .............................66 Verbal Orders by Larry Carello Amelia Earhart: the Truth at Last ( 2nd Ed.) by Mike Campbell

Editorial Staff Editor-in-Chief LT Shane Brenner, USN Managing Editor Allyson Darroch NHA Photographer Raymond Rivard

Sikorsky’s Raider Lifts Off After Nearly a Year on the Ground Amy Kluber .....................................................................................16

Copy Editors CDR John Ball, USN (Ret.) LT Adam Schmidt, USN CAPT Jill Votaw, USNR (Ret.)

Sikorsky-Boeing Defiant Prototype on Schedule for First Flight This Year Dan Parsons....................................................................................17

Aircrew Editor AWR1Broc "Gg" Fournier, USN

Industry and Technology New Life for Marine Twin Hueys Thomas Kaminski...........................................................................14

Useful Information Shipping to Military Bases – Military Mail FAQ Joaquin Ibanez................................................................................18

CNO Announces Establishment of U.S. 2nd Fleet Navy Office of Information...........................................................19

DoD Partners With LinkedIn, Offers Miliary Spouses Free Membership Navy Office of Information...........................................................20 Funny but True Ross to the Rescue CAPT Mike Reber, USN (Ret.) ......................................................68

Almost an Ace CDR Joe Skryzpek, USN (Ret.) .....................................................69

There I Was One Night at Midway LT Mary Graf, USN.........................................................................64 Combat SAR Coast Guard Helicopter Pilots in Vietnam LCDR Tom Phillips, USN (Ret.)......................................................52 Change of Command .................................................................................62 Around the Regions .................................................................................72 Command Updates ......................................................................................76

HSC Editors LT Christa Batchelder, USN (HSC West) LT Greg Westin, USN (HSC East) HSM Editors LT Chris Campbell, USN 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.)

Squadron Reunions ......................................................................................37 Pulling Chocks ..............................................................................................70 Radio Check .................................................................................................60 Engaging Rotors ...........................................................................................83 Signal Charlie ..............................................................................................85

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.)


Naval Helicopter Association, Inc.

Corporate Members Our thanks to our corporate members for their strong support of Rotary Wing Aviation through their membership.

Correspondence and Membership P.O. Box 180578, Coronado, CA 92178-0578 (619) 435-7139 National Officers President.......................................CAPT(Sel) 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 2019....................CAPT(Sel) Brannon Bickel, USN Secretary...........................................................LT Rick Jobski, USN Treasurer ................................................LT Diane Sebastiano, USN NHA Stuff......................................................LT John Kipper, USN Senior NAC Advisor..................................AWCM Justin Tate, USN

Airbus Avian, LLC Bell Boeing Breeze Eastern CAE Elbit Systems of America Erickson, Inc. Fatigue Technology FLIR GE Aviation Innova Systems Int’l. LLC Kongsberg Vertex Logistics Solutions Lockheed Martin Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems Robertson Fuel Systems, LLC Rockwell Collins Corporation Rolls Royce Science Engineering Services Sikorsky a Lockheed Martin Company SkyWest Airlines US Aviation Training Solution USAA Vector Aerospace

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 Matt Schnappauf, USN CAPT Kevin Kennedy, USN CAPT Billy Maske, USNR President..….......................................CDR Aric Edmondson, USN

NHA Scholarship Fund

President............................................CDR Derek Fry, USN (Ret.) Executive Vice President............CAPT Kevin “Bud” Couch, USN (Ret.) VP Operations...............................................................Kelly Dalton VP Fundraising ..............................................................Juan Mullin VP Scholarships.................................................................VACANT VP CFC Merit Scholarship............................LT Nicholas Engle, USN Treasurer............................................................Jim Rosenberg Corresponding Secretary..................................LT Kory Perez, USN Finance/Investment..........................CDR Kron Littleton, USN (Ret.)

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.)

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 Brattland, USN (Ret.) NHAHS Board of Directors..........CAPT Dennis DuBard, USN (Ret.) CAPT Mike Reber, USN (Ret.) CDR John Ball, USN (Ret.)

Region 3 - Jacksonville Director .....................................................CAPT Michael Burd, USN President...............................................CDR Richard Whitfield, USN Region 4 - Norfolk Director ..........................................................CAPT Al Worthy, USN President .........................................................CAPT Joe Torian, USN Region 5 - Pensacola Directors......................................................CAPT Doug Rosa, USN CAPT William E. Sasser, Jr, USCG President .....................................................CDR Jessica Parker, USN 2018 Fleet Fly-In..........................................LT Kristina Mullins, USN

Junior Officers Council

President ................................................LT Andrew Hoffman, USN Vice President ...........................................LT Arlen Connolly, USN Region 1 ..................................................LT Morgan Quarles, USN Region 2 ......................................................LT Ryan Wielgus, USN Region 6 - Far East Region 3 ....................................................LT Michelle Sousa, USN Director...................................................CDR Dennis Malzacher, USN Region 4 ...................................................LT Tony Chitwood, USN President........................................................CDR Chris Morgan, USN Region 5 .................................................LT Christina Carpio, USN Region 6 ........................................................................... VACANT

Rotor Review #141 Summer '18


Chairman’s Brief


reetings! Hope you have all been enjoying the summer months. I’d like to provide some personal insights from this year’s NHA Symposium but, before I do, I want to first personally thank our National President, CAPT (Sel) Brannon Bickel; this year’s Symposium VP: CAPT Joe Torian; and his able assistant LT Liz Leckie for another great Symposium. This was one of the smoothest events I’ve been to in a long time. Special thanks also to our Executive Director, Bill Personius, and his staff for the many long hours they put in to organize and support the venue. It was great to be back in Norfolk and to see how much the downtown area has been revitalized! Don’t know about you but I thought the beer at O’Conner’s Brewery was great. A few of my takeaways from the Symposium: We had a very informative brief from the OP-98 Helo RO’s and the H-60 PM, CAPT Grubb. It was great to see the future improvement plans they have constructed for the Navy Rotary Wing Community. It’s always good to have “shovel ready” plans in place when funds are up for grabs! • As usual, the Flag Panel was the highlight. For all you old timers out there: think back to some of the panels you watched as a JO. Now fast forward to this year’s panel which had 3 three-star Navy helo Flag Officers on the panel…..and two more prospective three-star helo bubba’s in the audience…wow! • Finally on a more personal note: we had a chance to honor VADM Paul Grosklags (G8) for his service to the Naval Rotary Wing Community. As a former HT CO, H-60 PM and, finally, as the first rotary wing Commander of NAVAIRSYSCOM, G8 has played a significant role in all aspects of Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard rotary wing aviation. On a more personal note, G8 arrived in the H-60 program office as one of my IPT leads during some very dark days for the MH-60R program. I can personally vouch for the fact that the Romeo would not have made it to the fleet without his leadership as the IPT lead and then as my relief as the PM. I’m also pretty sure I would not have had a band at that change of command if it had not been for him. I’ll put in a plug for G8’s next venture: he and his wife Kathy will be having the grand opening of their new business “Ditchley Cider Works” this October in the Northern Neck of Virginia. Google the company name to find out more. Fair Winds G8! I’m looking forward to the next big event in October, the Fleet Fly-in…hope to see your there! All for now! RADM Bill Shannon, USN (Ret.) NHA Chairman •


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


t was great seeing many of you at the NHA symposium in Norfolk. I have never been to Norfolk before, and the rumors are true, there are some good breweries in Norfolk. While at the symposium, I had the opportunity to view many of the expert panels, rub elbows with industry experts, and share in comradery with both new and old friends. Thank you to those who put in the time to make it a great event. I particularly enjoyed the Junior Officers’ panel, where we had the opportunity to learn from some of the saltiest lieutenants about the rewarding leadership opportunities awaiting many of us on our disassociated sea tours. The panel of shooters, navigators, mini-bosses, and aides were able to give us JOs great insight regarding the benefits our first tour away from the cockpit. It sounded like there will be no shortage of leadership opportunities. In this edition of Rotor Review, you’ll see that we’ve chosen to focus on gear. As our operations continue to become demanding and our mission sets more varied, we’ve come to rely on more “gear.” Whether it be helmets, flight suits, gloves, and hoists, or mission computers, simulators, and heads up displays. From the simple to the complex, our “gear” continues to develop. As the equipment we take to the helicopter continues to evolve and our regular workload as aviators decreases, the tactical demands continue to increase. As you read the historical articles of this issue about an autorotation to avoid AAA in Vietnam, imagine doing so without our glass cockpits or preflight planning on JMPS. Remember that Amelia Earhart navigated from Honolulu to Oakland without a radio NAVAID to be found, armed with only paper charts and a sextant to guide her way. Maybe one of our readers can let us know when they stopped using a sextant on the navigation test in API? We have come a long way in aviation and the continued advancements to the gear we use to make the job of flying easier keeps evolving. With these advancements, the demands on our attention in the cockpit also continues to grow. As always, please take the opportunity to send letters to the editor, answer our question in the Radio Check section, or if you are so motivated, contribute an article. This magazine is for and by the naval helicopter community and we want your input. Let us know what you want to talk about, articles you want posted, and discussions you would like to see included in these pages. We are here for you! Stay up doppler, Clover

Rotor Review #141 Summer '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 To the Editor: I just got the Spring ’18 issue of Rotor Review and found a picture I took back in 1970 at the top of page 34.  I suspect you got it from the guys working on the SH-2F restoration.  I’d sent it to them because when I saw the bureau number of the helicopter, it looked familiar.  And, then I looked in my log book and it was one of three UH-2Cs we took a on set for almost nine months so I have loads of time in it.  Later, the airplane went in for rework and came out as an F model. Marc Liebman Dear Mr. Liebman, We apologize for the omission and appreciate you correcting the imformation. For our readers: Mr Liebman is the author of Forgotten, which was reviewed in a previous issue of Rotor Review. His other novels include Big Mother 40, Cherubs 2, Render Harmless, Inner Look and most recently, Moscow Airlift. Rotor Review is adding two new departments “Combat SAR “ and “Helicopter Firsts.”. We also welcome a new writer Ms Tony McGowan whose inuangural article, “Imperial Beach’s Forgotten Aeronaut” is the first in a series about Ream Field in Imperial Beach.

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 14, 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

Greetings from San Diego!


hope that the summer has treated everyone well. We have a lot of folks underway this summer supporting RIMPAC 2018, the SWTI Course in Fallon, and afloat on many ships around the globe. For those serving forward, thank you! For those preparing for deployment, good luck! If you find yourself with some extra time on the world wide web, please check out the blog that CNAF has created for Naval Aviators, titled “On Glide Slope.” You’ll find articles for all of us to read and to discuss issues relevant to Naval Aviation. Have you ever wanted to know more about complex or interesting issues only relevant to Naval Aviators? Have you ever wanted to write about an issue or topic that you and your peers talk about, but weren’t sure where to publish? Or maybe you have a question, comment, or concern you want to take directly to Air Boss himself, but didn’t want to involve the rest of your chain of command. Well, there’s a place for that now. CNAF has started a blog called “On Glide Slope: A Blog for Naval Aviators, by Naval Aviators” located at All posts are quick reads and are written by aviators or aviation team members just like you. If you have something you want the higher level leadership at CNAF to know about, “Air Boss Anonymous”, a completely anonymous survey, is linked at the bottom of the blog ready for your inputs. Any questions or comments, even gripes and groans, are welcome. Plug it into the survey and it goes directly to the front office at CNAF headquarters. The link to the stand-alone survey is Otherwise, I look forward to seeing everyone at Tailhook ’18 in September and/or the Gulf Coast Fleet Fly-In in Pensacola in October.

Keep it on glideslope, Bick

Rotor Review #141 Summer '18


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


he 2018 NHA Symposium is complete and we hope that everyone that made it to Norfolk this year had a good time. I’d like to thank CAPT Joe Torian, USN, CO of HSC-2 Fleet Angels and his team from Norfolk for hosting the event this year and for all their hard work along with all our contractors, corporate members, sponsors and retired personnel that were in attendance. Thank you. Congratulations to all our awardees and we look forward to next year’s Symposium in San Diego, CA. Also a big thank you goes out to all of you who participated in the post-Symposium survey. We appreciate you taking the time to provide us your feedback. For those of you who asked the question or made the suggestion that NHA have a Symposium outside of the Fleet Concentration Areas (San Diego, Norfolk or Jacksonville) I would ask that you read the article in the Spring issue (#140) of Rotor Review… “Reno, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Biloxi for our Next NHA Symposium…How About It” that outlines all the challenges with having an event outside our normal operating areas. I will have this article posted to the NHA website too so it will be available to others with the same question as it comes up frequently. We are shifting gears in the NHA National Office now and making preparations for the 2018 Gulf Coast Fleet Fly-In and NHA Join-Up 22-26 Oct 2018. We hope that you might consider joining us this year. The H-2 Seasprite Community is having a reunion in conjunction with the Fly-In this year and they will be at the National Naval Aviation Museum on Thursday 25 Oct and join us at the Fish House for an evening reception on Thursday night as well as play golf on Friday 26 Oct at Stonebrook Golf Club in Pace. We look forward to the event as well as seeing all the H-2 personnel in town for this great event. We are anticipating upwards of 200+ people for the reunion in addition to our normal folks from TW-5 and mainside PCola, so we should have a big crowd this year. Thank you and congratulations go out to VADM Paul Grosklags and VADM Dean Peters, USN; Commodores Dave Walt, USN and CAPT Matt Schnappauf, USN; and CAPT Dave Mineo, USNR and CAPT Billy Maske, USNR on the occasion of their COC’s. Thank you all for your support. Same goes to CDR Joe Murphy, USN our NHA Region One (1) President…thank you for all your leadership and support and welcome to CDR Aric Edmondson, USN, CO of HSM-35, who has assumed the duties as the Region One (1) President. A shout-out goes to HSC-25 for having a golf tournament and donating money to the NHA Scholarship fund. Thank you. Summer is here so take it easy, fly safe and send us your articles for the Rotor Review. Enjoy some time off in the sun with your family and friends. Keep your turns up and see you at the Fly-In. Regards, CAPT P., USN (Ret.)


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


he NHAHS booth at the 2018 Symposium was a success! For those of you that stopped by for a visit and looked up your Helicopter Designation Number or just stopped by to chat… good on you! CAPT Joe Purtell, USN (Ret.) was our Oldest Helix (lowest helicopter designation number 3719, 27 Sept 1957) this year and earned himself a $50.00 Visa Gift Card for attending the Symposium and stopping by the NHAHS Booth. CAPT Bill Zidbeck also attended the Symposium this year and came in a close second. Bill definitely took the prize for the Oldest Helix travelling the furthest distance this year as he came from Imperial Beach, CA. We have completed the Pilot Designation Number Listing Project so (most) all the pilot designation numbers are now contained in the NHAHS Database and are searchable. I say “most” because the data has never been complete and we are in the process of creating the caveat that will be on the list when you access the website stating not all the numbers are there as HT-8 did not record the numbers for a period of time lasting for almost a year. Some numbers are listed out of order as someone tried to use some of the unused numbers and some numbers were set aside and never used. We will continue to research the story behind the list and try to make it as accurate as possible. If you know of issues with designation numbers please drop us a line and we will do what we can to make corrections to the list. What else have we been up to? We have made a connection with a historian from Imperial Beach who will be doing some writing for the Historical Society and Rotor Review to capture some of the history of OLF Imperial Beach. Toni McGowan is a local writer who has been working on several projects here in the San Diego, Imperial Beach and Coronado areas. Most notably, she has worked on the Navy Banner Recognition Project that you see on 4th Ave leaving the base. We are excited Toni has decided to join forces with us and look forward to some of her works on Imperial Beach being published in the Rotor Review. Welcome aboard Toni. I want to put in a plug for the Base as they have finished the 3rd Edition to the Jack Rabbits to Jets publication and I understand that it will be available soon at the Navy Exchange and should be a good read and reference for those of us that have been on NASNI for some or most of our Naval careers. I look forward to receiving my copy and paging through it. We are zeroing in on another H-60 Rotor Blade for the USS Midway Ready Room Two (2) and we’ll get busy with that once we get another one and look forward to the installation of the blade in the ready room. I’d like to give a shout out to CDR Jim Sturges, USN (Ret.) who has done a large amount of work for us by scanning in all our old helicopter photos so they are now available on our NHAHS Website. Jim, thank you. That’s about it for now. Keep your turns up and have a safe and productive summer. Regards, CAPT P., USN (Ret.)

Rotor Review #141 Summer '18


Naval Helicopter Association Scholarship Fund Update By Kelly Dalton, Vice President of Operations NHASF


or 25 years, the Naval Helicopter Association Scholarship Fund (NHASF) has supported the educational goals of both undergraduate and graduate students (including Navy, Marine Corps, and US Coast Guard rotary wing active duty personnel, veterans, and their family members) by providing scholarships totaling in excess of $200,000. NHASF Board Members are honored to continue that tradition this year as well. The NHASF offers a number of scholarships, with both private and corporate sponsorship, some of which are geared toward specific categories of students; the Edward and Veronica Ream Memorial Scholarship, for example, is awarded to a deserving enlisted service member (or dependent) pursuing higher education, and the Raytheon Scholarship honors students who have a proven record of excellence in science, technology, engineering, or math. Other corporate-sponsored scholarships include the Midway Foundation Scholarship ($10,000), the FLIR Scholarship ($5,000), the D.P Associates Scholarship, the CAE Scholarship, and the Sergei Sikorski Scholarship. The Naval Helicopter Association sponsors several scholarships as well, including a Graduate Scholarship ($3,000), six Regional Scholarships, four Active Duty Scholarships, and NHA Memorial Scholarships. Finally, the NHA Historical Society (NHAHS) sponsors the Captain Mark Starr Memorial Scholarship in honor of Captain Starr’s legacy of service to the Naval Helicopter community. The NHASF Board looks forward to announcing the 2018 scholarship awardees—to be selected from this year’s pool of exceptionally impressive applicants who demonstrated commitment to both their academic and community service endeavors—at the conclusion of our currently ongoing selection process. Overseeing this process are NHASF Board President CDR Derek Fry, USN (Ret.); Executive Vice President CAPT Kevin Couch, USN (Ret.); Corresponding Secretary LT Kory Perez, USN; and V/P CFC Merit Scholarship LT Nick Engle, USN. Recent additions to the Board include VP/Operations Kelly Dalton, who served on active duty from 1998-2007 and flew SH-60F/HH-60Hs with HS-6; VP/Fundraising Juan Mullen, who retired from active duty in 2016 after tours at HC-11, HS-4, HSCWSP, HS-15, Naval Special Warfare Command and SRT-1; and Treasurer Jim Rosenberg, who spent his career supporting various NASA and DoD initiatives before most recently managing the Applications Global Support organization at Applied Materials. To learn more about or apply for any scholarships, please see our website at Donations to the fund can also be made via our website or through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), ID Number 10800.


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



ear: What a great topic for this issue of Rotor Review. My guess is that many of you are reading other articles in the magazine that talk about all kinds of great gear: today’s rotary wing aircraft, tomorrow’s futuristic platforms, unmanned systems like Fire Scout, sensors: from radars, to sonars, to sonobuoys, to FLIR and on-and-on. All great and exciting stuff. I’d like to take this column in a completely different direction. Full disclosure: I work at SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific, the Navy’s C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) center of excellence. For those of you who go back a ways, it’s kind of like the singer Prince, we’re the lab formally known as NRAD, formally known as NOSC, and a whole alphabet soup of acronyms before that too long to list here. We do software. We have hundreds of professionals who come to work every day, enter a secure, windowless room, and write computer code. We were doing “apps” before there were apps. I’m mentioning this by way of background, because now that I’ve worked here for almost two decades, I no longer think in terms of hardware – the things I mentioned in my first paragraph – but in terms of software, in terms of code. A jillion years ago when I was flying the H-2, we had a magazine put out by the manufacturer called “Kaman Rotor Tips.” It had a wealth of great information – much of it maintenance-related, that – was of great value, especially to nugget pilots still learning the ropes. We don’t have those kind of magazines any longer. We do have software, though, and a history of junior officers, in particular, who have found ways to share information up, down and especially across organizations that was of vital use to their seniors, juniors and especially their peers. U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Army officers in Iraq did this all on their own for a compelling reason – to help them stay alive. It strikes me with our Navy’s – and our naval rotary wing community’s – far flung worldwide commitments, such a system – an “app” – would be uber-valuable for the community’s aviators, aircrewmen and maintainers to share valuable information in real-time – especially where we might have tried a new tactic, technique or procedure that made what we do day-to-day easier, faster, and especially safer. Dunno – if there isn’t already and app for that – maybe one of you all can create one.

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


ig thanks to all those who helped make NHA Symposium a great success in Norfolk this year. Everyone I talked to had a great time. I personally know a few fellow HSM41 Junior Officers who might have had too great of a time (kidding…maybe). Additionally, thanks to everyone in the San Diego area for not attacking me over the issues with the NALO. We will work to rectify that situation in the hopes that we won’t have to go through the same issues in the future. Details for Symposium next year are still being finalized and I’m confident that we will continue to improve upon years past in order to make the event even more enjoyable for NHA members and our corporate sponsors. I’d like to remind all Junior Officers to please let me know about any ideas they might have to improve NHA. If there is an event that you would like to hold within your NHA region, we will absolutely help you from the NHA National Office, located in San Diego, in whatever way we can. Feel free to send me an email at Last and most certainly not least, I’d like to mention an organization that I recently became involved with; The Wingman Foundation. It is a veteran-run non-profit organization that provides immediate post-mishap support for the Navy and Marine Corps community and their families. Just this past June, an A-29 Super Tucano participating in testing crashed during a mission over the White Sands Missile Range. LT Christopher Short, assigned to VFC-12 at NAS Oceana, lost his life in the mishap. To help support the families and squadron affected by this mishap or to learn more about The Wingman Foundation please visit

Rotor Review #141 Summer '18


Aircrewman’s Corner by AWCM Justin Tate, USN

Fellow Aircrewmen,


ood day to all of you! Another great NHA symposium has come and gone. Once again, the NHA staff put together yet another great venue. The symposium was once again set up amazingly. From the symposium venue, the information being delivered in the panels, to all the scheduled events continue to bring the rotary community more together and informed. More Aircrewman specific, the Aircrew Panel has all the experts in one area that have everything to do with the rotary community. There was the rating specialist, AWR/S detailer, ECM, CNAP Aircrew Training and the AWR/SCMs from both HSM and HSC Type Wings. This is the only time that we have all of these professionals in one area to have all of your questions answered. So take advantage of this opportunity next year. Also, the most amazing and most attended Aircrew Competition happened this year. I personally want to thank AWSC Rabea Shaiboon for taking the lead and putting on an exceptional competition. I would also like to thank all the selfless volunteers that helped out. It would not of been as big of a success as it was without you. To let everyone know the results of the competition, 1st place – HSM-46, 2nd place – HSC-26, 3rd place – HSCWSL, 4th place – HSC-28 and 5th place – HM-15. Thank you for all who participated and “Thank you” to ADS for sponsoring the wonderful t-shirts for the competition. We as Aircrewmen are changing with the technical advances of our airframes and working very hard to be the best tacticians we can be. We also know that there are deficiencies with the gear we work with, procedures to follow and training we have to do. If you see and know of a deficiency, please bring this up through your CPOs. We are getting more educated on how to effect changes and the processes required to do so. However, if we don’t know about it, we cannot do anything about it. So I challenge you to excel at your job and see where you can make a difference. As the aircraft evolves and gets updated periodically, it is up to each and every one of us to learn and understand the updates so we can expertly fight the aircraft when called up to do so. As I get a chance to meet more and more Aircrewmen, I am more proud each and every day to work with each and everyone of you. You all make the Aircrew ratings the best out there! Fly Safe!

Door Gunner Diaries By AWS1 Adrian Jarrin, USN


efore we start talking shop, let me take a moment to introduce myself I am AWS1 Adrian Jarrin, reservist at HSC-85, San Diego, CA. I recently transferred from the Air Force after serving 12 years in the Combat Rescue community as an Aerial Gunner on HH60G PaveHawks. I’m very honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to join the ranks of he Firehawks. I also would like to thank the Naval Helicopter Association and Rotor Review for giving me this platform to share important and relevant issues that face our rotary community DoD wide. My objective as a columnist for Rotor Review is simple; discuss the hard truths that face our rotary community as a whole and shed light on the major issues that don’t always get the attention that they deserve. One of those major issues I feel very passionate about in the community is helicopter aircrew flight equipment technology or the lack there of. Since the dawn of military helicopter aviation over 75 years ago, helicopter technology has made incredible innovative breakthroughs, changing how helicopters operate. However, in contrast, helicopter aircrew flight equipment technology has been relatively slow to catch up. This must change. If we, as a community simply turn a blind eye to innovation and not allow technology to improve the welfare of our helicopter aviators, we could be setting ourselves up for failure for the future generations to come. In closing, I will just leave you with this. In my 12 years of flying I have lost 19 friends in this business, and more than half of them were killed during noncombat missions. We as community can always do better in the aircraft and out of the aircraft. The helicopter world is risky business and we all need to come home at the end the day. See you next time.


New Life for Marine Twin Hueys

Industry and Technology

By Thomas Kaminski, North American News Editor, Combat Aircraft Monthly

UH-1N N7252N in El Paso, formerly BU 70307-01

UH-1N, BU 160170 at HMLA-369


S Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations (AMO) received the first upgraded UH-1N helicopter from Rotorcraft Support Inc (RSI) on February 10, 2015. It was one of eight transferred to the AMO by the US Marine Corps The majority of the Twin Hueys were retired between August 2010 and September 2012 and placed in storage with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona. Following removal from storage in September 2013 the airframes were trucked to the contractor’s facility at Van Nuys Airport, California, with the initial pair arriving that October. Before entering service with the AMO six of the rotorcraft will be overhauled and upgraded by RSI, which is carrying out the work under a subcontract from PAE/ Defense Support Services LLC (DS2). The helicopters were demilitarized, received thorough overhauls that included a complete rewiring and structural modifications that installed a new wire strike kit and extended height landing gear. In addition, the aircraft were equipped with the BLR Aerospace FastFin Tail Rotor Enhancement and Stability System, which feature dual tail boom strakes along with a vertical fin modification. These changes expand the helicopter’s lifting capacity, increase performance and enable greater stability in all flight regimes, including high and hot hover conditions but also contribute to a reduction in both pilot and airframe fatigue. Upgrades are also made to aircraft’s Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6T-3/T400-CP-400 ‘Twin Pac’ turboshaft engines, which are equipped with Alpine Aerotech extended exhaust deflectors. The entire drive system including the main rotor hub, rotor mast, both tail rotor gear boxes, main transmission, and oil cooler assembly was overhauled and the UH1N’s original Stability Control Augmentation System (SCAS) was removed and a stabilizer bar system was installed on the main rotor. Additionally, two extended-range fuel cells were installed in rear of the cabin and NVG-compatible LED anti-collision and position lights were provided. RSI also replaced the Twin Huey’s analog instrumentation with upgraded night vision goggle compatible cockpit systems

Rotor Review #141 Summer '18


that included new instrument panels and GARMIN G500H digital Flight Display System with four glass multi-function displays (MFD) and new communications equipment. The upgrade also installed new global positioning (GPS), transponder, weather, engine monitoring digital communication systems at a cost of around $1.3 million each. Mission equipment that was installed in the UH-1N includes a FLIR Systems Star SAFIRE electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor, Spectrolab SX-5 searchlight. A removable sensor operator console is installed in the main cabin. The first UH-1N underwent an operational assessment with AMO’s El Paso Air Branch in Texas, before entering service. All of the UH-1Ns that have thus far been assigned to the El Paso Air Branch, which is located at the El Paso International Airport. Covering the entire New Mexico-West Texas-Oklahoma corridor, the air branch is responsible for air units in Alpine, Texas and Deming, New Mexico. The fifth aircraft was delivered in August 2017 and delivery of the sixth and final upgraded UH-1N was expected by the end of Fiscal Year 2017. Initial reports indicated that AMO would operate eight UH-1Ns, however; two aircraft will be used for parts to keep the six upgraded rotorcraft flying. AMO employs the medium-range, medium-lift UH-1Ns for air mobility operations along the Mexican border, enhancing both ground searches and interdiction operations. They perform tactical and utility missions such as aerial patrol and enforcement relocation along the southern border and are often used to support airmobile units by inserting agents into areas that are heavily used by smugglers. The UH-1Hs also transport the Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue (BORSTAR) teams and Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC) special operations personnel. Among its secondary missions, the Twin Hueys provide internal and external sling-load lift recovery of seized drugs and equipment. Four UH-1Ns were deployed as part of CBP’s response after Hurricane Harvey struck Texas on August 23. Crews flew more than 126 hours while carrying out SAR missions for civilians stranded by flooding. They delivered critical relief supplies such as Meals Ready-to-Eat (MRE), potable water and even blood.

The twin-engine capability also allows the helicopters to safely operate now over large bodies of water during coastal enforcement operations. Flown by two pilots, the Hueys have a range of 348nm (644km) and an endurance of three hours. Developed from Bell Helicopter’s earlier model 205 the twin engine variant first flew as the Model 212 on April 16, 1969. Bell originally developed the Twin Huey for the Canadian military, which took delivery of the first of 50 examples under the designation CUH-1N in May 1971. In Canadian service the aircraft later received the designation CH-135. The helicopter was also acquired by the US Air Force, which purchased 79 UH-1Ns in Fiscal Year 1968 and 1969 and later acquired three aircraft from the Marine Corps. The US Navy and Marine Corps purchases comprised 157 UH-1Ns 43 HH-1Ns and six VH-1Ns between March 1971 and July 1978. Whereas the last Navy helicopters were retired in April 2009, the Twin Huey’s operational career with Marine Corps ended in August 2014 when the last UH-1N’s operated by the Marine light attack helicopter squadron HMLA-773 were retired. It continues to serve the USAF, which is currently moving forward with plans to acquire up to 84 new rotorcraft; under its UH-1N Replacement Program. Just four Twin Hueys remain in service with the Marine Corps at MCAS Yuma’s Search and Rescue Unit (SRU). They are tasked to support military flight operations within a 100nm (185km) radius of the air station. The service’s “final four” HH-1Ns will be retired, when contracted service is in place, sometime in 2018. Currently 54 Twin Hueys, comprising 51 UH-1Ns and three HH-1Ns remain in storage at Davis-Monthan. Since retirement by the USMC, numerous UH-1Ns and HH-1Ns have been transferred to law enforcement agencies and other government agencies and sold to commercial operators. A number of retired UH-1Ns and HH-1Ns had previously been delivered to the US Department of State’s International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Office of Aviation (INL/A) as well as several other law enforcement agencies and civilian operators. The INL/A had also acquired nearly 40 of the Canadian CH-135s, many of which were upgraded and later passed on to the Colombian Army and National Police for use in counter-narcotics missions. Those aircraft are operated under the US designation UH-1N. Twin Huey and Pilot Reunited Shortly after the first upgraded UH-1N entered service Air Interdiction Agent (AIA) John Cohran, who is assigned to the, El Paso Air Branch’s Alpine Air Unit, discovered that he had a prior relationship with the Twin Huey. Although it wore CBP’s black and gold paint scheme N7255N had previously been operated by the Marine Corps as BuNo 160170. Around 70-75 percent of CBP pilots have military experience. AIA Cochran, a former Naval Aviator, flew UH-1Ns for 12 years following his commissioning in the US Marine Corps as a Second Lieutenant in 1984. After receiving his wings he transitioned to the Twin Huey with Marine helicopter training squadron HMT-303 at MCAS Camp Pendleton, California. He was subsequently assigned to Marine light helicop15

ter squadron HML-267 (now Marine light attack helicopter squadron HMLA-267) in March 1987 at Camp Pendleton. While assigned to the ‘Stingers’ he flew many hours in BuNo 160170 and deployed to Okinawa and the Philippines. Before leaving the Marines, AIA Cochran logged more than 2,300 hours flying Twin Hueys with the “Stingers” and later the search and rescue flight at MCAS Yuma, Arizona. As required at the time John spent three years on the ground after joining the U.S. Border Patrol as an agent before being assigned to the Yuma Sector where he flew Bell’s single-engine UH-1H and the Hughes OH-6A. On October 1, 2005, the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection merged the aviation assets assigned to the Office of Border Patrol and the Office of Air & Marine Operations to form the world’s largest civilian law enforcement air force with more than 1,800 personnel including around 475 Air Interdiction Agent/pilots. Today that organization is tasked with varied duties that include supporting the U.S. Border Patrol’s efforts at interdicting illegal drugs and undocumented immigrants, supporting Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE), law enforcement (LE) needs, and combating terrorism. Known as Air Interdiction Officers (AIO), all AMO’s pilot are trained law enforcement officers. Since joining the Border Patrol he has flown numerous rotary wing types including the OH-6A, AS350 AStar, UH1, Huey II and UH-1N and chalked up 300+ hours in the Hueys. AMO pilots are typically qualified on two aircraft types and Cochran also spends a fair amount time in the cockpits of AStars. According to AIA Cochran the UH-1N is a far more capable platform than the earlier UH-1H but is comparable to Huey II, which is also flown by the AMO. Both aircraft are typically assigned to the same types of medium-lift tactical and utility missions along the border such as aerial patrol and enforcement relocation, which include moving airmobile teams. Although the Twin Huey will end its Naval career when the MCAS Yuma SAR unit stands down later this year, it will continue to serve on the border for the foreseeable future.

John Cochran - 1988 Philippines

Sikorsky’s Raider Lifts Off After Nearly a Year on the Ground By Amy Kluber (Originally published in Rotor & WIng Internation June 2018

Sikorsky S-97 Raider. Photo courtesy of Sikorsky


he Sikorsky S-97 Raider’s flight test program has lifted off after being grounded for nearly a year. The demonstrator met its flight objectives n June. Sikorsky VP for Future Vertical Lift, Dan Spoor said test pilots Bill Fell and John Groth flew the complete flight test card, flying the aircraft for 90 minutes at Sikorsky’s facility in West Palm Beach, Florida. It is the first public announcement of Raider’s return to flight since one of the two operational prototypes suffered a hard landing in August 2017. Raider itself is based off the experimental X2 Sikorsky built and used to demonstrate 200-kt forward flight with an airframe capable of vertical takeoff and landing. Raider is the precursor of the yet-to-fly SB>1 Defiant on offer for the Joint Multi-Role Technology Demonstrator (JMR-TD) program that will feed into and inform the requirements for the U.S. Army-led Future Vertical Lift (FVL) initiative to develop a next-generation helicopter. “This is a significant milestone, which allows us to proceed with our full flight test program to demonstrate how Sikorsky’s X2 Technology is revolutionizing the future of vertical lift,” said Spoor. “We look forward to demonstrating to the U.S. military that high flight speed, and extraor-

Rotor Review #141 Summer '18

dinary maneuverability in the hover and low speed regimes, will dramatically change the way that military aviators fly and fight with helicopters.” What makes the S-97 stand out is its coaxial rotor design, which is being scaled up into the Defiant. A tail propeller — it does not need a tail rotor because of the coaxial main rotor system — provides forward thrust as much as a boat prop. Bell’s V-280 demonstrator, which recently demonstrated several capabilities such as cruising at 160 kt, is the other aircraft in the JMR-TD program. It is an evolutionary tiltrotor based on the V-22 Osprey in use by the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command, Japan and soon to be the U.S. Navy. When entering forward flight, the V-22’s engines and rotors — being fixed in the same nacelle — rotate forward on each end of its wings. The V-280’s rotors move while the engines are fixed forward, allowing for tactical improvements like sliding side doors and the integration of a fly-bywire controls system.


Industry and Technology

Sikorsky-Boeing Defiant Prototype on Schedule for First Flight This Year By Dan Parsons (Reprinted from Rotor & Wing International, June 2018)

Sikorsky and Boeing are jointly producing a medium-lift-sized demonstrator called the SB>1 Defiant. Photo courtesy of Sikorsky


n Palm Beach, Florida, a team of Sikorsky and Boeing engineers is diligently progressing toward a 2018 first flight of the SB-1 Defiant next-generation rotorcraft. “We continue to achieve milestones in support of flying Defiant in 2018,” the company said in a prepared statement emailed to R&WI. “The Sikorsky-Boeing team continues its rigorous testing program ahead of SB>1 Defiant’s flight later this year. Sikorsky achieved first flight with the Defiant’s smaller but older relative, the S-97 Raider, in 2015. It built two Raiders before being acquired by Lockheed Martin, crashed one in 2017, grounded the program for 10 months and returned to flight in June. SB>1 Defiant, a third-generation X2 aircraft, is scheduled to fly after successful completion of integration testing, ground testing, establishment of the aircraft’s do-not-exceed limits and testing of flight-critical components on the propulsion system test bed. The PTSB is a ground-test article to prove out many of the mechanical attributes of the aircraft’s pow-

erplants, rotors and prop to reduce risk prior to the prototype taking flight. Raider, aimed at the Army’s capability set-1 requirements for a scout/attack aircraft, proved out the operational effectiveness of the basic design of relying on coaxial rotors for lift and a combination of rotors and an aft pusher propeller for forward flight. Defiant is officially the Sikorsky-Boeing entrant for the U.S. Army’s joint multirole technology demonstration program. It’s only competitor in JMR-TD is the Bell V-280 advanced tiltrotor. The Army aims to use the data gathered in JMRTD to inform its official requirements for the Future Vertical Lift (FVL) family of next-generation helicopters. Both the Defiant and V-280 are aimed at satisfying the Army’s requirement under capability set-3, or “medium” variant that would be analogous to a legacy UH-60 Black Hawk. A Bell official told R&WI a broad area announcement for FVL capability set one — the armed aerial scout/attack variant — is “imminent.”


Shipping to Military Bases – Military Mail FAQ

useful Information

By Joaquin Ibanez (


are packages and letters are some of the best ways to send your loved ones a slice of home when they are deployed abroad. At we often receive questions from customers looking to send packages to military destination so we compiled a list of the 10 most frequently asked questions about Military Mail: The APO and FPO addresses are part of an agreement between the U.S. Postal Service and the Department of Defense called Overseas Military Mail, which was established to get mail to and from military personnel overseas. Along with the post office designations, three military “states” were created: AA, which stands for Armed Forces Americas; AE, which stands for Armed Forces Europe; and AP, which stands for Armed Forces Pacific. The processing center for AA mail is in Miami, Florida, and the center for AE mail is New York, New York. AP mail is processed in San Francisco, California. Military shipments must have the full names, grade and unit number of the recipient. Shipments meant for the Navy must include the ship name or fleet number. The USPS assigns special ZIP codes to military bases and organizes them by country or region. How do I format a military address? Like a domestic address, a military address lets postal clerks know where to send your mail piece, so the address must follow a specific format. This special address must include: The full name of the addressee. Mail sent without a full name will not be delivered The unit or Post Office box number A three letter code associated with the type of location. APO is used for Army and Air Force installations. FPO is used for ships and Navy installations. DPO is associated with U.S. embassies overseas. The “state” of the addressee. Rather than an actual state or province in a foreign country, the “state” for a military address should be: AA for Armed Forces Americas AE for Armed Forces Europe, Armed Forces Middle East and Armed Forces Africa AP for Armed Forces Pacific The 5-digit zip code for the military unit. All military zip codes will start with a 0 or 9. Example: CPT John Doe Unit 45013 Box 2666 USAG J APO AP 96338 What is my best option for shipping to a military base? Due to security restrictions, the USPS is the only carrier that can deliver mail and packages to APO/FPO/DPO locations. While carriers such as FedEx and UPS offer delivery to countries where military personnel may be stationed, packages from these private carriers cannot be delivered directly to a military base. Should I include a country in the military address? No! One of the most common mistakes when sending military mail is including a country in the address. Typically, including a country in the address will result in a delayed or rejected mailing.

Rotor Review #141 Summer '18


Useful Information Is Military Mail considered international mail? No. In 1959 the Department of Defense and the Post Office Department agreed that the USPS would be required to provide continual mail service to military personnel and their families worldwide. Because of this agreement military addresses (APO/FPO/DPO) are not considered international addresses by the USPS, even though they may reside in foreign countries. How much does it cost to send a letter to APO/FPO/DPO addresses? When sending a letter to military addresses, you are only required to provide domestic postage. The current cost to send a domestic First Class Mail letter is $0.50 at the Post Office or $0.47 for customers. How is Military Mail processed?. Letters and packages addressed to military personnel are first sent to Miami, New York City or San Francisco before being shipped to their international destinations. Once the letter or package arrives in its destination country, it is handed over to a Military Postal Service representative who transports it to the Military Post Office, from where it is distributed to the service member’s unit for delivery to the recipient. Do I need to fill out a customs form when shipping to a U.S. military base abroad? Since the recipient country may have restrictions on what can be imported, mailpieces addressed to a military destination must include a properly completed PS Form 2976 or PS Form 2976-A. What is the estimated delivery time for Military Mail? The transit time for sending mail and packages to military addresses varies by destination and mail class. See the table below for delivery time estimates: Can I ship electronics to military destinations? Many electronics are prohibited from being shipped to military destinations. A good rule of thumb is anything that sends a radio, satellite or phone signal is prohibited for being shipped to military bases. Prohibited items include mobile phones, cordless phones, GPS hardware and software, and FM transmitters. How should I package shipments to Military destinations? Be sure to package shipments securely enough to withstand up to six weeks of transit. Consider the destination of the package and extreme temperatures or conditions the packages may need to endure. If your package contains fragile contents add adequate cushion. If any portion of the box looks like it is sagging or can be easily depressed, add packing material on the inside.

CNO Announces Establishment of U.S. 2nd Fleet From Navy Office of Information


hief of Naval Operations, Adm. John Richardson, announced the establishment of U.S. 2nd Fleet during a change of command ceremony for U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF) in Norfolk, May 4. Second Fleet will exercise operational and administrative authorities over assigned ships, aircraft and landing forces on the East Coast and northern Atlantic Ocean. Additionally, it will plan and conduct maritime, joint and combined operations and will train, certify and provide maritime forces to respond to global contingencies. Commander, 2nd Fleet will report to USFF. “Our National Defense Strategy makes clear that we’re back in an era of great power competition as the security environment continues to grow more challenging and complex,” said Richardson. “That’s why today, we’re standing up Second Fleet to address these changes, particularly in the north Atlantic.” Second Fleet was disestablished in 2011 and many of its personnel, assets and responsibilities were merged into USFF. 19

DoD Partners With LinkedIn, Offers Miliary Spouses Free Membership a Defense Department News Release


he Defense Department’s Spouse Education and Career Opportunities program is launching a new partnership with LinkedIn, the virtual professional networking platform. Military spouses will soon have access to a free LinkedIn Premium membership, valid for one year, every time they have a permanent-change-of-station move, including access to more than 12,000 online professional courses through LinkedIn Learning, as well as access to LinkedIn’s military and veterans resource portal. The membership is also available for the spouse of a service member who is within six months of separation from the military. “The partnership with LinkedIn will offer military spouses a great opportunity to advance their careers during their times of transition,” said Eddy Mentzer, associate director of family readiness and well-being in DoD’s Office of Military Community and Family Policy. “Spouses will be able to access a global network of professionals any time, from any place. They can plan their next career step before they move, as soon as they have orders [for a permanent change of station].”

A job fair for service members, veterans and their families takes place at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds in Silverdale, Wash., May 18, 2018 and is hosted by The Fleet and Family Support Center. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher R. Jahnke, USN

Empowering Spouses “Empowering our community of military spouses to reach their personal and professional goals is part of maintaining a healthy military community,” said A.T. Johnston, deputy assistant secretary of defense for military community and family policy. “We encourage military spouses to take advantage of the LinkedIn Premium membership opportunity as just one of many tools available to them through the Spouse Education and Career Opportunities (SECO) program.” Military spouses interested in the LinkedIn Premium upgrade can visit MySECO. (https://myseco.militaryonesource. mil/portal/), for more information and to learn how best to maximize this new service. Eligible military spouses are expected to have access to the LinkedIn Premium membership later this summer. The DoD established the SECO program to provide education and career guidance to military spouses worldwide, offering free comprehensive resources and tools related to career exploration, education, training and licensing, employment readiness and career connections. This program also offers free career coaching services six days a week. This program may further develop partnership with private sector firms such as LinkedIn for purposes of enhancing employment opportunities for military spouses pursuant to authority in Section 1784 of Title 10, United States Code. The formation of such partnerships does not signify official DoD endorsement of any such private-sector entity or its products or services. Learn more about the SECO program by visiting Military OneSource or calling 800-342-9647 to speak to a SECO career coach.

More Than Networking A premium account includes enhanced insights comparing users to other applicants, on-demand learning, and use of the InMail feature, where users can send direct messages to LinkedIn members they’re not connected to. As corporate interest in hiring military spouses steps up, DoD and LinkedIn will be using the military spouse LinkedIn group to connect spouses to each other and employers. “It is important for military spouses to see LinkedIn Premium as more than just enhanced networking. LinkedIn has developed a learning path specific to military spouses to help them find and succeed in remote, flexible, and freelance work opportunities,” Mentzer said. “Additionally, LinkedIn provides enhanced resources for spouses that own and operate their own business as well as for employers to search the military spouse community for potential employees.” The LinkedIn partnership is designed to help military spouses overcome a common challenge, sustaining steady employment. The number one contributing factor to military spouse unemployment is continual relocation from duty station to duty station. On average, active-duty military personnel move once every two to three years, more than twice as often as civilian families, and military spouses move across state lines 10 times more frequently than their civilian counterparts.

Rotor Review #141 Summer '18


Useful Information


Symposium 2018

75 Years of Naval Helicopters and Aircrew


n case you missed it Here are some of the images from the week’s events. Videos of the presentations and the Awards Ceremony may be viewed on NHA Facebook page.

The Volunteers

Many thanks to the HSC-2 volunteeers who came in on Mother’s Day to help with set-up and stayed to stuff swag bags for the registration desk.

Thank you to AIRBUS for sponsoring the Welcome Reception

Manning the Registration Desk

Members Reunion Coordinator LT Jake Guarino, USN and Linda Vydra, Marketing Manager for NHA going over the details.

CAPT Personius, USN (Ret.), CAPT Bickel, USN, CAPT Torian, USN and Mr Scott Devers: Making it all happen.

Rotor Review #141 Summer '18


Members Reunion: A chance to reconnect


As is the tradtion at Symposium, the Awards Ceremony closed with a winging of four of our nerwest aviators. Pilot Winging was sponsored by ELBIT Systems of America and presented by Don Cline and CDR Kenneth M. Kerr, USN,HT-18 XO. Receiving Wings their wings were ENS Megan Snyder,USN and 1stLt Steven Johns, USMC. ENS Synder’s wings were pinned by her cousin CDR Rich Stickley, USCG. 1stLt John’s wings were pinned by his friend Sam Bauliea.

Aircrew Winging was sponsored by ELBIT Systems of America and presented by Don Cline and AWR1 Christopher C. Warren, USN, HSM-48. Receiving Wings their wings were AWR3 Jordon M. Antrican, USN and AWR3 Evan J. Parker. USN.

At the conclusion of the Opening Ceremonies, in keeping with this year’s theme “75 Years of Naval Rotary Wing Aviation, there was a short video, “Sitting on Air” and presentations by Col. Tom Bowditch, USMC (Ret.), CAPT Ray Miller, USCG (Ret.) on history of Marine Corps helicopter operations in Vietnam and the Coast Guard’s pivitol role in the Navy’s recognition of helicopters as a valuable asset for maritime strategy. Following those presentations was longtime NHA member AWCM David Crossan,USN speaking on the evolving role of the aircrew in naval rotary wing aviation and the significance of West Virginia in helicopter history. 23

The Panels and the Briefs

For those who couldn’t make it this year, copies of the briefs are available upon request, call the NHA office (619) 435-7139 or email You can still view the live stream of the panels and the Awards Ceremony on the NHA website. If you missed the social events, all we can say is, “A good time was had by all and see you in San Diego.” On Tuesday after Opening Ceremonies and the Hisotrical briefs, The Safety Brief was presented by RADM Mark Leavitt, USN, Commander Naval Safety Center

Captains of Industry participants were: from right to left): CAPT Joe Bauknecht, USN (Ret.), Lockheed Martin (moderator) Mr.Steve Callahan, Sikorsky VP of Industry and Business Development, Mr. Ray Duquet, President & GM of CAE, Mr. Colin Smith, Bell Navy Representative, Mr. Harry Nahatis, GE Aviation, Mr. John Roth, Airbus Helicopters, Mr. Don Kline, Elbit Systems of America, Mr. Andrew Gappy of Leonardo Helicopter.

Flag Panel participants were (from right to left): RADM Roy Kelley, USN, RADM Scott Conn, USN, VADM Bill Lescher, USN, VADM Kevin Scott, USN, VADM Paul Grosklags, USN, RADM Jeff Hughes, USN, RDML Melvin Bouboulis,USCG, RADM Dan Fillion, USN was the moderator.

Rotary Force Integration and Future Vertical Lift /Maritime Strike Round Table particpants were (from left to right): CDR Chris “Jean Luc” Richard, USN, CDR Ed “Ted” Johnson, USN, CDR Aaron Taylor,USN, CAPT Matt Schnappoff, USN.

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CAPT Grubb gave the PMA 299 Update.

CDR Richard said; “Regarding unfunded priorities: If you have an idea... pick up the phone, talk to us.”

Aircrew Panel participants were, (from right to left): AWRCM Jason Vanburen, USN (moderator), AWRCM Justin Tate,USN, AWSCM Todd Deal, USNAWSCM Rob Hoffmann , USN, AWRCM David Crossan, USN, ECM Gary Briant, USN, MC Chris Adams,USN SC Bran Former,USN.

LCS participants were (from right to left): LCDR Thanh Nguyen, USN, LT Pat Norwood, USN, LT Nick Celone,USN, LT Mike Didonato, USN, Mr. Steve Emerson, CAPT Mike Murphy, USN (Ret.).

Junior Officers Panel participants were (from right to left): LT Kyle Corry, USN, LT Jesse Nerius, USN, LT Jordan Kobbs, USN, LT Adam Boyce, USN, LT Mike Salvatini,USN.


Congratulations to this Year’s Award Winners Commander Naval Air Forces Achievement Awards These awards are named after Naval Aviators who have exemplified the highest standards of Naval Service

Captain Arnold Jay Isbell Award (CNAL) Sponsored by Lockheed Martin, was presented by CDR Mark Zavack, USN (Ret.) and RADM Bill Shannon, USN (Ret.) to HSM-74 and HSC-9. Accepting the awards are CDR Nick DeLeo,USN, Commanding Officer HSM-74 and CDR Steve Yargosz, USN, Executive Officer HSC-9.

Captain Arnold Jay Isbell Award (CNAP) Sponsored by Lockheed Martin was presented by CDR Mark Zavack, USN (Ret.) and RADM Bill Shannon, USN (Ret.) The 2017 winners of the Isbell Award for AIRPAC are HSM-37 and HSC-23. Accepting the awards are LCDR Scott Martin, USN of HSM-37 and CDR Justin McCaffree, USN, Commanding Officer, HSC-23.

The Admiral Jay S. “Jimmy” Thach Award: presented for outstanding achievements and contributions to Naval Aviation. This award is sponsored by Lockheed Martin Company and presented by CDR Mark Zavack, USN (Ret.) and RADM Bill Shannon, USN (Ret.). The winner for 2017 is HSM-73. CDR Drenning, USN, Commanding Officer. received the award on behalf of HSM-73.

The Commander James R. Walker Trophy is named in honor of a highly decorated HA(L)-3 SEAWOLF aviator and warrior. Sponsored by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company was presented by CAPT Chuck Deitchman, USN (Ret.), RADM Bill Shannon, USN (Ret.) and HSCWINGPAC Commodore, CAPT Kevin Kennedy. USN. The award recognizes the HSC Wing Pacific squadron that demonstrates the highest levels of tactical excellence in maritime attack, assault, and combat rescue. and has demonstrated unmatched effectiveness and precision at projecting power from the sea and ashore during multiple combined arms, live-fire training exercises throughout the year. The winner is the Firehawks of HSC-85. Accepting the award on behalf of HSC-85 is CDR Joe Zack, USN, Commanding Officer HSC-85.

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Battle “E” Awards The Battle Effectiveness Award (formerly the Battle Efficiency Award, commonly known as the Battle “E”), is awarded annually to the small number of United States Navy ships, submarines, aviation, and other units that win their battle effectiveness competition. The criterion for the Battle Effectiveness Award is the overall readiness of the command to carry out its assigned wartime tasks, and is based on a year-long evaluation. The competition for the award is, and has always been, extremely keen. To win, a ship or unit must demonstrate the highest state of battle readiness. Congratulations to the following squadrons who are the recipients of the Aviation Squadron Battle Efficiency Award: from HSC CVW: HSC-9 and HSC-8; from HSM Expeditionary: HSM-46 and HSM-35; from HSC Expeditionary: HSC-26 and HSC-21; from HSM CVW: HSM-74 and HSM-75; from HM: HM-14

Commodore Al Worthy, USN presents the Battle E plaque to CDR Patrick Murphy, USN, Commanding Officer of HM-14.

Commodore Al Worthy, USN presents the Battle E plaque to CDR Steve Yargosz, USN, Executive Officer HSC-9 and CDR Larry Behr, USN, Commanding Officer of HSC-26.

Commodore Michael Burd, USN presented the Battle E plaque to CDR Michael O’Neill, USN, Commanding Officer of HSM-46, CDR Nick DeLeo, USN, Commanding Officer of HSM-74.


The Commander, Naval Air Forces Enlisted Aircrewmen of the Year is awarded to the top enlisted aircrewman from CNAP and CNAL, who throughout the year has consistently demonstrated superior aeronautical ability and performance in his/her assigned billet. This award is sponsored by USAA and was presented by LCDR Joel Vargas, USN (Ret.).

2017 CNAP winner is AWR1 Broc Fournier, USN from HSMWSP.

2017 CNAL winner is AWR1 Scott T. Fetterhoff, USN from HSM-70.

NHA Aircrew of the Year (Non-Deployed) is awarded to the crew which accomplished the most notable non-embarked mission during the preceding year. This award is sponsored by Lockheed Martin Company. The 2017 winner is the crew of COAST GUARD 6584/6565 from USCG Air Station Mobile.

Left to right: Mark Zavack LT John J. Briggs, USCG LT Gregory W. Bukata, USCG, AMT1 Christopher P. Flores, USCG, CAPT Joe Kimball, USCG, Chief of the Office of Aviation Forces, RADM Bill Shannon, USN (Ret.).

NHA Aircrew of the Year (Deployed) is awarded to the crew which accomplished the most notable embarked mission during the preceding year. This award is sponsored by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, The 2017 winner is the crew of HUNTER 610 and HUNTER 622 of the HSC-12 Golden Falcons.

The award was presented by CAPT Chuck Deitchman, USN (Ret.) and RADM Bill Shannon, USN (Ret.). LT Daniel Mullen, USN accepted the award on behalf of HUNTER 610 and 622.

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The NHA Rescue Swimmer of the Year is awarded to the Rescue Swimmer who accomplished the most notable waterborne rescue mission. Award is sponsored by USAA, and presented by LCDR Joel Vargas, USN (Ret.). The 2017 winner is Aviation Survival Technician Third Class Brendan T. Kiley, USCG of USCG Air Station Cape Cod. With him is CAPT Joe Kimball, USCG, Chief of the Office of Aviation Forces.

NHA Shipboard Pilot of the Year is awarded to a pilot on a disassociated sea tour who has consistently demonstrated superior performance in a ship’s company billet. Award sponsored by Raytheon, and presented by Larry Tindal. The 2017 winner is LT Timothy J. Sullivan, USN of USS IWO JIMA, LHD-7. Accepting the award on behalf of LT Sullivan is LT Stephen Bauchman, USN of HSM-40.

NHA Fleet Instructor Pilot of the Year is awarded to a pilot who has consistently shown superior aeronautical ability and overall performance. Award sponsored by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, and presented by CAPT Chuck Deitchman, USN (Ret.) The 2017 winner is LT John W. Pasichnyk, USN of HSM-41.

NHA Training Command Pilot of the Year is awarded to a pilot who has consistently shown superior aeronautical ability and overall performance. Award sponsored by CAE, and presented by CAPT Kevin Kenney, USN (Ret.). The 2017 winner is LT Andrew J. Roscoe, USN of HT-18.

The NHA Pilot of the Year is awarded to the pilot who throughout the year has consistently demonstrated superior aeronautical ability and overall performance. The award was sponsored by Rolls Royce Corporation and presented by Mr. Thomas Hills. The 2017 winner is LT Matthew J. Schwab, USN of NAS Whidbey Island SAR.

NHA Maintenance Officer of the Year is awarded to the maintenance officer whose dedication and effort have significantly increased the command’s ability to perform its mission. Award is sponsored by BAE Systems and presented by Mr. Robert Novak. The 2017 winner is CWO Forest R. Brumbaugh, USCG of USCG Air Station Houston.


NHA Aircrewman of the Year is awarded to an aircrewman who has consistently shown superior aeronautical ability and overall performance. Award is sponsored by MASSIFF and presented by Mr. Charles Sexton and CAPT Joe Kimball, USCG, Chief of the Office of Aviation Forces. 2017 winner is Avionics Electrical Technician Second Class Marimercy N. Delong, USN of USCG Air Station Borinquen.

NHA Aircrew Instructor of the Year is awarded to an aircrewman who has consistently shown superior aeronautical ability and overall performance. Award sponsored by CAE and presented by CAPT Kevin Kenney, USN, (Ret.). The 2017 winner is AW1 Christopher C. Wissing, USN of HSC-2.

NHA Senior Enlisted Maintainer of the Year is awarded to the Chief Petty Officer or Petty Officer assigned to a maintenance department whose dedication and effort have significantly improved the command’s ability to perform its mission. Award sponsored by BAE Systems and presented by Mr. Robert Novak. The 2017 winner is Aviation Machinist’s Mate Senior Chief Lucas A. Mayer, USN of HM-14.

NHA Junior Enlisted Maintainer of the Year is awarded to an enlisted person of E-5 and below whose dedication and efforts have significantly increased the command’s ability to perform its mission. Award is sponsored by Breeze-Eastern and presented by Mr. Phillip Stauffacher. The 2017 winner is Aviation Structural Mechanic Second Class Courtney M. Turner, USN of HSM-40.

NHA Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes an individual for their outstanding support and dedication to the mission of the Naval Helicopter Association and Naval Rotary Wing Aviation. This year’s winner is LT Arlen Connolly, USN. Presenting award is RADM Bill Shannon, USN (Ret), NHA Chairman.

The Bill Stuyvesant Best Scribe Award is presented to the active duty member of the Navy, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard whose article, published in Rotor Review, addresses the subject of career growth for helicopter pilots in the most original, constructive and informative manner is presented to LT Ben Foster, USN of HSCWSP for his article "A Better Community” in FAll 17 #138.

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The Captain Mark Starr Pioneer award is named after one of the founders of NHA. The Award is intended to recognize the many important pioneering contributions to the success of the Naval Helicopter community and the individuals who made them. CDR Bob Close, USN (Ret.) is a true Naval Helicopter Pioneer in keeping with the Captain Mark Starr tradition.

The NHA Lifelong Service Award is presented by the Board of Directors to an individual for the most significant lifelong contributions to vertical lift aircraft and/ or operations. This award is sponsored by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, and is presented by CAPT Chuck Deitchman, USN (Ret.). This year’s recipient is CAPT Anthony J. Dzielski, USN (Ret.).

The NHA Corporate Leadership Award recognizes an individual or corporation for their support and dedication to the mission of the Naval Helicopter Association and Naval Rotary Wing Aviation. American Airlines is recognized for the 2018 NHA Corporate Leadership Award. Presenting the NHA Corporate Leadership Award is RADM Bill Shannon, USN (Ret.), NHA Chairman. Accepting the award on behalf of American Airlines is Mr. Scott Devers and Mr. Randy Stillinger.

The Rear Admiral Tomaszeski Squadron Commanding Officer Leadership Award was awarded to CDR Ross Drenning, USN, Commander Officer HSM-73. Award is sponsored by G.E. Aviation and presented by Col. Paul Croisetiere, USMC (Ret.) and RADM Tomaszeski. USN. (Ret.)

Max Beep

The NHA “Max Beep” Award recognizes the squadrons with a membership percentage greater than 85 percent. Sponsored by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company and presented CAPT Chuck Deitchman, USN (Ret.). This year’s winners reporting 100% participation are: HSM-46, HSM-75, and USS MESA VERDE LPD-19. Squadron reporting over 85% participation are: HSMWINGPAC, HSC-22, and HSM-35.


Blade Spread: The Achilles Heel of Condition III Helicopters


By LT Charles “Saul” Goodman, USN with technical assistance from: AE1 Thomas Moore, USN


n 29 Jan 2018 aboard the USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), HSC-4 attempted to launch aircraft 612 at 1745 in between a 1+30 fixed wing cycle in order to execute a passenger transfer to Andersen AFB, Guam. Prior to walking, the pilots were warned by Maintenance Control of the possibility of issues with blade fold at the end of the night. After an extended fixed wing recovery, Flight Deck Control pulled the aircraft out of the helo hole and moved it to a spot on the waist at approximately 1815. Once the aircraft was moved to the waist, the crew proceeded with prestart checks. When the crew attempted to spread the blades, three of the Aviation Electronics Mate 2nd Class Ramond Peral manually folds the blades blades spread completely with on an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication the yellow blade halting halfway Specialist 3rd Class Daniel C. Coxwest. forward. Aviation Electrician’s Mate (AE) troubleshooters climbed on top of the head to diagnose the issue, which was later discovered to be a bad blade fold motor. The crew and maintainers continued to troubleshoot for approximately twenty minutes. With a pending fixed wing launch cycle at 1845, the aircraft commander was told that he needed to fold the aircraft in order to not interrupt cyclic operations. Unfortunately, the blue and red blades would not fold. With half of the blades still spread, the aircraft was pulled to a position on top of the #3 wire at approximately 1835 and remained there for the duration of the 1845 cycle launch. After the launch was complete, the aircraft was pulled to Spot 2 with the hope of launching it during the next break in fixed-wing operations. Due to poor communication between the ready room and the flight deck, the crew and maintainers believed that their event had been cancelled. As a result, the maintainers and aircrew continued to troubleshoot the blade fold for approximately twenty minutes trying to fold the last two blades. At 1930, the crew finally completed the blade fold sequence. Once the two problem blades were finally in the rear position, the crew returned to the ready room where they were immediately told to return to the aircraft and prepare for launch, with an approved Air Plan change for an event 7 launch. The aircrew returned to the aircraft at approximately 1935 and attempted to start the aircraft and launch prior to the 2015 cycle. Again, the crew encountered issues with blade spread and the AEs climbed on top to manually spread the two inoperative blades. Within a few minutes of returning to the aircraft, the crew was given a timeline by tower of ten minutes to launch. Realizing that the helicopter would not be ready to launch within timeline, the aircraft commander informed tower that they would be shutting down and getting stuffed back into the helo hole. To add insult to injury, the aircrew and maintainer then spent another twenty minutes manually folding the blades. Three weeks prior, on 5 Jan 2018, HSC-4 departed Naval Air Station, North Island with six helicopters for a WESTPAC deployment. At that time, two aircraft had known blade spread and fold issues. Throughout the first month of deployment, every aircraft encountered blade spread and fold issues to include burnt-out motors and broken blade fold switches. The primary contributing factor is component fatigue; however, human error and pilot complacency could possibly be playing a small role as well. The human error is most likely caused during the blade spread portion. After spreading the blades, pilots are directed by NATOPS to depress the RAD ALT pushbutton in order to reset the flight control position. Any slight movement in flight controls prior to depressing the pushbutton will send a false position to the AFCC. Pilots or maintainers are either consciously or unconsciously moving the flight controls slightly, resetting the flight control position to the AFCC. During shutdown, any false position will result in misalignment of the pitch lock pins and delay the blade fold process. Unless the aircraft is on Spot 2, Spot 7, or can be pulled of the Landing Area, these delays increase the possibility of suspending a fixed

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FEATURES wing cycle putting any aircraft in the air in an uncomfortable position when it comes to fuel. Additionally, it could result in key DCA or CAS assets being unable to launch to intercept or make it on station in time. Structural and mechanical fatigue of individual blade fold motors and blade fold switches are routinely causing errors with blade spread and fold. Ashore, blades are folded once every few days in order to facilitate maintenance within the hangar. However, while deployed, aircraft are spread and folded multiple times a day to include prior to the first launch of the day, during mid-cycle launches and shutdowns, after the last recovery of the day, and to facilitate elevator runs. With the systems being over-worked, squadrons routinely encounter problems within the first few weeks after embarking on deployments or detachments. Blade fold motors do not currently have a high-time replacement cycle and are simply

“With the systems being over-worked, squadrons routinely encounter problems within the first few weeks after embarking on deployments or detachments. Blade fold motors do not currently have a high-time replacement cycle and are simply replaced when they fail, exacerbating the uncertain timing of blade fold motor malfunctions.”

replaced when they fail, exacerbating the uncertain timing of blade fold motor malfunctions. Motor failures and switch issues are usually discovered during aircraft cold starts at the beginning of the flight schedule or during a mid-cycle launch. Due to the operational tempo of carrier operations, this usually requires the AEs to scramble and hook up the blade fold test set, colloquially known as the “cheater box,” in order to spread the blade manually. If the motor is inoperative, the aircraft commander is then left with the choice of waiting until the blade is manually spread or having to switch to a backup aircraft and risk further issues. If one decides to stick with the aircraft, it usually takes approximately five minutes to manually spread the blades. If a switch issue is discovered during the spread, specifically the blade fold motor, it then requires Aviation Machinists Mates (AD) to remove the dog bone and manually drive in the lockpins and safety wire once complete. This process will take around fifteen to twenty minutes per blade. This additional maintenance action increases time-to-launch and often leaves the aircrew at risk of delaying a fixed wing cycle and negatively impacting operations. In addition to the delay, manually driving in the lock-pins overrides the switch logic module which will often damage the switches. Due to the current design of the switch harness, if one switch is malfunctioning or broken, the entire harness has to be removed and replaced. In order to decrease the possibility of aircraft launch delays, our squadron AEs maintain a blade fold test set in the cabin of our alert SAR aircraft which is usually located in the helo hole


adjacent to the carrier’s superstructure. The purpose of keeping the test set on deck is so that a troubleshooter can quickly grab the test set in case an aircraft encounters any problems with blade spread. Additionally, a recently published CVW-2 Memorandum of Understanding signed by both the CVW2 Commander and the CVN-70 Commanding Officer states that helicopters should be spotted and spread sixty minutes prior to scheduled launch time. While these business rules mitigate the risk of a delayed launch, blade spread malfunctions continue to plague our cold-start aircraft, concerning any crew serving as an alert SAR asset, on-call for an immediate launch for medical evacuation or rescue at sea. Carrier Strike Group ONE’s (CSG-1) 2017 deployment found the strike group and the air wing operating for extended periods of time in the Sea of Japan and the East Sea. During its deployment from January to June, the water temperatures in the Korean Operating Area (KOA) averaged approximately 45 degrees Fahrenheit with sea states averaging between 4-6 on the Douglas Sea State scale. Without an anti-exposure suit, a survivor in the water will enter the “Marginal: 50% expectancy of death” region after thirty minutes immersed in the water, and the “Lethal: 99% Expectancy of death” after two-and-a-half hours immersed. With these environmental conditions in mind, and knowing how common blade spread/fold issues are, it is not a far reach to imagine the following SAR scenario: The aircraft carrier or nearby escort ship experiences a man overboard overnight and the Alert 30 SAR helicopter is ordered to launch. The crew rushes to the ready room to don their gear, receive the basic information concerning the launch, and is topside in the aircraft by time 0+10. A fast air department can tow the aircraft onto its launch spot between times 0+15 and 0+20, with its crew already strapped in, conducting pre-flight checks. Next step - blade spread; however, when the crew goes to spread the blades, two of the blades will not spread normally. The AEs climb on top of the head and disconnect the harness in order to hook up the test set. At 0+25 the box is hooked up to the system and the first blade begins to move forward toward its spread position. Once complete, the AEs move to the next blade and by 0+30 both blades are in the spread position. While disconnecting the cheater box, the AE on top notices that the blade lockpins are not fully engaged on one of the blades. As a result, an AD is called and uses a wrench to manually drive in the lockpin and safety wire the dog bone. By 0+45 the AD is complete with his trouble shooting and a head check and hops down off the top of the aircraft. Once the top is clear, the crew proceeds with primary servo checks and the rest of the prestart/start checks and is off deck by 0+55. With a good datum, and no search required, and the crew chief on top of his game setting everything up, the aircraft would most likely be on top of the survivor by 1+00, and have him in the cabin by 1+10. Although this situation is completely hypothetical, it represents a very realistic situation that could have devastating consequences for unfortunate personnel who may find themselves in the water. These blade fold delays could impact other

situations to include alert launches to prevent carrier overflight. We have simply tolerated the system’s inherent flaws and poor design by bypassing issues with blade fold test set and sometimes old-fashioned elbow grease. As a helicopter community, our ability to launch may mean the difference between life and death for a variety of US and allied personnel. We should continue to strive to innovate and develop components and procedures that allow pilots to safely and more effectively execute any mission for which they are tasked. Our squadron has submitted a NATOPS change recommendation requesting an additional note in Chapter 7 that would read, “If RAD ALT pushbutton is flashing, depressing, will update flight control position to AFCC and could possibly cause delays in blade fold during aircraft shutdown.”

We also recommend the following: • Institute a high-time for blade fold motors to coincide with D-phase requirements. •

Recommend a CV NATOPS change stating that all cold-go or alert helos shall be required to have a blade fold test set in their cabin.

Request NAVAIR to look into developing an improved blade fold motor since H-60R/S’s are currently using the same motor installed in legacy H-60B/F/H’s. Request NAVAIR expedite development of proximity switches for the H-60 blade spread/fold system.

USS Coronado Underway for MQ-8C Fire Scout Testing By LTJG Caroline Zotti,USN, Littoral Combat Ship Squadron One Public Affairs


SS Coronado (LCS 4) began underway operational testing of the Navy’s newest unmanned helicopter, the MQ-8C Fire Scout, off the coast of San Diego, June 15. The operations are a continuation of MQ-8C operational testing that began in April. This next phase is testing the MQ8C’s ability to operate concurrently with other airborne assets and littoral combat ships. The enhanced capability will provide commanders an improved and integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance picture. Coronado is one of four designated LCS testing ships and the ship’s commanding officer says he and his crew are excited to help further advance Navy lethality. “It is a great privilege to advance the Navy’s ability to conduct unmanned aerial vehicle An MQ-8C Fire Scout sits on the deck of USS Montgomery (LCS 8). operations,” said CDR Lawrence Repass, Montgomery Sailors and the Fire Scout testing team are underway conducting dynamic interface testing to verify the MQ-8C launch and USS Coronado’s commanding officer. recovery procedures and test interoperability between the unmanned Fire Scout operations are a whole-ship helicopter and the ship. U.S. Navy photo Jacob A. Shafer effort, requiring effective coordination between the aviation and surface entities aboard. “Whether it is ensuring that the data links required are functional, fire team personnel are standing by to respond, or managing the airspace and contact pictures; every single Sailor plays a role in Fire Scout operations,” said LT Josh Riley, the ship’s combat systems officer. “These Sailors and this testing will help shape how the surface force will utilize the strengths and advantages that this valuable asset brings to the table in the coming years.” During Coronado’s 2016-2017 deployment to the Western Pacific, the ship successfully used MQ-8B Fire Scout as an organic sensor to strike a target beyond visual range using a Harpoon surface-to-surface missile. With that recent success fresh in their minds, LCS Sailors are excited for future employment of the MQ-8C Fire Scout, saying that the newer technology has increased speed, a higher ceiling, over twice the fuel endurance, and an improved payload capacity. “Operating with the MQ-8C Fire Scout offers unique challenges, but it is the perfect partner to an LCS,” said LTJGAlex Giltz, Coronado’s auxiliaries officer and one of the few shipboard officers who has operated with both versions of the Fire Scout.

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The Rise of the PHIBRON Staffer By CDR Will “Easy” Eastham, USN


hat if I told you there are deployed strike groups at sea, composed of naval warships designed to carry multiple type-modelseries rotary wing assets of spectacular war fighting capability, where the Officer in Tactical Command (OTC) is not staffed with a flight current or competitively identified helicopter pilot? If I may, let me attempt to articulate an old problem for you with a readymade solution that should benefit Naval Aviation, entice organizationally valued Junior Officer talent, and bolster our deployed war fighting capacity simultaneously. By the way, it’s also relatively cost and downside free. Sounds too good to be true right? Let’s talk about the evolution of the “PHIAn MH-60S attached to the “Blackjacks” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron BRON Staffer”. (HSC) 21 prepares to land aboard the amphibious assault ship USS BonhomThis isn’t a crisis by the way. Within me Richard (LHD 6). U.S. Navy photo by Krishna M. Jackson. Amphibious Readiness Groups (ARG) on both coasts, HSC Expeditionary Combat Element (ECE) detachments are capitalizing on an era of steady and substantial mission growth and integration. second sea LT’s. Given the mission growth within the ARG, Despite tricky organizational structures that lean in both ca- coupled with a sequential Major Commander in command, pacity and sheer numbers toward our Surface Warfare and it’s time we rethink the PHIBRON Air Operations Staff billet USMC mission partners, our LCDR grade Detachment Of- with an equivalent HSC PHIBRON Staffer on par with those ficers-in-Charge are truly accomplishing amazing things on we currently source to CAG. In fact, it’s already been proven the cutting edge of the ARG. Just in the past year, we have to be beneficial in small sample size, with encouraging results. This Spring PHIBRON 11, homeported in Japan, requestseen encouraging and substantial expansion through multiple ed a pilot augment for rotary wing subject matter expertise in mission areas including maritime personnel recovery (PR) and direct support of the enhanced Expeditionary Strike Group anti-surface warfare with specialized focus on Defense of the Seven concept. With additional CRUDES accompanying the Amphibious Task Force (DATF). Still, much momentum is strike group, the complexity of Sea Surveillance Coordination simply lost from one underway to the next as one detachment (SSC) and helicopter exercise coordination requirements rose team is detached and replaced at the onset of the next Readas an increased number of rotary-wing airframes fell in under iness Cycle with little tether to the OTC in between at-sea the PHIBRON commander. The enhanced ESG-7 package periods. moved forward in Exercise TALISMAN SABRE 20171 and There is another significant factor in play that should evolve the way we conceptualize war fighting within the ARG. The continued with the 18-1 Spring Forward Deployed Naval FY-19 Active Duty Aviation Major Command Screen Board Force (FDNF) patrol of new-FDNF deployer USS Wasp. In support of the 2018 Spring patrol, Helicopter Sea Comwas the first to move the PHIBRON competitive category to bat Squadron THREE (HSC-3) provided a hand-selected a sequential major commander pool of candidates. By selectaugment from the pool of current instructor pilots in LT Keving future PHIBRON commanders from a base of increased in “K-Ho” Holland. LT Holland, whose day job is in the proexperience, who are proven tactical leaders at sea, it’s natural duction of HSC Fleet Replacement Pilots in San Diego, greatto reconsider the composition of the supporting staff as well. ly increased the warfighting capability of the ARG by bridging In earnest, the Rotary Wing Community has not traditionalthe gap from the HSC ECE detachment to the Combined ly sought to aggressively staff PHIBRON staffs with equivaWarfare Commander staff. As a current and fully qualified lent Air Operations talent as the Carrier Air Wings, or CAG. MH-60S pilot, he was also more readily able to apply and “CAG staffers” are generally Seahawk Weapons and Tactics Inadvance current tactics to the fight. structors (SWTI) sourced from the prioritized cut of available


A new breed of PHIBRON staffer should simply not fall on the HSC detachment but should maintain all NATOPS and mission currencies ashore and fly routinely with the embarked HSC detachment at sea. Let these tacticians participate in the intricate training exercises they help plan and push through the various approving staffs onboard the L-class ship. This would create a sought-out, desirable billet for more second sea tour Lieutenants looking to stay in the cockpit while also gaining broadening exposure to dynamic staff planning. As part of their Spring 18-1 patrol, HSC25 Detachment SIX flew LT Kevin Holland an average of two sorties a week at sea including higher-level Bridge Watch integrated training mission events. Best of all, we should not have to wait for additional financial programming of resources to support PHIBRON staffers complementing detachments in the air. Flight hour allocation should follow suit of CAG staffers and count as “staff hours” if required beyond the regular allotment afforded HSC ECE detachments at sea. This should create a PHIBRON Staff billet that is much more enticing and rewarding for our JO crowd, which matters greatly. HSC Junior Officers nearing second sea tours are routinely interested in ways to retain options to stay in the cockpit. In the end game, desirable flying orders back to sea will correlate to improved retention numbers. Opening up PHIBRON Air Operations billets to a competitive selection process would increase those opportunities and keep more talent where we need it, pushing the community forward. When student seats are available, these orders should also enter prioritization for a training pipeline to Seahawk Weapons and Tactics Instructor course at NAWDC in Fallon if not previously qualified. We need to ensure we are injecting current, standardized rotary wing tactics and planning perspective into our PHIBRON staffs. Finally, one of the Achilles Heels of the HSC Expeditionary community is the re-education and acclimation process required each time the ESG blue-green team re-integrate together for an at-sea deployment. Although necessary, the continual reconstruction of the warfighting team comes with seamlines that need to be solved redundantly. The presence of a PHIBRON staffer, who is also continuously familiar with the arriving detachment’s training and readiness requirements, would be able to nudge those objectives left of the deployment and more in-sync with the requirements of surface combatants and the adjoining Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU). The only current headwind is the career management of the first Officers selected but there is no reason that should be institutionally preventative. As the ARG evolves, so should our holistic approach to staffing it. PHIBRON Staffer fitness reports would be signed by a Sequential Major Commander, be bolstered with upgraded and progressed ACTC flight qualifications, and provide easily quantifiable

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Upcoming Rotary Wing Squadron Reunions in 2018-2019 HAL-3 51st Anniversary of Formal Establishment (4/1/67), 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. Email: HS-6/HSC-6 Reunion during 2019 NHA Symposium May 15-18. 2019 at Viejas Casino & Resort, Alpine(San Diego),Ca. Still in the planning and talking stage. POC: Dick Lynas ( email: and POC: Dave Bean (email:

Check the NHA website for the most current information on anniversaries and reunions or contact Mike Brattland. His email is If you need more information or are interested in helping organize an event, contact the listed POCs.


New Navy Budget Request Moves Money Toward Top Two Aviation Safety Priorities Focus: Gear - What's Hot What's NOT

By Ben Werner, Orignally published in USNI News, February 2018


he Navy’s top two aviation safety priorities could benefit from a half-billion-dollar bump in funding for aircraft modification kits if the service’s fiscal year 2019 budget request is approved. For the upcoming fiscal year, the Navy proposes spending $3.15 billion on aircraft modification kits, a 16 percent increase from the $2.71 billion proposed spending this year. A Navy spokesperson told USNI News the increase is due in part to addressing physiological episodes in the F-18 and T-45 series of jets and developing a new gunner seat to alleviate back and neck problems for MH60S Knighthawk helicopter aircrews — the service’s top two aviation safety issues. The modification kits are supposed to correct deficiencies and improve operational capabilities of in-service aircraft. Other projects benefiting from the proposed funding increase include installing infrared search and track in the F-18 series, a quick reaction capability for A prototype of the gunner’s seat was on display by the Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft, sustainment work for the Naval Enterprise at the Naval Helicopter AssoH-53 A/C helicopters, and production upgrades to the cation Symposium in Norfolk in May. CH-53K helicopters. The Navy has been working on fixing the physiological episodes plaguing F-18 and T-45 aircrews. The frequency had been increasing for a decade, culminating in March when 94 flights were canceled due to pilot concerns with the oxygen systems onboard T-45 Goshawk trainer aircraft. In June, the Navy’s Physiological Episodes Comprehensive Review reported, “The integration of the onboard oxygen generation system (OBOGS) in the T-45 and F/A-18 is inadequate to consistently provide high quality breathing air. To varying degrees, neither aircraft is equipped to continuously provide clean, dry air to OBOGS — a design specification for the device. The net result is contaminants can enter aircrew breathing air provided by OBOGS and potentially induce hypoxia.” In February, RADM Sara Joyner, the head of the Navy Physiological Episode Action Team (PEAT), provided the House Armed Services Committee with an update to how the Navy is addressing physiological episodes. The Navy has installed CRU-123 solid state oxygen monitoring units on the T-45 trainer fleet, Joyner said. These units alert the aircrew if oxygen pressure falls and allows them more time to take correction action to prevent a physiological episode. With the F/A-18 Hornets, Super Hornets and EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft, the Navy plans to overhaul the Onboard Oxygen Generation Systems (OBOGS) or pilot breathing gas, and Environmental Control Systems (ECS). Also, based on a NASA report, the Navy is installing more precise monitoring equipment to gauge pilot breathing. Meanwhile, the increased funding should help deliver a new gunner seat to the MH-60S helicopters, which is needed to help keep aircrew from being grounded. Over time, helicopter pilots and aircrew experience sustained whole body vibrations, frequently causing a host of back and neck problems. In the most severe instances, Navy officials say pilots and crew members are grounded for weeks or even months. About Ben Werner The Naval Air Systems Command is currently testing new Ben Werner is a staff writer for USNI News. He has worked gunner seat designs. Work started in 2016, with concepts be- as a freelance writer in Busan, South Korea, and as a staff ing tested and refined for the past year. Navy officials have writer covering education and publicly traded companies for previously stated the next round of testing with aircrews is The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va., The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., Savannah Morning News in Savannah, Ga., expected to occur within the next few weeks. Before the fiscal year 2019 budget request, though, the Navy and Baltimore Business Journal. He earned a bachelor’s dehad not dedicated funding to this project, said an email from gree from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree Rob Koon, a public affairs officer with the Naval Air Warfare from New York University. Follow @Wernertime//platform. Center’s Aircraft Division, to USNI News.

Rotor Review #141 Summer '18



Seeing the Future: HDTS By LT Luke Gunderson, USN, HSC-14

Cockpit Display


n March of 2018, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Fourteen completed the modification of their last MH60S with the Helmet Display and Tracking System (HDTS). They became the first squadron in the Navy to deploy this system in all of their aircraft, and began to develop tactics and techniques incorporating HDTS that will fundamentally change and improve the way they execute many of their mission sets. HDTS is very similar to the joint helmet mounted cueing system (JHMCS) technology originally developed and implemented for F/A-18 aircrew, and it shares many of the most exciting capabilities while leaving room to grow as they determine exactly how to integrate HDTS into their most crucial missions. HDTS represents a major improvement over the existing NVD HUD, the AN/AVS-7, and the first true daytime HUD employed in the MH-60S. The functionality of each indication is instantaneous, which is a big jump over previous technology in and of itself, but the utility of seeing cockpit indications in color both day and night without referencing displays is hard to overstate. Three of the biggest advantages HDTS 39

has to offer are the constantly computed impact point (CCIP), pilot/copilot line of sight (LOS) indicators, and hover cue/flight path indicator. The CCIP for the 20mm forward facing M197 gun and 2.75� unguided rockets (UGR) is the most important feature of HDTS and has significantly improved the accuracy and lethality of their strafing systems. This CCIP is the same as the CCIP employed by JHMCS, finally giving the MH-60S a system that significantly improves the accuracy of their strafing systems which to this point had been using the Vietnam era grease pencil aiming technique. Another advantage is the pilot/copilot line of sight (LOS) indicator which dramatically increases cockpit situational awareness. This feature is very similar to the ability to match aiming crosses with JHMCS. After ensuring that both pilots have accurate alignments, either pilot can simply request that the other pilot matches his LOS reticle to see exactly what he is looking at, improving safety by eliminating any confusion between pilots and reducing the time needed to talk the other pilot onto a point of interest. The hover cue/flight path indicator is especially advantageous in the terrain following (TERF) environment where MH-60S aircrew frequently train. The flight path indicator has applications in multiple flight regimes and automatically declutters in favor of the hover cue below 40 knots ground speed. The community recently began using improved degraded visual environment (DVE) approaches that give us more options to choose from when determining the safest way to land. The HDTS compliments these approaches seamlessly, and when incorporated with doors off flight, makes landing in a DVE environment as safe as it has ever been. Though multiple mission sets are impacted significantly by the addition of HDTS, the Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW), Defensive Counter Air (for the low slow flyer and UAS threat), and Overland CSAR / SOF support in DVE missions benefit most. The primary ASUW application of the HDTS comes during restricted water transits when a high value unit (HVU) is most vulnerable to the fast attack craft/fast inshore attack craft (FAC/FIAC) threat. HDTS will allow the MH-60S to better combat this threat by shortening the kill chain and more effectively distributing lethality. When an aircrew is ordered to target a swarm of small boats inbound to a HVU, they’ll first determine the strafe profile that will give them the best combination of accuracy and employment time against numerous targets. The addition of HDTS to a cockpit allows the non-flying pilot the ability to focus on maintaining constant FLIR coverage on a target while the flying pilot sets up for a good profile. The flying pilot will be able to determine his exact tip in point and

maintain a dive angle independently based off of his pitch ladder and CCIP while also maintaining awareness on airspeed and altitude. Constant slant range provided to the HDTS via active Eye safe Laser Range Finder (ELRF), Laser Range and Designator (LRD) lasing, or from passive trigonometry will give the pilot another cue to ensure he is employing at the optimal time. As proficiency increases, the flying pilot will be able to accomplish most tasks in the employment kill chain by himself, decreasing time to employ and allowing the non-flying pilot the ability to focus on safety and managing any other mission tasks. Additionally, the elimination of a “spotting round” to determine where rockets fall in relation to a grease pencil mark on the windscreen or the FLIR reticle while in the forward mode on each pass will also cause efficiency improvements of up to 25% when using UGR over multiple engagements. The threat that unmanned aerial systems (UAS) pose to our HVUs has increased significantly with their ubiquity. We’ve seen instances of overflight and near misses increase in recent years, necessitating the HSC community to combat this growing threat. Using HDTS in congested airspace during restricted water transits or in littorals will allow pilots to quickly identify and reach consensus on which aircraft they are being directed to intercept. Maintaining a constant outside/parameter scan will ensure aircrew don’t lose the target and will allow them to more effectively position themselves to destroy any threat by crew-served or, potentially, fixed forward firing weapon systems. Operations in degraded visual environments (DVE) contribute to an outsized portion of mishaps in the HSC community every year. HDTS has the potential to improve safety in these hazardous environments by maximizing crew coordination and by allowing a constant outside/parameter scan. When an aircrew determines which zone they want to land in, the flying pilot can identify precisely the point he’s trying to hit simply by placing his LOS reticle over it. The nonflying pilot can then quickly identify that spot as well and give appropriate correction recommendations to the flying pilot throughout the approach. Using the tactical no-hover approach or the new DVE Steep approach, the pilot can establish the aircraft on proper parameters and ensure that he is on track to hit his desired spot by keeping the flight path indicator in place over his desired landing point. After the flight path indicator becomes the hover cue below 40 knots ground speed, the pilot can keep his scan outside on the zone while making sure the hover cue stays straight and shrinking as he slows toward the ground, minimizing drift all the while. Using our DVE Hover approach, the pilot can easily maintain a scan on his parameters while flying the aircraft over the spot he wants to land. As he gets into a hover above the dust cloud,

Rotor Review #141 Summer '18

he can hold an outside scan and reference his hover cue at the same time to minimize drift and ensure the aircraft lands level. Flying with doors off brings an added dimension of safety to landing in the dirt by allowing pilots to look at the ground through the dust while also maintaining his scan on aircraft parameters and backing himself up with the hover cue. These improvements should lead to a reduction in mishaps as the HDTS becomes more commonplace across our community. HDTS represents a great leap forward for the HSC community. Most importantly, it’s also a foundational system that will be improved by the addition of existent technology. Future phases of the HDTS include “slew to cue” and designation functionality that currently exist in the JHMCS system. Slew to cue will allow crews to put their MTS on target quickly to gain situational awareness or to target more effectively. The ability to designate targets and integrate the HDTS with our precision weapon systems will further condense the timeto-kill when it matters most. Addition of DVE technology through the DTED system will allow crews to see topography digitally while in brownout or whiteout conditions and will further enhance safety. Replicating the integration of Link 16 already found in JHMCS could give aircrew an added dimension of situational awareness. All of these future additions could add to what the HDTS is already bringing to the HSC community, making our aircraft and aircrew even more agile, disciplined, and lethal.



DARI Motion Data Helping Address High Soft Tissue Injury Rate and Spend By Michael Prewitt, Scientific Analytics, Inc.


ilitary leadership across all branches know soft tissue injuries sustained by warfighters are the most significant expense and greatest barrier to overall mission readiness of our fighting force. Many different approaches have been taken in attempt to improve injury rates, increase warfighter health, and enhance mission performance. As part of a renewed focus by military leadership to actively preserve & improve warfighter health, DARI Motion technology is actively addressing these concerns by providing an objective data set that can help guide performance, rehab, and training protocols. DARI Motion uses eight cameras and a laptop to capture the full 3-D movement of the warfighter. The subject performs a series of movements that evaluates every major joint in the body in minutes. Following the capture of those movements, DARI’s proprietary data processing assesses and reports each individual’s soft tissue vulnerability. Practitioners are then able to action that data through interventions to ensure the musculoskeletal health of the warfighters. An operator, soldier, or support staff that MOVES more efficiently can remain more productive on mission and more readily improve their performance. The US Air Force recently sent a prep class of 100 Battlefield Airmen (BA) through DARI Motion assessments at Joint Base San An- DARI Motion assessment results are availtonio-Lackland (JBSAL). The movement data flagged 14 candidates able for review immediately after a subject that were highly vulnerable for soft-tissue joint injuries. Within ten completes a series of basic movements like days, 12 of those 14 incurred the injuries that had been identified the lunge shown here by Ismael Bermudes during their assessment. Now the team at JBSAL assesses every BA prep class with DARI Motion to identify those with high risk for injury. Then they work to prevent those injuries with data-driven interventions based on both the individual and training class’s needs. This new procedure has drastically improved class production, saved money and increased the Battlefield Airman pipeline by reducing injuries. Similar to the Battlefield Airmen, Luke Air Force Base is utilizing DARI Motion to monitor their fighter pilots. Head, neck, and shoulder injuries are a common amongst fighter pilots. DARI Motion is able to capture and provide information regarding ranges of motion that supports the treatment and training of fighter pilots to keep them deployment ready.

Darryn Bryant, a research physiologist at the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine, performs a squat with twist for assessment by the Dynamic Athletic Research Institute 3D biomakerless system.prone to musculoskeletal injury. U.S. Air Force photo/John Harrington

You can learn more about DARI Motion by visiting


Massif’s Flight Suit Upgrade

By Mike Walters, Marketing Communications Manager, Massif, Inc.


ave you ever wondered what it’s like to walk around, let alone work, in a onesie? Does it harken images of your childhood, slipping around on your grandparent’s hardwood floors early in the morning with those white plastic feet at the bottom of the soft cotton fabric? Remember how the darn things always rode up in the crotch area and seemed impossible to put on? Well, imagine being an adult and told you have to wear a one-piece flight suit while flying the most advanced aircraft in the world. Decades of the same old technology, when it comes to the needs of pilots and aircrew personnel, was exactly what Massif had in mind to change with the creation of their 2-piece Flight Suit. In 2012 Massif recognized a long overdue need for the Flight Suit upgrade, so their fabric engineers and garment designers set to work; armed with invaluable user input as they set out to enhance the capabilities of the modern aviator and aircrewman with original design features unique to Massif garments. Intent on dispelling the age-old notion that the Flight Suit must be a standard one-piece, Massif ’s designers came up with an athletic style, 2-piece garment, built from Burlington’s Sigma 4 Star™ fabric; certain to set the Flight Suit trend for decades to come. Only part of the reason why, in 2017, NAVAIR approved Massif ’s 2-Piece Flight Suit for use by the US Navy and Marine Corps. Charles Sexton, Massif ’s Government Sales and Business Development Manager, who worked with NAVAIR towards the approval had this to say about the Flight Suit news: “We owe the NAVAIR approval MASSIF’s New Two Piece Flightsuit to our loyal customers within aviation, who demanded innovation of an outdated legacy item. Through years of detailed collaboration, we’ve revolutionized both functionality and performance with our 2-Piece Flight Suit with the sole purpose of enhancing future mission capabilities of our U.S. Military aircrews.” Flash fire potential is always a concern on any jacket and pant separation, so Massif engineered and patented (U.S. Patent 9,015,864) a groundbreaking attachment system to connect the jacket to the pant. Further, neither the jacket nor pant has to be worn with the other in terms of sizing. Massif felt it important to allow mixing and matching of sizes for a custom fit. This ingenious attachment design allows flexibility and movement between the jacket and pant while still aiding coverage in flash events. The result is a more athletic, agile garment that allows men and women to handle their demanding jobs in comfort without sacrificing safety and performance. To further ensure Massif ’s technologically advanced garment met all the needs of the U.S. Military’s athletes-in-the-sky they designed the garment to mitigate heat-stress and enhance quick-drying capabilities by utilizing mesh-lined pocket configurations. Not to leave pilots wanting, Massif came up with a unique Massif Dual-Entry Pocket on the thighs which allows the user to access the pockets whether standing or sitting; another feature of excellence, attention to detail, and safety Massif is synonymous with. “We are honored to be able to support such an amazing customer. The NAVAIR approval affirms the constant dedication of the Massif team to improve and innovate advanced gear that protects those who protect us each and every day.” Said Darci Knobel, V.P. of Sales at Massif.  Incorporating ergonomically designed seam placement, zippered lower legs on the pants for easier donning and doffing, durable ripstop FR fabric, and a modern, athletic fit, Massif spent countless hours revolutionizing the Flight Suit. Taking the design a step farther, realizing the importance and value of female aviators, Massif built the suit in both a men’s and women’s cut all within 100% Berry compliance. The sales team at Massif is excited and anxious to get these flight suits on the backs of pilots and aircrew knowing their protection, in comfort, allows them to perform at the highest levels expected. The look and feel of the suit is synonymous with Massif ’s overall quality and performance characteristics they have spent nearly 20 years perfecting. What about the children’s onesie? Well, Massif has no plans on changing the way our children slip and slide on those hardwood floors. However, they are more than happy to make it so men and women alike are comfortable and protected when flying the most advanced machines in the world. Rotor Review #141 Summer '18



By Danielle Owen, Marketing Executive for Defence and Aerospace, Survitec


urvitec is internationally recognised as a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of high quality Safety and Survival products for Defense, Marine and Aerospace applications for over 90 years. Survitec is proudly obsessive when it comes to producing innovative designs and combining them with advanced technology to ensure their customers have the most reliable and effective survival products on the market. In February 2018, Survitec launched its new aviation life jacket – Halo, at HeliExpo in Las Vegas. Available in both passenger and crew configurations, the Halo life jacket meets the demanding requirements of the aviation and marine sectors, specifically CAA CAP 1034 Category ‘A’ and ETSO-2C504 and C13f. Designed as an alternative for the Survitec Mk50/51 life jackets and other Category A life jackets, Halo includes modular equipment pockets for accessories, a lightweight, high performance Emergency Breathing System (EBS) and a unique ergonomic design that ensures comfort is optimized for long flight durations as compared to the currently available life jackets. Demand for New Product The Mk50/51 life jacket was designed in 2014 for both crew and passenger requirements when the demand for an integrated Emergency Breathing System (EBS) on our life jackets was required by legislation. The jacket went from concept to manufacturing in just 3 months and featured the Aqualung PSTASS EBS holding approximately 95 litres of compressed breathing air at a pressure of 232 bar and has been proven to provide up to 2 minutes of air. The Mk50/51 life jacket with the EBS weighs 4.6kg (10.1 lbs) and is currently used in 8 countries. In 2017, Survitec recognized the demand for a lighter and more advanced life jacket, specifically from customers in the global offshore wind market. As a result, the concept of Halo was conceived. Halo Key Features In comparison to the Mk50/51, the Halo life jacket features a modular EBS to increase comfort and fit for the wearer. Weighing 1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) less than the Mk50/51, the life jacket features a fully flame-retardant cover, twin chamber inflation system, ISO buckle, removeable twin crotch straps, options for two different Personal Locator Beacons, water activated strobe and sea light, zips on each side for modular EBS positioning and press studs to hold the mouth piece. The EBS is positioned to give the wearer a single action movement from the chest to the mouth easily in the case of an emergency. One of the key features of Halo is that it has significantly lower positioning on the neck to increase comfort and fit. The back of the life jacket has been designed to work in tandem with a harness if winching is required. The unique patented

Aberdeen Proving grounds- April 2018

3D Fusion bladder gives the wearer chin support, is self-righting and is clear of the arm ways to ease entering a life raft in the event of an emergency. Halo is ETSO and ISO approved and has 275N buoyancy. Liferaft Safety Standards in Aviation Survitec continues to play an influential role in developing liferaft safety standards in the aviation market. The company’s fully qualified range of aviation liferafts have been protecting lives of users operating in commercial, military, and leisure sectors. The recognised industry number one choice liferaft for over 30 years is the unique Heliraft – the first fully integrated helicopter specific liferaft able to accommodate 7 to 18 persons. It rapidly inflates upon demand and it’s reversible design ensures it is ready for immediate boarding. Heliraft Key Features The Heliraft features an open platform designed to dramatically improve the boarding and rescue phase with improved entry via the inflatable boarding ramps. It is available in a wide range of internal and external stowages customized to suit specific operator and regulatory requirements. The Heliraft has a 50% overload capacity to enhance safety and survivability for occupants and was the first to be designed as an integrated part of the aircraft airframe ensuring efficient stowage, rapid deployment, inflation and quick and easy boarding. The liferaft is reliable in all temperatures and is standard equipment on a large number of platforms from Airbus, Sikorsky, Leonardo, and Bell. The pursuit of excellence and rigorous quality testing guarantees an unrivalled reputation in the international survival market. Survitec’s solid reputation for reliability, innovation and quality underlines its leadership position in the global market. For further information regarding Survitec’s survival and safety solutions, please visit or visit our Youtube page to view our products in action. www.


Rotor Review #141 Summer '18



Raising the Bar in a Single Hoist: Cadets Redesign Modern Helicopter Rescue Basket By Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole Foguth, USCG

First Class Cadets Christian Breviario, Riely Brande, Benjamin Crutchfield, Nolan Richerson and Spencer Smith have been prototyping a new and improved rescue basket, which could revolutionize the way the Coast Guard conducts search and rescue missions onboard the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Nicole Foguth


oast Guard Academy Mechanical Engineering cadets have been prototyping a new and improved rescue basket, which could revolutionize the way the Coast Guard conducts search and rescue missions onboard the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters. First Class Cadets Christian Breviario, Riely Brande, Benjamin Crutchfield, Nolan Richerson and Spencer Smith spent the last year working closely with the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center, (RDC) to improve upon the current rescue basket design, after receiving input from search and rescue operators in the fleet. “In 2009, the Research and Development Center conducted an internal Coast Guard study,” said M.J. Lewandowski, a research project manager for the RDC. “The study noted that the Coast Guard’s ability to respond to mass rescue incidents was and still is somewhat limited in the methods available to remove large numbers of people from a hazardous marine situation quickly and safely.” The RDC and Academy leadership approached Breviario and his capstone group at the beginning of their senior year to see if an improvement could be made to the current design, which would increase the Coast Guard’s effectiveness during mass rescue incidents. “We have added a means of entry that is easier for people who may be injured or have limited mobility,” said Breviario. “We have also maximized the space dimensions of the basket, given the dimensions of the MH-60 Jayhawk cabin. With these modifications we have made the basket more accessible, decreased the amount of time needed per hoisting evolution, and improved upon the effectiveness of the Coast Guard during mass rescue incidents.” The new design, which is roomy enough for two individuals to comfortably sit in the basket, allows Coast Guard operators to shave off precious time during mass rescue situations. During mass rescue scenarios where 18 or more victims require helicopter assistance, the cadets have determined the new basket could cut the time required to get everyone hoisted onboard by half. “The team was tasked with improving the Coast Guard’s response in a search and rescue scenario,” said Dr. Ron Adrezin, a Mechanical Engineering professor and project advisor. “The RDC needed the project to meet very specific criteria and the cadets were able to produce a well-designed project that met all of these needs.” Cutting down on the time required for Coast Guard rescue operations by adding a means of entry and increasing the dimensions weren’t the only alterations the cadets made to the rescue basket. They also reconfigured the flotation system of the basket, which increased the buoyancy of the basket by 79 pounds of force. This upgrade will also allow for increased comfort of victims within the basket, as they will be surrounded by buoyant material on all sides. Breviario and the rest of his capstone group will graduate this May with degrees in Mechanical Engineering, and will enter the fleet as Coast Guard ensigns. Their project has garnered interest from the Office of Aviation Engineering and the Aviation Rotor Review #141 Summer '18


Gear Logistics Center, who will consider whether to take the project further into a refinement and testing phase. “Their project absolutely showcases what they’ve learned during their four years as engineering students, as well as pushed them to go beyond what we taught them and learn new topics and techniques on their own,” said Commander Matthew Walker, a Coast Guard Academy Mechanical Engineering instructor and U.S. Coast Guard pilot. “I am intrigued by the team’s approach to this project and to see where it goes from here.” Breviario hopes to see the design implemented into the fleet as the new standard rescue basket used in Coast Guard operations. The capstone group is currently pursuing a patent for their design and waiting on the RDC to decide if they are interested in further testing. “We feel extremely proud of what we have accomplished this semester, and along the way, we have gained a lot of traction from our sponsor and aviation operators in the fleet,” said Breviario. “We would love to see our project make it to the fleet in the future, but even more so we feel that we have taken the next steps in providing a solution to a problem the Coast Guard faces on numerous occasions each year.”




Helicopter Firsts

About :Helicopter Firsts”: Eduardo Galean, soccer’s pre-eminent man of letters, is quoted as saying; “History never really says goodbye. History says, ‘See you later”. That being said, we introduce “Helicopter Firsts” Rotor Review’s newest department. If you have a “First” to share with Rotor Review readers please send to If printable, we will print it.

Before the Mk-54, There Was the Mk-54 By LCDR Tom Phillips, USN (Ret)


oday, the front line ASW weapon we have is the Mk-54 acoustic homing torpedo, the greatest thing since sliced bread, or perhaps at least the greatest thing since the bran muffin. Back in the last century, in 1971, LATE 1971, after I came home from terrorizing the VC and water buffalo of South Vietnam and Cambodia, I was introduced to ASW and the Mk-54. Not THIS MK-54, but THAT Mk54. THAT Mk-54 was a gravity depth bomb with a hydrostatic fuse, and the mighty SH-3A had four bomb racks to carry four of them as a weapon load against submarines. We practiced dropping the four fish killers against a Fighting Wolf, or a Hot Pipe, or a Feather by dropping smokes to straddle a towed spar, yeah, towed behind the carrier, just like the jets. We practiced dropping the four fish killers against a Fighting Wolf, or a Hot Pipe, or a Feather by dropping smokes to straddle a towed spar, yeah, towed behind the carrier, just like the jets. Sneak up on the bad guy from astern, cross the hapless victim at a 30-degree angle dropping two short and two long, about a half-second apart, which would give us a 25-yard spacing, as you all know from application of the 90knot Rule, that handy variation of the Three-Minute Rule, not to be confused with the three-minute egg. I have searched far afield for a photo of a Mk-54 depth bomb affixed to an H-3 with no luck, and as I remember, I don’t think I ever actually set eyes on one on the flight line or in the hangar, only pictures in training material, which was actually PAPER back then. The accompanying picture is courtesy Rotor Review #141 Summer '18

of Siri – she knows about the MK-54, both of them. Since its on the internet, it must be true. Of course, we had homing torpedoes too, in fact, the Mk-46 was replacing the Mk-44 in the helicopter community arsenal, the Mk-46 Mod 0 having first hit the fleet in 1967; the VP fleet - us rotor heads getting them just four years later – oh boy! The original Mk46 has been modified of course a few times since inception. Perhaps its biggest improvement was complementing its forward-flight-only deployment, with the hover launch we take for granted today and I was directly involved in that struggle, privileged to work with Arnold “Livi” Livingston, Mr. Mk-46, a brilliant and practical engineer and a lot of fun on liberty. May he rest in peace. We tested on the Canadian COMOX acoustic range on Vancouver Island, a great boondoggle featuring shared Liberty with the Canadians, but that’s another story and perhaps not suitable for young PC ears. The Mk-54 depth charge was originally a World War II weapon, so everything must be seen in perspective. In perspective it only lasted about 30 years whereas the 46 is an Energizer bunny, still going strong after FIFTY-ONE years. The Mk-54 went away without regret very shortly after young me acquired my devastating straddling and stealth approach skill, but we kept the four bomb racks until each bird went to depot-level overhaul, which was called PAR (progressive aircraft rework) back then (affectionately referred to by the fleet as Paint and Reissue). We made use of those aft bomb racks to carry chaff dispensers, being part of Mother’s deception and seduction plan against the Vampires, the emerging Soviet anti-carrier cruise missile threat. On shrill command, we were to divert from plane guard or sonar screen off 48

the threat axis downwind, and set out a carefully crafted pattern of chaff clouds, after which DFCs would automatically fall out of the upper circuit breaker panel into our laps, so we could contemplate them for a few seconds before the infuriated cruise missile homed on us and blew us to atoms in a fit of pique. Of course, the crewmen only got a chance to snatch letters of commendation from the swirling air back in the cabin draft. A little about the THAT Mk-54, which may actually be of pertinence today as “percussive ASW” continues to raise its silly head now and then. • Weight: 345 pounds • Explosive charge: 249.43 pounds • Kill radius: 17-30 feet, in three dimensions (BTW against modern diesel boat.)

Mk-54 Depth Charge

Compare it to the Mk-82, suggested candidate for a percussive ASW weapon, if they can figure out the fusing (note, search warehouse in Anacostia, probably next to the Ark of the Covenant) • Weight: 510-570 pounds (there are variations) • Explosive charge: 192 pounds (34-38 percent of bomb weight) • U/W kill radius: not 17 feet Your basic Mk-82 is a frag weapon, the explosive shattering the serrated casing to make lots of shrapnel, the primary kill mechanism. Of course it has some overpressure blast effects. On the other hand, the depth charge kill mechanism is ALL pressure, hence the dramatically

Helicopter Firsts greater percentage of explosive, 70%, compared to a MK-82, 34-38%. Solving the firing solution in 3-dimensions within 17 feet, says it all about why it went away once submarines could go deeper than about 150 feet. While the Mk-54 depth charge was a poor weapon against modern submarines – we also had another depth charge, the B-57, “Doctor Pepper” dial-a-yield, nuclear depth bomb. Had more than 17 feet kill radius. Could select 10 kT, 2 kT, or 0.4 kT yield. Old guys will get it: 10-2-4 Doctor Pepper. Ah so satisfying. Those damn things struck fear in us junior officers, not for their explosive power but for their power to ruin careers simply by screwing up a graded load drill during the dreaded (not kidding now) NWTPI inspections. Nobody wanted to end up Laundry and Morale Officer on Shemya (would that count as a joint tour?). The B-57 only weighed about 500 pounds, a third the weight of its predecessor, the Mk-101 Lulu. Still trying to find out where the name Lulu came from, but old folks will probably remember things being a lulu of something, as in the Mk-101 would be a lulu of a fish killer, killing and cooking in one step. A lulu of a clue: according to Siri; before Lulu, there was a nuke depth charge called Betty, so perhaps ASW nuclear weapons were nicknamed after women. (NB: Do all wives of Dr. Nuke Depth Charge Designers, have explosive tempers? ) Far as Siri can tell, all Nuclear Weapon Designers back in the day were men, or of male preference.

PAC) where, at one point, we had to calculate the minimum required crosswind speed of the controlling helicopter, the one IN THE DIP a couple of thousand yards from the target, to escape the base surge, a wall of water and debris coming at you like the wave from the Posiedon Adventure, once your buddy dropped the sonofabitch. (Exploration of a hover launched B-57 was short-lived.) They were selling us on the event being survivable, and the school solution, given the wind direction and speed, humidity, water depth, yield selected, time to raise the dome, dN-dZ atmospheric profile, minimum roentgens you could absorb before glowing, Coriolis effect, Bernoulli number, Wanda LaBoom-Boom’s number, was in the neighborhood of about 80 knots. So we only had to fly 81 knots to survive. We all got it wrong on the exam. The universally most popular answer was, guillotine the dome, and fly as fast as the bird would go just barely short of fully developed blade stall (we smartly knew blade stall would slow down our frightened, but highly motivated, asses as we performed the crosswind escape maneuver). They, the Mk-54, Mk-101, and B-57 depth charges are all only memories now, and no tears shed. But we still have the Mk-46 and the later Mk-54, our bloodhounds, a good appellation for an acoustic homing torpedo in general, being descended from FIDO.


B-57 Nuclear Depth Charge We HS were all nuclear weapon delivery pilots, which was very sobering, and we all went to very sobering school for it (at NORIS, it was the present base HQ building, affectionately called BOOM-

You all remember FIDO? That was the brevity name for the Mk-24 Mine. The name Mk-24 Mine was the military designation for our first homing torpedo, developed and used in World War II (that was back in 1943).


Like almost any military innovation you care to name, the Germans got there first, having developed a homing torpedo in 1933, according to Siri, but setting it aside for a while as it had bugs and the state of the art of acoustics was very primitive interwar and frustrated development of a workable one. But they got interested as the Battle of the Atlantic ensued and fielded Zaunkonig (German for Wren) before us. We captured one with U-505, and copied it, functionally, as the Zaunkonig was a submarine-size torpedo and FIDO was air-dropped. Both Zaunkonig and FIDO were passive listeners, who homed on the machinery noise of the target. The Germans used them against those pesky escorting destroyers/frigates/corvettes/trawlers as well as merchants– sank 45. We used them against U-boats and I-boats, sinking 31 and 6 respectively and damaging 18 others. Those were the results of 204 attacks, so FIDO was not a sure-shot (22% success for you math challenged), as neither are our torpedoes today. I can neither confirm nor deny whether THIS Mk-54 has better or worse than 22%, but it is not a sure-shot either. Smart marksmanship is still highly desirable, if not critical to get a hit against an actual thinking smart motivated enemy, as opposed to a wind-upnon-responsive-toy sad surrogate. FIDO weighed about 680 pounds and had 92 pounds of explosive. Electric drive, battery powered: 12 knots for 10 minutes. Wow. FIDO was one of the BIG secrets of World War II, so classified, that they referred to it as a mine, we did not risk writing down the words “acoustic homing” even in top secret, burn before reading, documents. Today, what were called Wonder Weapons in World War II, are called smart weapons, but they are only really as smart as the aircrew who employ them, as the smartest computer in the aircraft is, and has always been, and must always be, between the ears.

NAS Fallon: First Dog Rappel

By AFCM (AW/NAC) Bill “Red Dog” Moss, USN (Ret.)


fter working with several Northern California Sheriff’s Offices and their civilian SAR volunteers the question came up as to how, if one of the squadrons that deployed to NAS Fallon lost a pilot and plane in the High Sierras, would we expedite the rescue of the downed airman? There were several methods discussed and they all included the use of massive manpower in the search effort. Logistically this would be almost an impossibility due to the area encompassed by the Sierra Nevada mountains and the many avenues of flight patterns from the various West Coast bases. We at Fallon had long been proponents of rappel rescue and the use of mountaineering methods in the rescue scenario. Our UH1N’s were very adaptable to the high mountain rescue techniques and our SAR crews were highly trained in mountain rescue methodologies. The thought of placing 30 or so folks in the snow in the High Sierra was deemed logistically not feasible. There were several assets available to us from the civilian side of the house and these were discussed at length. First, there were the volunteers who would unselfishly give of their time and money to be part of the rescue scenario. Second, there were the more than 20 Sheriff Offices in Northern California who had paid SAR coordinators to handle these volunteers and had the Sheriffs’ blessing and funding to make sure these volunteers had the equipment they needed and the wherewithall to be trained in the proper usage of this equipment should the eed arise. What we provided was a delivery method for these SO’s and in turn they trained us in the various methods of rescue they employed. Of course it all had to be approved by the Fallon Commanding Officers and we were lucky enough to have several that went with the program as a service to our shipmates who flew and to allow the civilian folks to see how their tax dollars were being spent. After several brain storming sessions we decided that the current method of Rotor Review #141 Summer '18

Dog Rappel with Handler putting folks on the ground was not only not doable but too time consuming. A pilot could freeze to death in a matter of hours and should he be injured that would only accelerate his demise. Then someone said “WOOF Team”. The WOOF Team is made up of avalanche rescue dogs that can cover the ground of 30-40 men in the snow in a matter of minutes vs. hours. We immediately were interested. There had been some use of the WOOF dogs in searches for walk away children and elderly folks so why not a downed pilot? I personally had delivered these dogs in the helo to areas where there were landing facilities and could attest to the fact that they were not afraid of the helicopter transit. NAS Fallon’s relationship with the Alpine County Sheriff in Markleeville California had led to our meeting the founder of WOOF and her dog Thunder, a 125 pound German shepherd. We were aware of the fact that Thunder had rappelled out of a Kiowa type helicopter but never one as big as the H-1 we flew at Fallon. After some discussion we decided that it could be done and I would be the one in charge of tactics and equipment for the mission. After having a very infor50

mal meeting at the Cutthroat Saloon in Markleeville I had a rough idea or a harness design drawn out on the backside of a bar napkin. I took this back to my PR1 with instructions to construct same. He did an outstanding job with canvas and some Velcro etc. We actually put his yellow Lab in it and lifted her with an engine lift to see what it would do as far as comfort for the animal was concerned. It worked perfectly. Now it was time to do the actual rappel. After a support trip over to Sonora California and a visit with the SAR team there for some rappel qualification updates we proceeded to Luther Pass for the very first dog rappel from a Navy helicopter. Clear as a bell and cold as hell when we got to Luther. Elevation: 8000 feet and deep snow. The area we were working in was just off the highway and as we came up on the site there were news cameras and the film crew from the old TV show “Real People”. This was something we were not sure was good publicity nor were we sure the Skipper at Fallon would want us on the “News Live at 6”. But we had committed and figured it was better to beg forgiveness than ask permission.

Helicopter Firsts Upon landing Thunder was brought over to the turning helo and he and I did some “quality time” with the handler there. I placed him in the harness we had designed. Then it was time for the evolution. I placed Thunder in the helo and he went where he was most comfortable: under the seat. Very non chalant, like he had done it a thousand times. He was a great dog. We took off and immediately climbed to 225 feet for the first rappel. As my crewman rigged me for the rappel, which we did inside with the doors closed. I reached down and pulled

Thunder from under the seat and connected him to my Sky Genie rappelling device. All these movements were pre planned and discussed with his handler so as not to upset the animal. Once he was connected we opened the door and I went out on the skid to commence the rappel. Thunder had just enough slack in his harness to allow him to stand on the deck of the helo while I prepared the ropes etc for the evolution. When I was ready I simply turned Thunder around and pushed him butt first out of the helo between my legs and simultaneously

dropped off the skid. Perfect rappel and the very first Dog Rappel from a Navy helo on record and on National TV. There were other dog rappels at Fallon but this was the first one and by the way the Skipper thought we looked great on the 6 O’clock News!!!

Preserving the History and Heritage of Naval Aviation


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Coast Guard Helicopter Pilots in Vietnam

Combat SAR

By LCDR Tom Phillips, USN (Ret.)

What? Coast Guard? What Coast Guard? What was COAST GUARD aviation doing in Vietnam when were we sweating hostile icebergs?


ell, they were augmenting their fellow light blue aviator associates. In the US Air Force of pre-war Vietnam, being a helo pilot was a small, insignificant backwater niche of the profoundly fixed-wing-centric Air Force. There WAS no pre-war combat rescue organization, despite the exemplary Air Force combat rescue record during the Korean War. BIG Air Force chalked Korea up as a minor tactical aberration in their strategic global nuclear deterrence/warfare raison d’etre and foresaw no need for a combat rescue mission in their vision of that future. So what helicopters the AF had were distributed for local base rescue, and administrative support. They “didn’t get no respect,” and there was no helicopter career path toward the top. As a consequence, the emerging combat rescue mission requirement, caught the Air Force short: short of experienced helo pilots, short of suitable rotary wing combat machines, without a combat rescue training program or doctrine. And this unhappy manpower and equipment condition was immediately aggravated by a sudden need to fill two new squadrons of helicopters to work with the CIA in the secret war in Laos: the 20th and then the 21st Helicopter Squadrons (Air Commando). Helo pilot undergraduate pipeline was expanded, providing limited numbers of brand new people, but not enough and not soon enough, so fighter, bomber, and cargo pilots suddenly found themselves being packed off to helo squadrons to fill the seats, with little more than token, hasty, helicopter cross-training. While these two efforts produced more helicopter pilot bodies, neither could produce experienced helicopter pilots. This problem was clear to the Air Force as early as 1965, and they started looking at other service augmentation.  As far as I can determine, neither the Army nor Navy nor Marine Corps was considered or Rotor Review #141 Summer '18

USAF HH-53 and a A-1 Skyraider in Vietnam

USAF HH-53 “Super Jolly Green “ and an A-1 Skyraider in Vietnam

approached as realistic sources of augmentees. Not surprising, as the Army was expanding like Topsy, the Marines were fully deployed and stretched, and the Navy helo community was feeling the pinch to man a large attack helicopter squadron, HA(L)-3 Seawolves, and to man their own new combat rescue detachments. So the Air Force turned to the Coast Guard: after all, who knew more about SAR than the Coast Guard? It wasn’t until March of 1967 that a Coast Guard/Air Force Aviator Exchange Program was signed into effect, and wasn’t until the following April 3rd, before three “Coasties” reported to the 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, based at Da Nang, for duty. Of 75 volunteers, the three original cadre Coast Guard helicopter pilots selected were seasoned mission commanders: Lieutenant Commander Lonnie Mixon, and Lieutenants Lance Eagan and Jack Rittichier. All three were designated rescue crew commanders (RCC) soon after their arrival. They rapidly became instructor pilots (read ANI), the next designation above RCC and one of a later cadre would be designated flight examiner, the top USAF squadron qualification (read NATOPS officer). Their extensive helicopter time was sweetened by experience in the Sikorsky HH-52A, 52

which had many of the characteristics of the Sikorsky HH-3E the Jolly Green Giants were flying. One great relief to the Air Force crew was the Coasties took up the overwater missions out to Navy ships, flying which was uncomfortable for the garden variety Air Force helo potpourri. Lieutenant Commander Joseph “Jay” Crowe “joined the Air Force” In May1971, after a year’s gap with no Coast Guard exchange helicopter pilots in the 37th ARRSq following the DEROS of the second contingent, Lieutenants Richard V. Butchka and James M. Loomis, and Lieutenant Junior Grade Robert T. Ritchie. He and Lieutenant Roderick Martin III checked in. They were put right to work.   Three sample combat missions are a measure of the man, and of Coast Guard combat SAR: On June 4, 1971, an Air Force OV10A FAC from the 20th TASS was shot down east the Bolovens Plateau in the southeastern corner of Laos. Coastie Jay Crowe, on one of his first combat rescue missions, was one of the pilots of the Super Jolly (HH-53A) which was low bird for the rescue.  The area was heavily sprinkled with AA weapons, and small arms, but it was also heavily forested.  They looked down from blue skies at 15,000 feet as the area

Combat Sar was treated to the sustained bombing of multiple “fast-mover” jets followed by a Sandy trolling the area to test the residual strength and mood of the enemy. Sandy drew fire from two locations, one far enough away to not be a factor, but the other too close for comfort, and too close to destroy without endangering one of the downed airmen.  Sandy 1 planned to obscure it with smoke as the Jolly began its run-in. The two Bronco pilots were downed at the bottom of a box canyon, and the terrain was sufficiently wrinkled with karsts, ridgelines, and valleys that Crowe could use it to minimize the effectiveness of the enemy guns as the HH-53 approached the area.  While the jungle canopy hid the hostile guns from prying aircraft eyes, it also minimized their effectiveness to within the confines of their jungle-restricted lines of sight. All he had to do was accomplish the descent to treetop level without being shot down as he passed through the kill zone of the light guns.  He would do that offset from the pickup area, and away from the active gun the Sandy had located away from the pickup area. Dropping at a rate of several thousand feet per minute, Crowe noted about halfway through the descent how “heart stopping this business could get” as the big helicopter dove nose-down for the deck.  As the Jolly approached the ground, the crew had a great view of Sandys up ahead swirling around drop-

ping CBUs, laying smoke, and firing rockets and guns. Crowe transitioned from a falling stone to a flying helicopter as he approached the ground, and leveled off inbound to the downed pilots, having built up speed to 170 knots, fairly screaming along as close to the ground as he could get, even below the treetops whenever the terrain would allow. Racing toward all the action, down on the deck was an adrenalin-pumping rush.  As they closed in, by the time they could discern whose tracers were whose, “you were too busy to do anything except trust in God and the Sandys and jink like hell.” The first pilot was located and hoisted aboard without difficulty, but the second was a more of a challenge.  He was under trees over 250 feet tall and the hoist would not reach the ground, so the Jolly pilots descended vertically in the hover between trunks, mowing the branches and leaves with their six-bladed, seventy-two foot “weed-whacking” rotor system, scything down the five or six feet needed to get the penetrator within reach of the Bronco pilot. With the grateful man safely aboard to join his crewmate, the Jolly exited the scene, taking ground fire, which was enthusiastically suppressed by the PJ gunners. As Crowe tucked in behind King to aerial refuel from the HC-130P on the way home, he was on top of the world.  “I can’t describe the sensation of victory I had as we rode wing on

USAF HH-53 “Super Jolly Green” Refueling


King, taking fuel with fighters making aileron roll passes and loops around us: the sky was never quite so blue or the clouds so puffy and white.” The Bronco pilots, Major B.R. Ross and First Lieutenant A.L. Moxon, were understandably glad to see the Jollys, and Ross said: “When I heard the Jollys Greens were coming, I was so damned happy I couldn’t believe it! I knew if anybody could get us out, they would do it. I knew what kind of people they were and there’s something about the words Jolly Green – it stays with you from the first time you hear it until the time you need their skills.” Ross and Moxon would renew their acquaintance with Jolly Green two weeks later, June 20, 1971, when they were again shot down right on the border convergence of Laos, Cambodia, and South Vietnam, and were rescued again, by none other than Joseph Crowe, Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Coast Guard.  It could sometimes be a small, jolly world. To better cover the southern portion of South Vietnam and be closer to the increasing level of operations in Cambodia, the 37th ARRSq, based in Da Nang, had for some time maintained a pair of HH-53s at Bien Hoa AB, RVN, about 15 miles northeast of Saigon.  On September 26, 1971, it was Jay Crowe’s turn to stage at the FOL. Standing the alert with his crew, Hampton, Simm, Manion, and Steed, they were scrambled to the rescue of an OV-10A from the 19th TASS who shared the ramp at Bien Hoa. The Rustic FAC, the callsign which was used by any FAC operating in Cambodia, regardless of squadron, had fallen victim to a “.50-cal trap” when it was hit at 3,500 feet by converging fire from four 12.7mm AA machine guns ringing the perimeter of a small village about ten miles northwest of the Mekong River town of Kampong Cham.  When grouped as a battery, the 12.7mm guns, “heavy guns” of the southern air war (where the heavy AA weapons of Laos and North Vietnam had not yet appeared in large numbers) were still quite deadly.  The Bronco crew, pilot First Lieutenant Lansford Trapp, and observer Cambodian Sergeant Chap Khom,

had parachuted down into the apex of the gun formation, and the hostile forces accompanying the AAA gunners were in no rush to go get them. Crowe’s Jolly approached at 8,000 feet, safely above the range of the still active hostile guns, while the Sandys of the 1st SOS went in low to begin their routine of locating the survivors and the hostile guns. In the flat and relatively open terrain of central Cambodia penetrating the ring of guns was going to be dicey, there not being the ridges, karsts, and dense vegetation of the 37th’s regular op area to provide a modicum of masking for the helicopter.  By this stage of the war, a low treetop-hugging approach by the rescue helicopter was a wellknown procedure and the enemy gunners would be waiting for it, scanning the low horizon for the rescue helicopter sure to follow on the heels of the tough Skyraiders.  Each gun guarded its quadrant of the circle around the downed airmen, waiting. Crowe decided to use a variation of the diving spiral approach he had used June 4 with success rescuing the Covey FAC crew up in southern Laos.  Rather than descending some distance away prior to a low level run-in, he entered an autorotation from directly overhead, copilot Hampton pulling the throttles of the twin engines back and Crowe lowering the collective stick. Down the helicopter fell, with the rush of air up through the rotors keeping the blades spinning, while the engines idled (relatively quietly).  Normally the engines drive the rotors which thrust the air down, creating lift from the rotary motion of the blades, with a lot of accompanying rotor and engine noise.  In an autorotation, the falling helicopter causes air to rush up through the rotors which keeps them spinning in the absence of the driving engines.  As long as the helicopter is descending at a pretty good rate of descent, the engines are not needed to keep the blades spinning.  The blades are unloaded in an autorotative descent, so the characteristic whopwhop is virtually eliminated, and with the engines at idle there is significantly less of the distinctive noises which normally come from the helicopter.

Rotor Review #141 Summer '18

Jolly Green Door Gunner

With the Sandys rumbling around strafing and bombing, and attracting the eye of the gunners, the diminished, but potentially telltale, sounds made by the falling Jolly were masked. Crowe kept the helicopter in a steep turn spiraling down inside the perimeter of the four guns around the downed aircrew, literally behind their backs; careful not to swing out too wide where he might catch a gunner’s eye. The Jolly would be easily seen should anyone glance straight up, luckily the last place a sane gunner would be looking for a helicopter. They were falling out of the sky at more than 5,000 feet per minute.  As the Jolly approached the ground, Crowe began to level off, converting vertical speed to speed across the ground, still spiraling, and then raised the nose to decelerate.  Crowe had the change his vertical path to a swoop across the ground to avoid a deadly condition called settling with power (also known more technically today as vortex ring state).  Had he pulled up on the collective while in a vertical descent with no forward motion, he could have actually caused the upward flow of air through the rotors to accelerate, increasing his rate of descent into the ground rather than reducing it. Detected too late, a helicopter pilot can not escape it, and a violent crash is assured. At the same time, Hampton slowly and smoothly pushed the engine throttles forward to accelerate them back into normal speed, and gently engage 54

their drive wheels with the spinning gears of the main rotors. The accelerating engines and the rotors digging into the air as Crowe pulled up on the collective and flared into a quick-stop, created loud rotor beats accenting the whine of jet turbines accelerating to maximum power, announcing their arrival to all. But the helicopter was safely down beneath the trees in a hover, and the telltale noise was too late to help the gunners acquire their target.  This tight spiral autorotative descent and recovery to a hover requires a superior feel for the helicopter, and exquisite coordination with the copilot to return the rotors to engine-driven flight smoothly at just the right instant.  Done right the maneuver is a dramatic and breath-taking maneuver and a grand entrance.  But the room for error is very small, and a botched maneuver is perilous and very unforgiving. It was not a gambit to be repeated very often; if the gunners had detected the helicopter, Crowe and company would have found themselves in a deadly crossfire. But this day it was brilliant; a tactical surprise, completely unexpected, and therefore completely effective.  The Jolly crew snatched the two men quickly and escaped out of the circle with a low-level departure. A climbing spiral back up from the center of the guns, with the gunners now alerted, was clearly out of the question.  The helicopter received only sporadic fire as it left the scene in the

Combat SAR typical low-level escape while taking no casualties. The third story is about the extensive efforts to rescue AF Colonel Iceal Hambleton – Bat 21. During the night, 23rd TASS Pave Nail OV-10s from NKP zotted (used a laser) Hambleton’s position accurately, establishing LORAN D navigation fixes, and at dawn fighter-bombers began dropping tiny mines (called gravel) around his position to provide some protection to him.  With full daylight next morning, a break in the cloud cover allowed two 37th ARRSq Jollys to attempt an approach for pickup.  The first HH-53, Jolly Green 65, the RCC, exchange officer LCDR Joseph Crowe, USCG, started in low and fast.  They found themselves racing low level over columns of men, trucks, and tanks, and ran into an immediate blizzard of hostile fire, more intense than anything Crowe had ever seen.  His helicopter shredded with hits and severely damaged, Crowe pulled away from the scene. Jolly Green 66 then tried it, breaking through the clouds right over the top of ten North Vietnamese tanks.  He took a savage crossfire as he cleared the area, with his gunners engaging targets on all sides.  When one of the Sandys asked where the fire was coming from, pilot Lieutenant Colonel Bill Harris, commanding officer of the 37th, replied:          “From EVERYWHERE!” Harris aborted his attempt within 100 yards of Hambleton’s position, climbed back into the clouds and nursed his riddled Jolly 66 back to safety, without too much drama.

Captain Don Sutton, Crowe’s copilot pointing out bullet holes, which appear to be exit holes from rounds coming up from underneath.

adjust the amount of anti-torque thrust needed to counteract the torque generated by the rotation of the main rotor system. As the main rotor’s torque changes with differing applications of power, the tail rotor pitch is adjusted by the pilot at the controls using the anti-torque pedals, universally known as the rudder pedals; they act like rudder controls in fixed-wing airplanes, controlling the yaw of the nose.)  Crowe’s problem was the torque was stuck at a high setting, which would hold the nose straight at high speed.  But whenever he tried to reduce his power to slow the helicopter, the nose yawed to the left.  When Crowe tried to reduce power to the levels needed to slow to a landing this caused the nose to yaw alarmingly, and he had to add power to regain control.  He realized it would be impossible to reduce power enough for a normal landing.  He could keep the nose aligned Crowe’s Jolly 65 was another story.  in the direction he was heading at 105 The severely damaged helicopter made knots.  The normal maximum speed it back to base only by the flying skill for a “running” landing, like a fixed of the seasoned helicopter pilot. The wing plane made would be no more gyrocompass was shot out, the flight in- than 60 knots.  He knew approaching struments failed, electrical and hydrau- to a hover was out of the question, the lic systems were knocked out, and flight decreasing power during the slow-down assist systems were off line. and descent would cause the helicopter About all that was still working were to spin to the left in ever faster circles.  the engines and the main transmission. He had to keep his speed up or begin to The most threatening damage was to the spin out of control.  In fact, he also had quite sensitive tail rotor controls. The to land quickly, because as time went by battle damage had jammed the controls, and the helicopter got lighter, burning locking the pitch of the tail rotor.  (In a off fuel, the problem was aggravated, helicopter, the tail rotor pitch changes to and greater speed would be required 55

to keep the nose straight.   He considered having his PJs bail out; they were the only ones with parachutes, and he wanted not to risk them in the desperate landing, but their departure would have also lightened the helicopter. Crowe, escorted by Sandy 05, First Lieutenant Glen Priebe, flew to Phu Bai AB, near the ancient capital of Hue, and both had to argue with the tower to let him land; they were in the middle of a rocket attack and were conducting heavy combat flight ops.  Lieutenant Priebe, Sandy 05, finally convinced the tower Jolly 65 had no other choice.    Crowe had to land at 105 knots, knowing the nose would yaw as power was reduced.  As the helicopter touched down, careening down the runway, Crowe flattened the main rotor blades’ angle of attack to minimize the torque, and his copilot snatched the throttles to “OFF,” to minimize the torque. As they began to slow, the two pilots saw a large crater in the middle of the runway from a recent rocket hit.  Using what little lift remained, Crowe lifted the bird minimally and lurched over the hole, falling back to ground and coasting to a stop, right side up to the relief of all concerned. It was one of the most unusual emergency situations for a helicopter, and definitely unanticipated by any of the instructional manuals. An exceptional airman, and a courageous tactician, Crowe went on to retire from the Coast Guard as a Captain.

Helicopter History

HSL-37 War Wolves

By CAPT Brian Buzzell, USN (Ret.) and CAPT Bill Fetzer, USN (Ret.) This is a follow-on to the Remotely Piloted Vehicle article in the Spring 2018 issue (#140) of Rotor Review.


he Iran-Iraq war in 1987 was in its seventh year. Hostilities had morphed into a wider Persian Gulf war as Iran began laying mines in the Persian Gulf shipping channels to stop oil shipments from neighboring Arab countries primarily Kuwait. What followed became known as the “Kuwaiti Reflagging” or “Tanker War.” The Pentagon called it Operation Earnest Will which lasted from July 1987 to September 1988 when Iran and Iraq agreed to end hostilities. The SH-2F Sea Sprite helicopter played a small, but significant role in support of Operation Earnest Will. Not many people are aware of the four HSL-37 “War Wolves.” In the Pentagon Admiral Carl Trost, the Chief of Naval Operations, had established a Red Cell to support JCS in the execution of Operation Earnest Will. I was assigned as the OP-03 representative to the Red Cell. Yes, this helicopter

pilot embedded in OP-03 (Surface Warfare) was requested by VADM Hank Mustin, OP-06 (Plans, Policy and Operations), also a Surface Warfare Officer, to be on his Red Cell Team. In this role I was involved daily in all matters pertaining to Navy support of Operation Earnest Will. At one point in time there were more than 30 Navy ships operating in and near the Persian Gulf including aircraft carriers and battleships. It was the “battleship” problem that required a solution; i.e. how to conduct gunfire spotting without the Pioneer System of Remotely Piloted Vehicles. Additionally, if manned air vehicles were going to be used, how would we keep them relatively safe in a very dangerous environment. At the time, only the USS Iowa (BB61) had Pioneer installed. She was scheduled to rotate out of the Area of Operations (AO) having completed

her deployment, and the USS Missouri (BB-63) Surface Action Group (SAG) from the West Coast was to take her place in the summer of 1987. JCS had a mission for this SAG that required using the Missouri’s 16-inch guns. It was determined that the SH-2F was the best platform to perform the gunfire spotting. Detachments from HSL-37 were in pre-deployment workups for this SAG. With this information, in late June 1987 I flew out to NAS Barbers Point to inform the CO of HSL-37, CDR Bill Fetzer, that his hangar, 4 aircraft and aircrews were soon to be partitioned off from the rest of his squadron and only his Detachment OINC’s would be read into the mission. What followed was a major reconfiguration of four SH-2Fs into “War Wolves” and the short, but intense, preparations and training to get ready to operate and maintain those new systems in only a few weeks.

SH-2Fs Transformed for Persian Gulf Operations

(Continuation of the “Rest of the Story”) By CAPT Bill Fetzer, USN (Ret.)


n late June 1987, I was in my office on the 2nd deck of the HSL-37 hangar at NAS, Barber’s Point, HI, when the duty yeoman advised that there was “a Commander from the Pentagon on the phone.” Life in Hawaii at that time was quite laid back in the well-known “islander spirit of Aloha.” We occasionally received official calls and inspection visits from our Wing Commander in San Diego, but never a call from the Pentagon. The daily squadron routine was about to begin with three newly formed detachments training and “working up” for deployment. CDR Brian Buzzell called to say that he would be arriving at Barber’s Point later that week to brief us regarding the pending deployment in August of Battle Groups Echo and Sierra. What followed was an almost unbelievable transformation of the veteran H-2 helicopter from its primary mission as a torpedo carrying, Rotor Review #141 Summer '18

ASW platform to a much more robust Anti-Surface Surveillance and Targeting (ASST) asset… and not three helicopters for three detachments, but four helicopters for three detachments. The SH-60B community was quite familiar with dual plane ops on the DD-963 and FFG-7 class ships. But, as far as I knew, no SH-2F’s had been deployed for dual plane operations that would include dual SH-2F stowage (hangaring) on a DD-963 class ship. For this mission, the USS Leftwich (DD-984) would be embarking two of our soon to be reconfigured SH-2F War Wolves for operations with the USS Missouri (BB63) Battle Group Sierra. New Weapons and Sensors for the SH-2F CDR Buzzell briefed that each of our four aircraft would be modified by adding an AAQ-16 FLIR, ALQ-144 IR Counter Measures, ALE-39 chaff and 56

flare dispenser, two crew-served M-60 machine guns mounted on pintle posts and a completely redesigned electrical system to handle the increased avionics loads. After the briefing, CDR Buzzell went back to the Pentagon to work “the system” to ensure that all the equipment needed for the upcoming mission would be provided from various DoD assets. The factory teams started arriving on the 4th of July, and by July 6th they began modifications on all four helicopters simultaneously, all lined up in a row on the hangar deck. To modify the electrical systems, the cowlings were removed, exposing the upper equipment decks. My initial thought, after watching the factory electricians pulling out the dozens and dozens of white wires on the first day, was – these aircraft may never fly again! It looked like an “explosion in a spaghetti factory.” The Kaman Aerospace factory team, under the careful observation of Terry Fogarty,

Helicopter History our resident Kaman Tech Rep, worked twelve-hour shifts (port and starboard) for fourteen straight days. While the helicopters were being modified, the detachments began an intense training program to operate and maintain the new sensors and weapons. The assigned det AWs (Aviation Warfare Systems Operators) along with “volunteer gunners” from each det flew to San Diego to undergo M-60 training. The additional gunners and training were required because our manning posture did not include M-60 qualified aircrewmen. Meanwhile, the factory reps for each of the new systems provided dedicated training for the technicians (maintainers) and aircrew operators. Maximum flexibility in preparing for the unknown “unknowns” was required throughout the modification and pre-deployment training stages. Exactly 14 days after the mods began, LCDR Jack Coyne, the squadron Maintenance Officer, and I launched in the first two aircraft with their Detachment OinCs for their initial post maintenance flight checks. I was wrong about my initial thoughts just two weeks earlier – the aircraft took off and flew exceptionally well, seemingly proud of their shiny new equipment! All four aircraft had received major system upgrades, including a newly rewired dual electrical system and completed their initial check flights with only minor discrepancies. A few more maintenance and systems checks ensured the aircraft, crews and equipment were ready to deploy for expedited det workups and deployment in late August. Thanks to the professional skills and expertise of the Kaman team and the other equipment factory reps, the aircraft successfully completed their post maintenance check flights and systems checkouts in minimum time. USS Leftwich Modified for Dual Helo Ops While the helicopters were being transformed for the new tasking, USS Leftwich (DD-984) also needed some minor shipalts to her helicopter hangar. Leftwich was required to carry two SH-2F aircraft that would be part of the planned contingency mission for the USS Missouri (BB-63) Battle Group Sierra. To conduct helicopter operations

safely and effectively from Leftwich, both helicopters needed to be folded and stowed in the hangar with their noses forward. Moving the H-2 around on the ship’s deck had always been an all-hands evolution. Without automation, the helicopter team moved the helo about the deck manually, steering it with a tow bar. A full day of helicopter/ship flight operations in Pearl Harbor was conducted to determine what ship alterations would be required to enable Leftwich to safely conduct helicopter operations at sea. This required Leftwich to get underway from pier side multiple times throughout the day and docking after each helicopter landed, shut down with blades folded and stowed as far to one side of the hangar as possible. When both helicopters were stowed inside the hangar a detailed survey of the ship hangar obstructions was completed to determine what alterations were necessary by the Pearl Harbor Navy Shipyard team. This complex integration of two unique ship and aircraft modification processes and the development of new helicopter Concepts of Operations (CONOPS) for Battle Group operations were made much easier by the fact that Dan Bowler, the Commanding Officer of the USS Leftwich, was my friend and classmate from the Naval Academy. The Leftwich dual plane detachment was led by LT Jay Butler while the other two detachments were led by LT Lew Wolfrom and LT Wayne Lachowicz, assigned to the USS Harold E. Holt (FF-1074) and USS Robert E. Peary (FF-1073) respectively. They would be deployed with the USS Ranger (CV-61) Battle Group Echo in support of Operations Ernest Will and Nimble Archer. The specially equipped Battle Group Echo helos were the designated attrition backups for the Battle Group Sierra contingency operations. For a more detailed and gripping historical account of the actual military operations which took place in the Persian Gulf during 1987 and 1988, I recommend that you read Harold Lee Wise’s book “Inside the Danger Zone,” Naval Institute Press, 2007.


Inside the Danger Zone Following this intense modification, training and detachment workup period, the dets deployed to their respective battle groups and on to their assigned AO, fully ready to respond to planned or unplanned contingency orders by the National Command Authority - just as hundreds of H-2 air detachments and US Navy ships have done throughout the decades. But this deployment was quite different from those for which they were routinely trained. This new mission area focused on constrained, “shallow” water operations against asymmetrical threats using cheap weapons and suicidal tactics. LT Jim “Beer” Hunter recalled one moment of adventure when the USS Leftwich dashed into the Persian Gulf to conduct operations during Nimble Archer. But for most of the deployment, the three detachments used their new sensor systems to conduct Surface Surveillance and Control (SSC) operations to keep track of the various contacts of interest for the battle group commanders. Fortunately, the original contingency mission for those two Battle Groups did not materialize, but the weapons, surveillance and self-protection systems were operationally tested and evaluated. Lessons learned from that deployment were provided to relieving Detachment OinCs, ships and battlegroup commanders for future littoral warfare operations. After the out chop of Battle Groups Echo and Sierra from the AO, the HLS37 War Wolf dets turned over (crossdecked) their entire aircraft and equipment or, in two cases, just the special equipment to relieving SH-2F detachments from sister squadrons from both coasts. Addendum SH-2F LAMPS MK I “Led the Way!” The SH-2Fs were the first aircraft to be designated as LAMPS MK I (Light Airborne Multi-Purpose) aircraft and assigned to US Navy destroyers and frigates. The LAMPS MK I represented the pioneer days of dedicated helicopter operations from ships. The initial vision for LAMPS was to create an extension of the ship’s weapon systems and sensors by integrating the aircraft sensors and aircrews with the shipborne sensors

and crews. The “War Wolf ” modifications demonstrated the utility of helicopter platforms to be transformed on short notice to support national policy objectives. The follow-on to LAMPS MK I was the extremely effective SH60B LAMPS MK III. The SH-60B was continuously upgraded to keep the helicopter community relevant for fleet operations. New battle group helicopter deployment concepts, additional mission flexibility requirements for increased littoral

combat threats, and the need to reduce the number of different helicopter type model series bring us to our present capabilities in 2018. The MH-60R and MH-60S platforms provide a tremendous leap forward in aircraft and sensor technology for even greater service to the fleet and nation in war and in peace. The War Wolf project and deployment was just a tiny blip on the screen of Naval Aviation History, but it demonstrated the great resolve and professional dedication of the men and families in

HSL-37, USS Leftwich, USS Harold E. Holt and USS Robert E. Peary to be ready – when called. They were ready, and they led the way in validating new littoral warfare capabilities. Author’s note: The success of Operation Praying Mantis in April 1988 allowed JCS to cancel the special mission that the SH-2F’s were reconfigured to support. Ed Driscoll and Terry Fogarty contributed to this article.

Seasprite Reunion and Dedication National Naval Aviation Museum NAS Pensacola, Florida

October 24-26, 2018 Welcome Home to the Cradle of Naval Aviation!

Fifty five years ago the Kaman Corporation completed and delivered the first of 240 Seasprites to the United States Navy. In 1973 the SH-2F Seasprite was selected to serve as the LAMPS MK 1 helicopter to deploy on U.S. Navy Destroyers, Frigates and Cruisers. After 20 years of LAMPS service the SH-2F was retired from the Navy inventory and replaced with the LAMPS MK III SH-60B. It was decided that in conjunction with the planned placing of Seasprite BuNo 151312 into the National Naval Aviation Museum we should have a reunion to celebrate and recognize the many men and women who served as Kaman Tech Reps, administration personnel, aircraft maintainers, aircrew and pilots. Please “Come Home” and join us for this occasion October 24-26, 2018 in Pensacola Florida. POC: CAPT Ernie Rogers USN-Ret 434-841-6067

Rotor Review #141 Summer '18


Helicopter History

Imperial Beach’s Forgotten Aeronauts By Toni McGowan


mperial Beach history is difficult to track. This is due to several factors. Among those are mother nature (in the form of flooding), boom-andbust periods, changes in transportation modes, wars, and lack of a city preservation program. Some of the challenges caused city name and boundary changes that included Monument City, Oneonta, Palm City, Nestor, Tia Juana to San Ysidro, and more. Community memory has been blurred or lost. A great example of this is Otay City. It boomed in 1887 (near Palm and Beyer). It went bust by railroad changes and then washed away in a flood. There was a border war at Mexico Tia Juana in 1911, when Los Angeles communists wanted to take over Baja coupled with the Mexican Revolution that brought refugees to the safety of Imperial Beach’s Camp Hearn. Calvary camps came and went. In the 1920’s, the name of US Tia Juana was changed to San Ysidro by presidential order to lessen confusion. Then World War I brought the Army into what was the U.S. Experimental Airfield at Imperial Beach. Followed by the Navy through World War II, UDT Frogmen in Korea, Helo Air Angels and SEALs in Vietnam, that caused military families to come and go. The impact of automobile systems divided communities - causing demographic changes. But let’s go back to the Experimental Airfield at Imperial Beach. That is a thread of history worth following. The name was buried by the changes, but it is a community pillar. That field is where aeronauts first built and flew planes in the early 1900s. After doing research on military bases and airmen for the Avenue of Heroes and designating the route a National Blue Star Highway in Coronado, I was curious about the history of flight in Imperial Beach. What I found was exciting. Early local aeronauts/aviators got their start at Imperial Beach’s windy field. The first mention with photographs to timestamp that Airfield are dated 1910. However, in 1908, as soon as San Diego newspapers began report-

ing the first documented successful flight in a heavierthan-air-craft by the Wright brothers, research suggests that San Diego aviation began at Imperial Beach that year. At that time, historians believe the U.S. Aviation Field would have been in Oneonta limits. But in 1908, the name of Imperial Beach was being used, though not formally named until almost 50-years later. So, some pho- Imperial Beach’s Forgotten Aeronauts Charles, Alice, tographs and doc- Juanita Enola, and Kenneth Walsh. Photo source uments regarding public domain. the Airfield do state - Imperial Beach. Interestingly, OneonThe Aviation Field in Imperial Beach ta was named by New Yorkers who setdrew daring San Diegans who read tled in part of today’s Tijuana Estuary. about the Wright brother’s flight and It is a Mohawk First People’s word that with newspaper clipped pictures set loosely means “City of the Hills.” That out to build their own planes and teach Aviation Field is believed to be what is themselves to fly. These flights in Impenow Ream Field at Imperial Beach Outrial Beach were even before the flight lying Field, Naval Region Southwest. event at the Coronado Polo Field that During World War I, the field became brought early aviators from other areas. the Oneonta Gunnery School for use by the U.S. Army. In 1918, the name of the This led to the San Diego Aero Club, field was changed to honor Major Doc- Flying Leagues, and Glenn Curtiss, who tor Ream, the first flight surgeon in the set up his flying school on North Island, U.S. In keeping with tradition of those that later became Army Rockwell Field days, almost all airfields of the US mili- (a historic landmark) and is now NAStary were named for downed Pilots. Ma- NI. I hope this series is as enjoyable to jor Ream lost his life as a passenger on read as it was to research and write. And a flight that crashed in Descanso, Cali- that it sparks the will to designate and fornia. Ream Field today is still honored preserve more of Imperial Beach historiwith his name. There is a plaque on base cal places, people, and events. commemorating that according to naval liaisons. There is no historic designation Next Feature: Charles Francis Walsh: and appear to be no efforts to establish Imperial Beach’s First and Forgotten Aviit. ator. His wife, Alice, hand-sewed the linen covers for the wings of his planes. He was the first aeronaut to take his family up in a plane and more...


“During a roundtable discussion with JOPA, CNAF listened to ideas about a change to the aviation career track and NHA is interested in hearing your thoughts too. A group of JOs created and have offered their idea on a possible change to the system.They have offered one idea as a starting point for discussion, and maybe you have a completely different idea that could improve the tactical proficiency of our community and address potential retention issues.This is just one attempt at improving our community, but we’re sure there are other great ideas out there.While NHA and Rotor Review do not endorse this specific plan, we are always open to discussing the issues our readers care about.”

From: Phillips, Thomas CTR FACSFAC DET SCORE Really complex problem. So many pros and cons for ANY plan, and lots of unintended consequences with any “improvement.” Front load most of the flying, meaning less flying later, and what keeps the young studs from just getting out? They have already DONE the bulk of their flying and see a lot of non-flying ahead. Like the guys who bail after squadron command before they start their SECOND career payback. Super J.O.s are still J.O.s of equal rank with the first-tours because it takes so long to get to the first squadron, so how do you protect the top first tours, since I would expect any super J.O. to be a proven hot runner to get the chance. With all the emphasis on flying, when do the guys get their “diversity” tours? Not the current definition of diversity, but what was once called disassociated tours: disassociated ship tour, training command instructor, recruiting, PG school, sea-going staff? If we tell the world we are sending our lesser guys to those tours, are we killing them before they can even do that tour? The greatest pilot who ever pulled on a zoom-bag is no good if the staff can’t put him in the right place to do that “Maverick s__t” and, the converse, the smartest staff is frustrated if the crew at the correct scene can not close the deal there. Today, both sides are in need of improvement. And how does the heavy flying sequence give a chance to groom the guys for the larger Navy where it isn’t the flying which turns out to be important but the shore staffs (loopers, Pentagon, political and bureaucratic tickets – the one which count toward flag)? Better be careful what you wish for. Sure would help a lot if a guy was an Ensign when he got to his first squadron, so he had more TIME for all those career-enhancing opportunities before he was up for command.

From: Patrick Henken Having looked at the website I was intrigued by the prospect of being able to stay in the cockpit for 14 years. However, having thought about it a bit more I don’t think that this is the way to go for a few reasons. First I think that we will do a disservice to the instructor corps at the FRS/VT/HT’s. Invariably some of the “good officers, but not most qualified pilots” will become flight instructors. Most likely they will provide the majority of the VT/HT since the FRS is staffed by the “best pilots”. These pilots will be flying the with the most high risk aviators, SNA’s. This after not having been in the cockpit for 2 years. This is just asking for trouble. Second, by not sending some of our best officer to the boat will it impact our communities selection of ship commands? I am not sure if having an OOD letter plays a role in the selection of amphib/carrier commands but our community is just starting to make our presence felt, especially on the carrier. It seems foolish to take our best officer out of the running for those commands. I think that a way we could accomplish the desired effect of staying in the cockpit is to increase the length of the first sea tour to somewhere along the lines of 48 months. This gives the pilot an extra year in the squadron to put all the quals that they have to work.

From CAPT Carl Robertson, USN (Ret.)

From a career standpoint I don’t see a problem. Having said that, that first shore tour after 1st sea tour is a good break from, rigorous deployment schedules and back to back sea tours could have an adverse affect on even single Jo’s from a morale stand point.  Possibility of burn out should be considered before offering this option.  

“Let us know what your most rewarding non-flying tour was.While all aviators are hesitant to take a step away from the cockpit, these tours are valuable to the navy, and our career development.While you maybe weren’t looking forward to it, and might have been counting the days until you got back to flying, what tour outside the cockpit do you look back on that gifted you some life lessons and helped you get where you are today.”

Rotor Review #141 Summer '18


It’s that time of year again! We are now accepting entries for the 6th Annual NHA Rotor Review Photo Contest.  You may submit your photos between July 20 - September 20, 2018 

Submit your entries by email ( if your file is too large to email, copy the following link into your browser Supply your contact information along with the image’s details and title in an email to


The Sixth Annual Rotor Review Photo Contest is open to all Naval Helicopter Association (NHA) members except NHA Staff and Rotor Review Editorial Staff, including their immediate families, (spouse, parents, siblings, and children).

Entry Period

The Sixth Annual Rotor Review Photo Contest begins at 12:00 a.m. PDT on July 30, 2018 and ends September 30, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. PDT (the “Entry Period”). Entries submitted before or after the Entry Period will not be eligible. Date on submission email will be the official date of entry for the contest.

What to Enter This year category has been created for images with historical significance.. Acceptable photo entries need to be high resolution images with a 300 dpi or more and without extensive photo manipulation (no photoshopping with the exception of cropping or minor contrast adjustments). Include a brief description of your photographic process ( eg: camera used, lens, settings, lighting and any post production image manipulation.)

All entries must meet the following guidelines: Media does not display any classified information or material. No depictions of sensitive actions or personnel. No “outside” NATOPS maneuvers or actions or said actions that could be perceived as violating procedures. All submission should portray the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard in a positive light.

Judging All NHA members will judge the entries of the Sixth Annual Rotor Review Photo and Video Contest. All votes will be cast on our NHA website and NHA Facebook page. The voting process will begin 12:00 a.m. PDT on October 1, 2018 to 11:59 p.m. PDT on October 31, 2018.


NHA will give out the following prizes for winning photos in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in both Current and Historical categories. 1st Prize:          $200.00 Visa Gift Card   2nd Prize:       $100.00 Visa Gift Card   3rd Prize:          $50.00 Visa Gift Card The 1st Prize Photo submissions will be on upcoming covers of Rotor Review. 

Authorization of Release Entry into this contest authorizes the Rotor Review Editorial Staff and NHA to publish entries in Rotor Review and any other NHA media. 61

Commander Naval Air Systems Command

Change of Command

VADM Dean Peters, USN relieved VADM Paul Grosklags, USN May 31, 2018

Commander Helicopter Maritme Strike Wing Pacific

CAPT William Maske, USNR relieved CAPT Mike Mineo, USNR June 21, 2018

CAPT P. Matthew Schnappauf III, USN relieved CAPT David P.Walt USN May 24, 2018

HSM - 73 Battlecats

HM - 15 Blackhawks

CDR John K. Anderson, USN relived CDR Ross A. Drenning, USN May 23, 2018

CDR Ty C. Jurica, USN relieved CDR Bernard V. Spozio USN May 17, 2018

Rotor Review #141 Summer '18

Commander Maritime Support Wing


Vice Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard

HSM - 35 Magicians

Adm. Charles W. Ray, USCG relieved Adm. Charles D. Michel , USCG May 24, 2018

CHSCWL Weapons School Savages

CDR Aric Edmondson, USN relieved CDR Joseph Murphy III, USN May 23, 2018.

CDR Eric C. Isaacson, USN relieved CDR Scott A. Walgren, USN August 02, 2018

HSC - 4 Black Knights

HSC - 12 Golden Falcons

CDR Ryan Hayes, USN relieved CDR Sean Knight, USN June 21, 2018.

CDR Jose Arana, USN relieved CDR Benjamin Buskirk, USN June 3, 2018.


One Night at Midway

The Master decided Midway, being only about 500 miles away, was our best option; but we were going to need more help so he called the Coast Guard in Honolulu. They agreed to have one of their C-130s meet us on Midway to receive the patient and then continue on back to Honolulu where he could be admitted to a hospital. Midway Island is a 2.4 square mile island dead center between North America and Asia. The closest inhabited land is the Hawaiian Islands, which are about 1,300 miles away. The Navy officially closed NAF Midway in the early 1990’s but a Wildlife Refuge and its staff of about 30 continue to inhabit and maintain the island due to its massive bird population. The millions of Albatross that inhabit the island almost year round make its classification of an “emergency divert airfield” a little ironic. The understanding that real birds and metal “birds” not mixing well is not a new concept to Naval Aviation particularly when talking about an albatross with a seven-foot wingspan. This was one of the first things the Master brought to our attention once we decided that Midway was our destination. The potential for a bird strike was extremely high and with no maintenance support on the island, it would make it next to impossible to return back to the ship if we did. We contacted Midway to let them know our plan and ensure that they had fuel for us. They were very supportive despite having limited resources and also informed us that it was currently chick season for the Albatross and they had not yet begun to fly so hopefully that would reduce our chances of hitting one. With the Refuge and Coast Guard on board, we started focusing on our Standard Operating Procedures fuel limits. Once Midway was confirmed, the Captain turned the ship to drive straight for Midway. We were approximately 500 miles away and would be able to make about 20 knots. Due to fuel and configuration of the aircraft, we would not be able to launch until we were within 200 nm from Midway which gave us 16 hours until takeoff but unfortunately meant that we would be doing the entire flight in the middle of the night. Our Detachment (DET) Officer-in-Charge (OIC) decided to send his most senior Helicopter Aircraft Commander (HAC) and Helicopter Second Pilot (H2P) single-ship with two crewmen and our patient. The Medical Officer said that there would be nothing else he could do for the patient so he would not join us on the flight. Our DET Mission Planning Officer plotted waypoints for expected ship locations corresponding to planned aircraft take off, transit, and return. The ship’s TACAN was not reliable so our GPS waypoints would be our primary steer once we launched from the island to return. We also planned to have someone in tower the entire time we were gone so that when we returned we could call back and get an updated location once we were within radio range. The ship understood that while we could launch at 200 nm from Midway, we couldn’t return until they were within 140 nm, requiring the ship to close the gap. We calculated that it would take them about three hours to accomplish and our flight was planned for an hour and a half so we agreed that we would shutdown to refuel and then call the ship via satellite phone to let them know we were safe and get an updated time to launch based on where they were.

There I Was

By LT Mary Graf, USN

HSC-8 taking off from USS Nimitz


his past summer, the HSC-8 Eightballers departed on a six month deployment to the Arabian Gulf to support the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and Carrier Strike Group 11 (CSG-11) during Operation Inherent Resolve. While deployed, HSC-8 also provided a detachment to CSG-11’s USNS Carl Brashear for logistical support. It was while assigned to that detachment that I experienced one of the eeriest flights in my aviation career, a long range Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) to a place rich with naval history, Midway Island. We were enroute to Guam while trying to stay ahead of the Strike Group operating off Hawaii before continuing on our trek west towards the Gulf. The USNS Carl Brashear (T-AKE-7) needed to resupply in Guam before intercepting the Strike Group and was on a tight timeline in order to keep pace. One evening, we got word from the Master that one of his sailors was ill and the Medical Officer on board was concerned that he wasn’t going to be able to make it to Guam which was still a few days away. The Medical Officer informed us that the sailor, “Bobby,” was displaying symptoms of Diverticulitis and was in an extreme amount of pain. He recommended that Bobby be expeditiously transported to the nearest hospital for immediate surgery. The only issue was that we were in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, days from land in all directions by ship. The Master resolved that if we were willing and able, the helicopter would be the patient’s best shot at getting to a hospital before things got progressively worse. Of course we wanted to do whatever we could to help, but being well into blue water operations, we had to figure out where we could feasibly transport the patient within our range limitations. From our location, we determined where the closest land was and what type of facilities were at each location. We realized that Midway Island, while perhaps not the obvious first choice, was closest and because it is an old Naval Air Field (NAF) it had runways and fuel but not the required medical support. Rotor Review #141 Summer '18


With all the details worked never did receive out, all that was left was to the ship’s TACAN execute. and despite our We launched at sunplanning, the wayset for Midway with the points didn’t end USNS 200 miles away. up matching the We planned to fly at 3,000 ship’s location, but feet and 130 knots for they were within maximum range capability. 20 miles of the We kept the ships TACAN actual ships poand Land/Launch tuned up sition. Once on until we were out of range deck we called of both. We tried tuning back to Midway to Midway’s NAVAIDS and let them know we frequencies but for almost had safely arrived. 100 miles we were alone Overall, the and unafraid. There were MEDEVAC was no ships, no land, no one a success in terms One of the Albatross nesting sites on Midway to talk to on the radios, and of getting the panothing to guide us beyond what we had programmed into tient off of the ship and to a hospital. Our preflight planning our cards before we left. To keep our minds off of how empty instilled the faith in the crew that we knew what we were doing, our transit was we kept up the conversations between the crew. where we were going, and how to get back in the safest manner We made sure the patient was comfortable, recalculated a fuel possible. We accepted the fact that we might have had to spend ladder, talked about what we wanted to do once we got to Guam the night on Midway which kept us from pushing ourselves and who we knew there, all to stay engaged and alert while we into any sort of extremis. Fortunately, our plan worked exactly made our way across the Pacific. As we were about 15 minutes as we intended, a credit of all involved. We learned about how out from Midway, we heard the C-130 report on final for the to plan long range missions with limited resources and how to airfield and then a follow on report from the refuge workers that cooperate with outside entities. A lot had to come together for there were no bird strikes observed. It was pitch black. Even with us to accomplish this successfully and we did it. the airfield lights illuminated, Midway looked like a ship on Unfortunately, the patient didn’t survive, once he arrived in the horizon until we were only a few miles out. There was zero Hawaii he went into surgery but he had progressed beyond a contrast or ability to distinguish the airfield from the ocean, but recoverable point. His family, however, was able to meet him as we descended through 150 feet AGL we could start to make there and see him before he passed. As a SAR/MEDEVAC asset, out the thousands of birds that covered the airfield. At about we rarely get to know the outcome of our efforts but in this 100 feet they started to spread their wings and take off. As we case we were able to draw the consolation that a family was able descended through 50 feet our crewman called break right for an to see their loved one in their last moments because of them. albatross coming down our left side just under the rotor arc. We decided to continue to land rather than break because of how dark it was and our low power state. After landing, the refuge provided us a follow me truck to lead us to the ramp where the C-130 was parked and to clear the taxiway of birds. Once there, we disembarked our patient and he was off to Hawaii. We shut down for fuel and called back to the ship for an update. They estimated that based on their current track and speed, if we launched in an hour we would meet them at the 140 mile mark like we had planned. Before we left we discussed with the refuge staff the potential for us to return in case we encountered an emergency or were not able to find the ship. Taking off we elected to do an obstacle clearance takeoff to expedite getting away from the birds. Once again we kept all NAVAIDS pointing back to Midway until we were outside of range. At the 70 mile mark we swapped to the USNS Carl Brashear and started making calls in the blind. At about 45 miles we started getting broken but readable transmissions and were able to communicate for them to turn on all their lights. Once they did so we spotted them immediately. From there we navigated A Laysan Albatross parent and chick (Phoebastria immuvisually and landed approximately 160 miles from Midway. We tabilis) Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. 65

Verbal Orders

Book Review

By Larry Carello Book Review by LCDR Chip Lancaster, USN (Ret.)


arry Carello has given us a new adventure with his two main characters from his last book Rotorboys. Verbal Orders, though, is more than a sequel, it picks up some 20 years later. His characters Bud Lammers and Jack McGirt are both out of the Navy. Bud’s been out since shortly after the incident in Rotorboys and working for the CIA. McGirt (that’s what he likes to be called) is out after a recent incident has caused him to reevaluate his career path. The story centers on a kidnapping for ransom incident by Muslim rebels in the Philippines. Bud’s CIA job has him following up on such situations so he enlists the help of his old squadron and flying mate McGirt. McGirt had done an attaché tour in the Philippines and still had good contacts there. Most of the action, and there is plenty, takes place on Basilan Island in the southern Philippines. The victim is the daughter of a Texas oil baron with some hefty political connections, so the move is on the resolve the situation and get the daughter back before her father decides to do i t on his own. The story line is fast paced with Carello’s usual good characterization and background research for both U.S. and P.I. characters and locations. The action transitions smoothly back and forth, moving from the cockpit to haze-gray-and-underway to sweltering jungle. Cockpit time is in their Rotorboys bird, the venerable CH-46 Sea Knight. The Phrog does the job, keeping crews safe in the home guard and while fighting rebels a half a world away. The writing is picturesque and vivid enough for the reader to smell the oil and feel the noise and vibes of a 46 doing 140 knots to getting up at reveille and setting flight quarters aboard a steaming gator to bouncing down jungle trails while dodging bullets and the occasional RPG. Verbal Orders is a quick read, but with plenty of substance to keep your attention. Carello even offers recommended further reading on the Republic of the Philippines history, politics and rebel factions. I’ll even recommend using Google Earth street view to motor around Basilan Island and Isabela City. The bottom line is that Verbal Orders is worth the price of admission, check it out and enjoy.

Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, 2nd Ed.

By Mike Campbell Book Review by LCDR Chip Lancaster, USN (Ret.) “There’s more to life than being a passenger”, Amelia Earhart. She was an aviation pioneer in the first generation of powered flight. Less than 20 years after the Wright Brothers shed earthly chains, she was the 16th woman to be issued a pilot’s license in the United States when she was 25 years old. Doubt her pioneer status, then consider what she accomplished in a male dominated profession and society. In ten years as a professional aviator she was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic solo and the first aviator to do it twice, the first woman to fly across the U.S. solo and the first woman to do it nonstop, the first aviator to fly solo from Honolulu to Oakland, CA, the first to fly solo from LA to Mexico City and solo from Mexico City to Newark, NJ. She was the first woman to fly a rotary winged aircraft, an autogyro, which she did so solo coast to coast. She set numerous speed and altitude records in a variety of fixed and rotary winged aircraft. She was instrumental in forming the Ninety-Nines, she came up with the name and was their first president. She was instrumental with Charles Lindberg in forming the predecessor of TWA and a vice president of National Airways the predecessor of Delta. In every sense of the words, Amelia Earhart was an aviation pioneer. No less of a pioneer was Fred Noonan, her navigator on her final around the world flight. He was a rated sea captain who served in combat with the Merchant Marine during WWI. He got his pilot’s license in the 1920’s and was commercial rated in 1930. He was the navigation instructor for Pan American Airways, develRotor Review #141 Summer '18


oped the trans-Pacific airway routes for Pan Am and served as navigator on Sikorsky S-42 Clippers across the Pacific. In this first generation of aviation, airliners were ships in the air and navigated as ships. There were no radio navaids let alone GPS. If you went on a 1000 plus mile flight, you went with paper charts, sun/moon/star tables and a sextant. Put yourself in the seat on a 2000 mile overwater flight, especially solo, are you going to be able to find your way; you’re probably relieved to find the carrier at 80 miles with a TACAN and GPS. Noonan was the king of navigation knowledge and a true pioneer in that realm. Mike Campbell’s amazing book is not a biography of Amelia Earhart or Fred Noonan, although the first couple of chapters cover how they got to their around the world flight; rather it is an in depth analysis of what happened to them on the last leg of their flight. It is not fiction, nor is it light summer reading. It is encyclopedic in its depth with a wealth of facts in the main story as well as the hundreds of chapter endnotes and accompanied by appendices, bibliography and an index. For the past 80 plus years, literally hundreds of books, articles,

and airmen as well as Japanese defenders to commanders and politicians in charge including: Deputy Commander of the Battle of Saipan General Graves Erskine USMC, Commandant of the Marine Corps and Medal of Honor recipient General Alexander Vandergrift USMC, Pacific Fleet Commander Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz USN and Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal. Along with the interview analysis, Campbell cross references with other investigators findings both good and bad to support the Saipan theory or discredit others. His work also accesses numerous government departments including the National Archives, National Morgue, Naval History Office, State Department and Japanese Embassy. His findings ultimately concluding that Earhart and Noonan, while not spies, may have been using this leg of their journey to look in on what the Japanese were up to in the Marshall Islands, especially with the specter of a worldwide conflict on the horizon. After being intercepted the pair were surreptitiously thrown under the bus with all knowledge of what happened to them swept under the rug by both the United States and Japan. The Truth at Last is not a fictional spy novel like James Bond or Jack Ryan, but real life drama with every bit as much intrigue, murder, suicide, death, destruction and mayhem as anything published by any of the fiction writers that we usually review. Mike Campbell has given us a clearly written compendium that will keep you turning the pages. In Campbell’s own words, “This book presents the unvarnished facts that establish the Marshall Islands and Saipan presence of our fliers.” It is a work of love and devotion to the truth. In the estimation of this reviewer, Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan were more than aviation pioneers, they were unsung patriots and unknown heroes of World War II who gave their lives in service to their country. It is worth more than the price of admission, it could be an historical aviation classic. Get it, read it and make up your own mind; you won’t be disappointed. Reviewed by Chip Lancaster, LCDR USN (Ret.)

Mike Campbell’s amazing book is not a biography of Amelia Earhart or Fred Noonan, although the first couple of chapters cover how they got to their around the world flight; rather it is an in depth analysis of what happened to them on the last leg of their flight.

documentaries, newsreels and movies have been presented on Amelia’s and Fred’s last flight. The information is staggering, a virtual quagmire of “facts”, suppositions and theories in which both scientific investigation as well as guesswork is the rule. What Campbell has done is put this mishmash through an analytical strainer, looking at the facts through the lens of both accomplished investigators and publicity seeking pretenders. What is true, what can’t be true and what’s covered up; not only “the what”, but “the why” and “the wherefore”. His work reviews and analyzes the work of three main investigators, Thomas Devine, Bill Prymak and Fred Goerner. Going over and piecing together their combined work including dozens of interviews from eyewitness islanders, Marines and Navy personnel to non-eyewitness but in-charge or command high level USN, USMC, politicians, scientists and news media. The encompassing theory unfolds that Amelia and Fred did not ditch or crashland their Lockheed Electra 10E NR16020 into the sea or some remote non-destination atoll then sinking, drowning or dying from exposure. The book’s theory analyzed down to its last rivet is that these amazing aviators ditched but were subsequently recovered by the Japanese and eventually transported to the Japanese South Pacific headquarters on Saipan. I’ve told you the theory but have not divulged the meat of the matter, how Campbell puts it all together and arrives at his staggering conclusion. That is the juice and joy that Campbell puts forth in this PHD level work. Interviews from islander locals working for the Japanese to invading force marines, sailors

About the Author Mike Campbell spent nine years as an active-duty Navy journalist and 21 years as a Navy civilian writer and Air Force PAO. He is originally from College Park, Maryland and a 1974 graduate of the University of Maryland. He now lives in Jacksonville, Florida with his wife Nee.


Funny but True

Ross to the Rescue

By CAPT Mike Reber, USN (Ret)


n the early 1960’s the Navy was tasked with providing helicopter support to Navy ice breakers during deployments to the North and South Polar regions for Operation Deep Freeze missions. Navy ice breakers were equipped with retractable hangars which originally sheltered J2F Seaplanes and later 2 helicopters. HU-4 on the east coast and HU-1 on the west coast were assigned these missions that were usually performed by a 2-helo detachment consisting of an H-19 and an H-13. The aircraft were employed in a variety of ways including long range searches for the best paths through sea ice and passenger transfers in support of oceanographic, hydrographic, and geological surveys and resupply for Arctic and Antarctic military bases.  The U. S. Navy transferred its ice breakers to the U.S. Coast Guard in 1965, but H-19 and Icebreaker the incident about to be described occurred in the very early 60’s while the ice breakers were still in the hands of the U.S. Navy. The infamous LCDR Ross Russell was the Officer-in-Charge of a two helicopter HU-4 detachment on an ice breaker deployed to the Antarctic region during Operation Deep Freeze when a noteworthy incident involving Ross and the ships Navigator occurred.  Although generally recognized as a living legend in the Navy helicopter community, in spite of some claims to the contrary, the Ross Sea in Antarctica was not named for Ross Russell. Memory is a bit hazy on the exact circumstances leading up to the “incident”, however, the details of the incident itself are still clearly visible in my mind’s eye. This is how I remember hearing it from Ross. As I recall, a day or so after departing Christ Church, New Zealand on an ice breaker bound for Antarctica, a couple of the HU-4 pilots and perhaps one or two of the ship’s junior officers approached LCDR Ross Russell, the Detachment O-in-C, with a problem.  The ship had been in Christ Church for an extended period for voyage repairs and crew liberty which the Det crew had taken full advantage of. However, it seems that the ship’s Navigator had made it a habit of tagging along with the junior officers when they left the ship for their evening rounds of taverns and night spots in the fantastic liberty port of Christ Church and it had become a problem. Apparently, this behavior had started earlier than the port call at Christ Church. According to the young pilots, the Navigator’s presence was originally never much of an issue and was even welcomed… until he had consumed a few beers. With a few beers under his belt he became seriously annoying, often interfering with efforts to become more intimately acquainted with the local girls. In spite of repeated requests to alter his behavior, his actions made the port call in Christ Church particularly frustrating. Christ Church was a target rich environment for the young bachelors and they were especially disappointed to be impacted by the Navigator’s behavior. Something had to be done to send the right message, but what? They had come to the right man; Ross Russell had a plan.  According to Ross, the Navigator was a very nervous type. He would actually leap out of his chair or off a bar stool, spilling his drink at the mere calling of his name or touch on his shoulder.  While underway, the Navigator slept in a small sea cabin just off the ship’s bridge. The sea cabin opened onto a narrow passageway at the back of the bridge. The passageway was formed by a black curtain drawn across the entire width of the bridge.  The bottom of the door of the cabin was raised about an inch off the deck to facilitate ventilation.  It was determined that the opportunity for a teaching moment was available.   A team was identified, each player was given an assignment and the plan unfolded.  Ross acquired a weather balloon from the meteorologist’s office, proceeded to the bridge and snuck into the darkened navigator’s sea cabin while the Navigator slept.  He carefully and quietly unrolled the un-inflated balloon, which stretched well beyond the length of the small cabin.  The open end of the balloon was left extending out into the passageway from under the door.  Ross poured an entire can of talcum powder into the open end of the balloon. Another team member arranged to get a low pressure air hose to the bridge and Ross began to fill the balloon with air while the Navigator continued to sleep peacefully in the almost total darkness of his cabin.  Fully inflated, the balloon would have been many times larger than the inside of the cabin. So, when it seemed that the balloon had almost filled the small space, Ross stopped inflating it and had another teammate call the Navigator on the phone while Ross and a co-conspirator waited, quietly chuckling, in the narrow passageway outside.  All of this was accomplished while the ship Rotor Review #141 Summer '18


Funny But True was underway and the bridge team was on the other side of the curtain separating the navigator’s sea cabin from the bridge. Almost immediately after the phone rang (loudly), sounds of muffled cries and a violent struggle could be heard coming from the sea cabin.  Then came a series of loud, piercing screams of absolute panic. Suddenly the balloon burst inside the cabin, the cabin door flew open and there, amidst a cloud of talcum powder, was the terrified Navigator standing in his undershorts, his eyes wild with fear and screaming for his mother … at least Ross said he thought it was his Mother he was screaming for. The curtain separating the bridge from

the door of the sea cabin was immediately thrown back by one of the bridge team revealing the raving Navigator while Ross and the co-conspirator were rolling on the deck in helpless laughter. Ross says that the ship’s doctor heavily medicated the Navigator and restricted him to his stateroom for three days.  I don’t know whether the Navigator fully recovered or not, nor do I know if any ramifications were suffered by Ross Russell.  However, I was told that most observers agreed that the Navigator seemed much quieter and more introspective for the rest of the deployment.

“Almost an Ace” Claimed by Three Really Famous HC-7 Helicopter Pilots By CDR Joe Skrzypek, USN (Ret.)


ndy Curtin, Ron Beougher and Joe Skrzypek have been quiet for too long. At the HC-7 all hands reunion June 1995 at NAS Pensacola they compared stories and came up with some very surprising conclusions. The three HC-7 combat search and rescue pilots have been credited with four confirmed U.S. Navy helicopter kills. Only one more needed to reach the coveted record of five kills to become an ACE. “So close... so close”.... said Ron, “we should have been at the head of the banquet table with the other ACE, Randy (Duke) Cunningham. Yeah! said Joe Skrzypek, “we were even rescued by a green Navy HC-7 helicopter just like the Duke” An angry Andy Curtin vowed to go to Washington to find the guys on the ACE Board and ask for an exception to the rule. He said, “our accomplishments cannot go un-noticed and un-appreciated, after all we all have been absolved by almost all of the accident investigation boards”. He also said that he and his crew should have special recogSadly, Ron Beougher (center) has passed away. nition for actually shooting off a main blade (Kill #1) of his own airMay he rest in peace! Andy Curtin is retired in Florida. Joe Skrzypek is active with NHAHS borne helo, and surviving. Then again, being rescued by a green Navy HC-7 Helicopter just like Randy was. Legend has it that, Andy and his crew received a congratulatory message from the North Vietnamese for downing the helo. Ron Beougher and Joe Skrzypek had the strongest write-up in the Grampa Pettibone column, even though the writer didn’t have all of the facts and tried to blame Joe just because he raised the landing gear (Kill #2) and forgot to tell Ron. So the landing on the pier in Thailand wasn’t that hard, and our passenger Admiral Bringle 7th Fleet Commander, wasn’t hurt or anything. And... and it was a really hot day, there was no wind, we were tired and it could have happened to anyone, the crewman said! And then January 7, 1969, a dark stormy day when the “A” Team, Ron Beougher and Joe Skrzypek were launched from the USS Fox in the Tonkin Gulf to rendezvous with the Kitty Hawk for a transit to Cubi Point. Not knowing that the plan was changed, Joe and Ron could not find the Kitty Hawk and bravely flew their H-2A/B until (Kill #3) they ran out of gas and ditched in the South China Sea. Grampa Pettibone, again without all of the facts, tried to blame them for that one too. At the reunion, Joe Skrzypek bought Ken Kirkpatrick a drink and gave him a big kiss and a hug for rescuing him and Ron. Ken had no hesitation as rescue pilot that stormy afternoon. Even knowing it was Joe Skrzypek and Ron Beougher down there floating around in the South China Sea, he rescued them anyway. Kill #4 is claimed by both Andy Curtin and Ron Beougher. Joe is not allowed to fly anymore but is proud of his contribution to this historic “ALMOST AN ACE” team. The HC-7 post retirement “Sea Story Accident Board” is investigating, interviewing and sorting out the myriad of reports from happy hour memories to determine which kill is confirmed as #4, Andy’s or Ron’s. Then it is ultimately up to the ACE board and we look forward to the final decision to waive the requirements. After all, HC-7 is the most highly decorated Combat Search and Rescue Squadron in the history of the world. 69

Pulling Chocks

NAVAIR Change of Command: Grosklags Retires, Peters at Helm By Jeff Newman, Naval Aviation News Staff Writer


the edge of the envelope, pushing to innovate and imagine mproving readiness and increasing speed to the what was possible, pushing to accelerate the velocity of the fleet will remain priorities at Naval Air Systems simple things and moving money and contracts along so Command (NAVAIR) under Vice Adm. G. Dean that you can get stuff to the fleet faster,” Moran said, referPeters, who relieved Vice Adm. Paul Grosklags during ring to Grosklags by his call sign. a May 31 ceremony. Grosklags said he was “tremendously proud of what the Peters received his third star minutes earlier from NAVAIR team has accomplished” during his tenure in imVice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Bill Moran, proving readiness and accelerating delivery of new capabilwho offered his congratulations to both NAVAIR comities to the fleet. manders during the change-of-command ceremony at “The progress across all of our sites, from our depot artiNaval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. Peters sans to our contracting officers, from our program managpreviously served as program executive officer for Air ers to our software engineers, that’s what energizes me,” he Anti-Submarine Warfare, Assault and Special Missaid. “That’s what kept me coming to work excited every sion Programs (PEO(A)), a post he assumed in March day.” 2016. Brig. Gen. Gregory L. Masiello relieved Peters Grosklags said rapid acquisition strategies aimed at getat PEO(A) May 7. ting capabilities to the fleet faster have become much more “Being providers for the fleet is our mission and commonplace in recent years. our shared identity,” Peters said. “This builds on the “It used to be, three years ago, that if a new program foundation that Admiral Grosklags has put in place; started and they wanted to use an accelerated acquisition so if it sounds familiar, that’s by design. We’ve been approach, they were clearly the exception,” he said. “Not planning and staffing and measuring--now is the time only that, but they were continually challenged, because for outcomes.” doing anything outside that straight and normal process For Grosklags, the ceremony marked the beginning was considered high-risk and likely to fail. Today, we’ve of his retirement following a 36-year naval career. A turned that dialogue a little bit. Now, if somebody starts a 1982 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Grosklags new program or a new project, and they don’t start it with an was designated a naval aviator in October 1983 and accelerated acquisition methodology, everybody asks them, started as a T-34C flight instructor and flew SH-2F ‘why not?’” Seasprite and SH-60B Seahawk helicopters operationIn response to a question he often receives--why he ally before commanding Helicopter Training Squadstayed in the Navy for so long--Grosklags pulled from the ron (HT) 18. podium a photo he kept framed in his office for 12 years of He then served several acquisition tours, including as an engineering test pilot, assistant and deputy program manager for the MH-60R, and program manager for the Multi-Mission Helicopter program office. Grosklags served as operations officer and deputy program executive officer for PEO(A) before embarking on flag tours as commander of the Fleet Readiness Centers, NAVAIR assistant commander for logistics and industrial operation, NAVAIR vice commander, program executive officer for PEO(A), and principal military deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for research, development and acquisition. He assumed command of NAVAIR in October 2015. During his remarks, Moran praised Grosklags for leading NAVAIR’s “shift in focus from During his speech, VADM Paul Grosklags, USN pulled from the podium a photo he kept framed in his office for 12 years of two Indonesian children, one of them policy to execution” and presented Grosklags holding bottles of water and saluting a U.S. Navy helicopter as it departed after with the Distinguished Service Medal for his delivering relief supplies following the 2004 tsunami that devastated Southeast time as NAVAIR commander. Asia. The photo exemplified why VADM Grosklags remained in the Navy for 36 years. U.S. Navy photo “G-8 has been one of those leaders, pushing

Rotor Review #141 Summer '18


Helo Admirals: (left to right) RADM Bill Shannon, USN (Ret.); VADM Kevin Scott, USN; VADM Paul Grosklags. USN (Ret.); VADM Dean Peters,USN; VADM Bill Lescher, USN; RADM Steven Tomaszeski, USN (Ret.)

two Indonesian children, one of them holding bottles of water and saluting a U.S. Navy helicopter as it departed after delivering relief supplies following the 2004 tsunami that devastated Southeast Asia. “My belief has been that those kids, their families, their friends, their entire community remembers that when they had nothing else, when they had nowhere to turn, it was America that was first there to help them, and on that day in that place, the face of America was the United States Navy, and the face of the United States Navy for those kids was naval aviation and Navy helicopters,” Grosklags said. “So being a part of that bigger story, perhaps more than anything else, is the reason I’ve stuck around this long. It’s also the reason why when asked in the future, I’ll be very proud to say I was a Sailor in the United States Navy.” Grosklags said the commitment and dedication of NAVAIR employees are what he will miss the most in retirement. “Some of them have never been on a ship, most of them have never flown an aircraft, but they know that the stuff they are providing truly makes a difference to the folks who are deployed around the world,” he said. “What our Sailors do, what our government civilians do, the technologies that they are working with, the capabilities that they are providing to the fleet, it really is eye-watering stuff. What NAVAIR does is truly amazing.” Grosklags said he has witnessed an increased appetite for innovation and speed, particularly when crises emerge and the entirety of the organization rallies around finding a solution to that problem and almost always finds one quickly. “It’s that swarming mentality that we need to bring to more of the stuff that we do,” he said. “There needs to be a sense of urgency for what in many cases are considered mundane tasks.” Peters echoed Grosklags, stressing the importance of “making speed and responsiveness second nature.” He said

his command will continue to cut back on “distractions, such as serial reviews and layers of oversight that slow progress. “In the near future, we’ll lay out action plans to take full advantage of our incredible talent and intellectual capital to go faster,” Peters said. “We will provide readiness and capability at ever-increasing levels of safety, reliability, interoperability, and affordability--and we’ll do it faster.” Peters said his top three priorities as NAVAIR commander will remain unchanged from his previous commands: people, relationships and mission. “If we embrace our shared identity as providers and focus our incredible talents on our shared vision--readiness and speed--the Fleet will have the capability and capacity it needs to meet any challenge,” he said. A 1985 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Peters earned his wings in 1986 and flew SH-2F helicopters on deployments to the North Atlantic, Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Mexico in support of anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare and counternarcotics operations. Peters later completed tours as a test pilot, instructor pilot and squadron department head, including a stint as commanding officer of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (HX) 21. His early acquisition assignments included avionics lead for the MH-60R Seahawk, deputy program manager for the Vertical Takeoff and Landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) program, and assistant program manager for systems engineering for all Navy and Marine Corps UAVs. Peters went on to serve as program manager of the H-60 and presidential helicopters program offices. In October 2014, Peters assumed command of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division and also became NAVAIR’s assistant commander for research and engineering. He remained in those posts until his arrival at PEO(A).


Around the regions

NHA and Rotor Review Congratulates our the FY-19 O-6 Selects for Rotary Wing. CDR CDR CDR CDR CDR CDR CDR CDR CDR CDR CDR CDR CDR CDR CDR CDR CDR

Timothy Conor Boehme Derek Brady Bobby Earl Brown Jr. Marcos D. Cantu Dewon M. Chaney Tony Chavez Kathleen Mullen Ellis Stephen Michael Froehlich Patrick Earl Gendron Edward Davis Johnson Daniel Jacob Keeler John Christian Kiefaber Teague Ryan Laguens Jade Lee Lepke Ryan Logan Jr. Nicolas Vasilio Mantalvanos John Manning Montagnet


Shannon L Moore Matthew H Ort Bryan S Peeples Christopher A. Richard William H Shipp Robert George Sinram Robert Glass Iii Smallwood Jeffrey David Sowers James W Stewart Daniel W. Testa Jeremy Todd Vaughan Kenneth Patrick Ward Edward Mweiler David Scott Wells Paul Daniel Will Paul Jason Young Kevin Patrick Zayac

Squadron Anniversaries for 2018

Thinking about having a Reunion? NHA can help.Contact CDR Mike Brattland, USN (Ret.) at NHA. His email is

Rotor Review #141 Summer '18


Region 6 Island Knights Host Golf Tournament to Benefit Scholarship Fund By LT Samantha “TÁCO” Telles-Goins, USN


n May 25, 2018 the Island Knights of HSC-25 hosted their annual NHA golf tournament at the Palm Tree Golf Course on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. This year marked the tournament’s second run and by all accounts was a complete success with over 50 active duty and local community players. For the past two years the Island Knight family has used this tournament as a way to honor one of their own. LT Christian Hescock, USN began his tour at HSC-25 in October of 2005 and perished in a helicopter mishap in September of 2007. The LT Christian Hescock Scholarship Fund was founded shortly after his death and has been maintained by the Naval Helicopter Association Scholarship Fund. In total, HSC-25 was able to donate $1000 to benefit the LT Christian Hescock, and various NHA Scholarships. Commanding Officer of HSC-25, CDR Will “Easy” Eastham, had this to say about the tournament. “The 2nd Annual LT Hescock Memorial Golf Tournament is a fantastic event for us with the local community while honoring one of our fallen. We greatly appreciate NHA’s support of our efforts and are happy to make a contribution to the scholarship fund as a result of a fun day in the Guam sun.” The squadron and its members hope to continue to host successful tournaments in the future to be able to continue giving back to worthy causes. The Squadron would like to thank the Naval Helicopter Association for its generous donation of door prizes.

CAPT Michael Mineo,USNR turned over with CAPT William Maske, USNR as Commander, Maritime Support Wing in a ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island on June 21st. At the ceremony, CAPT Mineo also retired after 25 years of honorable service. Fair winds and following seas, Sir. #Navy #FlyNavy #NavyReserves


HSC Aircrew Students Earn Their Wings Photography by AWSC Jason Blasé, USN

HSC-3 Graduation of CLASS 70900-S, 71000-S, AND 70900-H

CLASS 71100A

Rotor Review #141 Summer '18


Classes 71100B and 71200S have graduated from the Fleet Replacement Aircrew (FRAC) syllabus at the Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) HSC-3 at NAS North Island. The FRAC syllabus trains prospective aircrewmen in the skills necessary to safely operate the MH-60S Seahawk helicopter in all of its missions from logistics and ordnance to Search and Rescue and humanitarian assistance. The new Petty Officers have worked hard to earn their aircrew wings and be welcomed into the aircrew community. We wish them the very best as they go to their next command to continue the traditions of Naval Aircrewmen.

Class 71100B . .

Class 80100S


Exercise Eager Lion

Command Updates

Article by LTJG Chris Burns, USN


xercise Eager Lion represented the culmination of 12 months of integration between the HSC28.4 Sea Combat Det and the 26 MEU through a series of varied combat rehearsal events. The exercise, hosted by the amphibious task force, is a hallmark for integrated FIFTH fleet operations. The deployed ARG/MEU used the time to execute bilateral training with host nation forces, develop internal tactics, techniques, and procedures for contingency operations, and prepare an overall more efficient amphibious combat force. The highlight of the training was DET 4’s integration into the Fires Support Exercise supported by the 26 MEU Battalion Landing Team (BLT) and Air Combat Element (ACE). The Huntsmen maintenance all-stars worked tirelessly to ensure combat ready helicopters were available for the mission. 2 x MH-60S transited 160 miles overwater, flying low level through the Jordanian mountains to a Forward Arming and Refueling Point (FARP) where the Combat Logistics Battalion (CLB) provided fuel and explosive ordnance disposal services to DET 4. The helicopters, armed with 2.75 in. unguided rockets, .50 cal., and 7.62 mm machine guns, executed combined attacks with both the AV-8B Harrier jets overhead and 81 mm mortars from the BLT Weapons Company. The event demonstrated all

Det 4 CASEVAC Training with TF-56 LT Boss

the combat capabilities of the MH-60S platform. LINK 16 provided situational awareness of the ship’s position, SATCOM ensured over the horizon communication back to the ship, and auxiliary fuel tanks with forward ground refueling availability allowed for extended on station time. The event demonstrated both the reliability of maintenance and the tactics training of the pilots and aircrew gunners.

NAS Whidbey Island SAR Launched on Four Missions Memorial Day Weekend Article by Thomas Mills, Public Affairs Specialist


earch and Rescue (SAR) teams from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island conducted three rescue missions and one search during this past 2018 Memorial Day weekend. The first mission occurred near Winthrop on Goat Wall at an altitude of 2,600 ft. on Friday, May 25, when a 36-year-old woman suffered a compound ankle fracture. After a 40-minute transit, the crew arrived on scene and had two crewmembers rappel down with the litter to retrieve the injured hiker before transporting her to Harborview. According to LT Andrew Boyle the senior mission commander, the Goat Wall rescue proved challenging due to the terrain, gusty wind conditions, and the patient’s condition; she suffered a serious compound fracture. “The terrain the injured woman was on would have made it very dangerous for ground rescuers to get her out on a litter,” said Boyle. LT Boyle also praised his crew in the challenging conditions. “Great flying by LT Adam Laasko and superb positioning by Petty Officer Second Class Francisco Toledo counteracted the strong winds while hovering,” he said. “Our ground team did an excellent job of handling this patient in an extremely timely manner given the steep nature of the terrain The next mission for NAS Whidbey Island’s SAR team took them to Olympic Mountains south of Quilcene on Sunday morning, May 27, following a report of a fallen climber. After searching for 20 minutes the crew located the hiker who had fallen into a crevasse, along with three other companions. After pulling him out the crew transported him to Harborview. On Monday, May 28, the crew’s first mission of the day was a joint effort with the Coast Guard in conducting a search following a reported red flare in Elliot Bay. The search proved uneventful. That evening the SAR crew received another call, this one from the Olympic Mountain Rescue team in the Olympic National Park for a patient suffering from severe abdominal pain, possibly sepsis. The SAR crew successfully hoisted the patient from a small clearing and transported him to Harborview NAS Whidbey Island SAR, has now conducted 13 total missions throughout Washington State this year, eight rescues six searches and one medical evacuations throughout the year. “I’m impressed with the professionalism and dedication of the crew to perform at such a high level which performing multiple missions throughout the weekend,” said LCDR Dillon Jackson, the SAR Officer in Charge. Rotor Review #141 Summer '18


SABER 66: You Are Not Forgotten By LCDR Robert “Wrecks” Belflower, USN


n March 6, 2018, the Saberhawks of HSM77 marked the 20th anniversary of the tragic loss of SABER 66 with a memorial and safety pause at their home at NAS Atsugi, Japan. The San Diego HSM aircrew community memorialized the event by hiking to the crash site on that date, joined by several former Saberhawks who flew into San Diego from around the country for the anniversary. A group of current and former Saberhawks make the trek on 10 March, led by CDR (ret) Heath “Heeter” Thomas, who was a pilot in HSL-47 at the time of Current Saberhawks honor their fallen comrades. the mishap. On March 6, 1998, the SH60B crew of then-HSL-47 based out of NAS North Island was scheduled to conduct a training flight to Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas when the aircraft tragically crashed in the San Bernardino Mountains, resulting in the loss of all five crew members: LT Kelly E. Mackey, 30, of San Jose, CA.; LT John Lee, 28, of Oceanside, NY; LTJG Kent E. Koontz, 29, of Nashville, TN; LT Donald M. Hillegas, 25, of Raleigh, NC, and AWR3 Daniel R. Garber, 24 of Perry, IA. Today, the crash site is memorialized by a plaque commemorating the crew, and former Saberhawks regularly visit the site to maintain the site and the paths to it. Since that day, there have been many changes to the squadron. HSL-47 transitioned to the MH-60R and was redesignated HSM-77 on 2 Apr 2009. In early 2013, the Saberhawks moved across the Pacific to their new home at NAF Atsugi, Japan, where they assumed their present role as the only forward-deployed HSM Carrier Air Wing squadron, an integral part of the BADMAN team of Carrier Air Wing FIVE. Despite the time and distance, the memory of the SABER 66 crew is never far from the minds of all Saberhawks, past and present. Current Saberhawks honor their fallen comrades once per week by wearing a memorial patch to the members of SABER 66.

NAS Whidbey SAR Rescues Two Climbers on Mount Baker

By Michael Welding, Public Affairs Officer


Search and Rescue (SAR) team from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island rescued two climbers on Mount Baker, Sunday, July 8, 2018. The SAR team received word of an injured climber on Mount Baker in the late afternoon of July 8. After arriving on scene the crew searched for about 15 minutes before finding two climbers on a steep rock face at approximately 8,800 feet. One of the climbers was injured with a broken arm and ribs. The SAR crew hoisted the injured climber aboard, then the uninjured climber, and transported them both to higher care at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Wash. NAS Whidbey Island SAR, has conducted 22 total missions throughout Washington State this year, including sixteen rescues, four searches and two medical evacuations. A crewman deploys via the hoist.


A New Skipper for the Legendary Black Knights By LT C. Turner, USN


DR Ryan C. Hayes relieved CDR Sean P. Knight as Commanding Officer of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron FOUR (HSC-4) "Legendary Black Knights" during a change of command ceremony held on board USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). CDR Jason C. Budde, a native of San Ramon, CA, will serve as the Executive Officer. CDR Knight will continue on to the Eisenhower School in Washington, D.C as a student at the Senior War College. During his 13-month An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the “Black Knights” of Helicopter Sea Comtenure as Commanding Ofbat Squadron (HSC) 4 flies near the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) during an aerial change of command for HSC-4. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communicaficer, CDR Knight changed tion Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Granito. the culture in Maintenance and Operations with renewed focus on planning and training. The squadron’s strategic planning efforts led to unprecedented success during pre-deployment exercises, to include Air Wing Fallon and Sustainment Exercise afloat, highly qualifying all assigned combat crews and providing excellent maintenance of seven MH-60S helicopters and weapon systems. HSC-4 completed two Western Pacific (WESTPAC) deployments with Carrier Strike Group ONE in support of national security initiatives in the SEVENTH Fleet area of operations. Under Skipper Knight’s guidance, HSC-4 continues to lead the rotary wing community in tactics and weapons proficiency. Prior to turning over, Commander Knight expressed his gratitude to the squadron for making this a successful and memorable tour. “I am honored and proud to have served as your Commanding Officer,” said Knight. “The Black Knights have become part of my family over the past three years, and I hope to run into many of you in the future as you advance in your careers. You constantly impress me with your professionalism and your tireless efforts to make this squadron strong. It is clear that you take great pride in your work, and that you are prepared for any task that comes your way. Keep up the great work and stay legendary!” CDR Hayes will take over as the 56th Commanding Officer of HSC-4. His previous sea tours include the flying the SH60F/HH-60H helicopters with HS-15; an instructor tour at HSC-3, the MH-60S Fleet Replacement Squadron; a staff tour at CVW-14; and department head assignment at HS-14 forward deployed to NAF Atsugi, Japan. Ashore, CDR Hayes was assigned to Commander, Naval Air Forces as the Chief of Naval Operations’ NATOPS Program Manager. Prior to his tour at HSC-4, CDR Hayes served as the Executive Officer of HSC-15 from May 2015 until the squadron’s deactivation in March, 2017. He earned a Master of Science in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego’s School of Business Administration and completed Joint Professional Military Education (JPME) Phase I through the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. CDR Hayes is honored to have the opportunity to serve the Legendary Black Knights of HSC-4 as their next Commanding Officer. “The men and women of this fantastic squadron and their families that support them are very special and remind me the importance of service to our nation. As a team we will continue to meet our operational requirements in support of Carrier Air Wing TWO and Carrier Strike Group ONE.”

Rotor Review #141 Summer '18


Pioneers of VX-1 Compete in NHA Aircrew Challenge By MC2 Victoria Kinney, USN VX-1 Public Affairs


ir Test and Evaluation Squadron(VX) 1 “Pioneers” participated in the annual Naval Helicopter Association (NHA) Aircrew Challenge at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia May 16. The NHA’s competition celebrated 75 years of Naval Helicopters and Aviation, and consisted of 7.5 miles of stations designed to test naval aircrewmen’s knowledge and physical endurance. “It’s not often that our community can get a large group like this to come together,” said Master Chief Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) Jason Vanburen, the NHA representative for the East Coast. “Granted, we’re all aircrew, but we all have different missions. During this competition, however, we all come together and finish the race. It’s nice to see the spirit of comNaval Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 1 Sailors run to the final station petition and comradery that the contest of the annual Naval Helicopter Association Aircrew Challenge at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story. The competition consisted of breeds.” 118 Sailors from seven commands from across the country which populatThe competition consisted of 118 Sailed 39 teams. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class ors from seven commands from across the Victoria Kinney. country which populated 39 teams. This was the largest competition in recent memory, said Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 1st Class Timothy Muniz, the event’s coordinator. complete it with my team,” said Bari. “It was a lot of fun and “This race is meant for us to have fun getting together, it was definitely worth going to and participating in.” building comradery, and networking while also showing off The competition was part of the NHA Symposium 2018 our skills,” said Muniz. “Our rate has a bunch of type “A” which hosted several panel discussions, squadron reunions, a personalities, so the prize, which is just bragging rights, is a golf tournament, and fundraisers to benefit the NHA Scholpretty big deal that is highly coveted.” arship Fund. Four Pioneers, Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 1st Class NHA was founded in 1976 and is incorporated in CaliforKristjon Reuling, Naval Aircrewman (Operator) 1st Class nia as a nonprofit professional organization to promote the Mohammed Bari, Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class development and use of naval vertical lift aircraft in the UnitTrey Dreher, and Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class ed States Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Justin Brown, collectively team “BBD RUL”, represented VXThe principal mission of VX-1 is to test and evaluate air1. borne anti-submarine warfare (ASW), maritime anti-surface “This was the first aircrew challenge I’ve been a part of,” warfare (SUW) weapon systems and airborne strategic weapsaid Dreher. “It was tougher than I expected, and humbling, on systems, as well as support systems, equipment and matebut it was really fun to see how we could work together to get rials in an operational environment. The squadron also develthrough the tasks and obstacles.” ops, reviews and disseminates new Operational Tactics Guides The team finished with a time of 3:15:48 and worked to- (OTG) to provide guidance to fleet units on initial operating gether to answer quizzes, solve puzzles, work simulated emer- capabilities before fleet tactical publications are ready. gency rescue situations, and conquer obstacle courses. “It was really tough to keep going, but it felt so good to


Dragonslayers Deployment 2018: A First Look By Wes “Frodo” Johnson


ince deploying with the Harry S. Truman (HST) Strike Group on April 11, the Dragonslayers of HSC-11 have been extremely busy. Our deployment started with carrier qualifications (CQ) for Carrier Air Wing ONE, and after completing CQ the Strike Group began to steam across the Atlantic Ocean. Upon completion of the translant, the Strike Group headed for its first joint exercise with Special and Naval forces from Morocco called Exercise Lightning Handshake. The intent of the exercise was to demonstrate the strategic importance of Morocco and its training ranges with CSG and CVW-1 assets, Naval Surface Fires Support (NSFS), Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIO), and Close Air Support (CAS). The success of the exercise further cemented the bond Aircrew Survival Equipmentman Airman Antonio Negrete, left, and Airwith an ally the United States has had crew Survival Equipmentman 2nd Class Daniel Navarrete, assigned to the since the 18th century in 6th Fleet Area of "Dragon Slayers" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 11, assemble a CMU-37 aircrew endurance vest aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier Responsibility (AOR). USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Once complete with Exercise Light- U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Michael Chen ning Handshake, HST Strike Group was scheduled to transit through the Strait of Gibraltar (STROG) for operations in the Mediterranean Sea AOR. The Strait transit got off to an eventful morning. Shortly before 0800L the infamous man-overboard whistle blows sounded and the Alert crews raced to the aircraft. A Sailor had fallen overboard in the Atlantic ocean near the Strait of Gibraltar. The crew of Slayer 611 launched and immediately began the search. Thanks to their swift action, the survivor was safely recovered from 66 degree water and seven foot seas in 19 minutes. The crew delivered the survivor safely onboard HST, refueled, loaded ammunition, and joined the other five CVW-1 helicopters for the airborne, armed escort of the Strike Group. The Dragonslayers deployment has been a busy and exciting time for the squadron thus far and we are eager for the rest of our 2018 combat deployment. DOUBLE ONE…SECOND TO NONE!

Rotor Review #141 Summer '18


HSM-40 Meets History in Person: HC-7 CSAR By LTJG Bryant Henderson, USN and LTJG James Halliwell, USN

In this picture of HSM-40 pilots are Joe Skrzypek, Andy Curtin and Al Zappala, showing off HSM-40 Airwolf polo shirts.


l Zappala,1950s era HU-2 HUP Aircrewman asked Joe Skrzypek, retired HC-7 CSAR pilot if he wanted to meet with the young HSM-40 helicopter pilots. Joe agreed and contacted Andy Curtin, also a retired HC-7 CSAR pilot who also enthusiastically agreed. These two old pilots told sea stories of events that occurred in the 1960s almost 50 years ago, before these young HSM-40 Pilots were born. Joe described events that led to the HC-7 UH-2A/B Seasprite ditching in the Tonkin Gulf. Little did he realize that the bird he (co-pilot) and Ron Beougher (HAC) ditched at sea was in a picture on the wall of the room; Clyde Lassen’s Medal of Honor mission UH-2A/B. Andy Curtin described events that led to the inadvertent firing of an M-60 round that struck a UH-2A/B Seasprite rotor blade as he was transitioning to forward flight in the Tonkin Gulf. He successfully, with difficulty, set the bird down in the water and all crew members survived. Young pilots questions mainly were about survivability during time in the water; How long did it take for the helo to sink? Was it difficult to stay together in the water? etc. Andy, Joe and Al enjoyed the H-60 walk around noting much advanced technology. The much appreciated flight simulator time was enlightening and very realistic.


US Navy Kicks Off 26th RIMPAC Exercise: HSC-4 is There By Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet PAO


ommander, U.S. Pacific Fleet Adm. John C. Aquilino and Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Vice Adm. John D. Alexander announced today the start of the world’s largest international maritime exercise, the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), scheduled through Aug. 2 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California. Twenty-five nations, more than 45 surface ships and submarines, 17 national land forces, and more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are taking part in a unique training opportunity designed to foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world’s interconnected oceans. RIMPAC 2018 is the 26th exercise in a series that began in 1971. Members of the Philippine special forces team repel from an The theme of RIMPAC 2018 is “Capable, AdapMH-60s attached to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Four tive, Partners.” Participating nations and forces will (HSC-4) during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2018 exercise, U.S. exercise a wide range of capabilities and demonstrate Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Cynthia Z. De the inherent flexibility of maritime forces. These caLeon pabilities range from disaster relief and maritime security operations to sea control and complex warfighting. land serving as Sea Combat Commander and Chile serving The relevant, realistic training program includes gunnery, as Combined Force Maritime Component Commander, the missile, anti-submarine, and air defense exercises, as well latter being the first time a non-founding RIMPAC nation as amphibious, counter-piracy, mine clearance, explosive will hold a component commander leadership position. The ordnance disposal, diving, and salvage operations. exercise will feature live firing of a long range anti-ship “We are all maritime nations,” said Alexander. “We all missile (LRASM) from a U.S. Air Force aircraft, surface to prosper through trade and the majority of the trade goes ship missiles fired by the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, through the Indo-Pacific region.” and a Naval Strike Missile (NSM) fired from a launcher on This is an opportunity to build relationships ahead of a the back of a Palletized Load System (PLS) by the U.S. crisis, he said. This enables us to call our friends, partners Army. This year marks the first time a land-based unit will and allies to work together to provide disaster relief, combat participate in the RIMPAC live-fire event. RIMPAC 2018 piracy, or a wide range of maritime contingency operations. will also include international band engagements and highThis year’s exercise includes forces from Australia, Bru- light fleet innovation during an Innovation Fair. nei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, India, Additionally, U.S. 3rd Fleet’s command center will reloIndonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, cate from San Diego to Pearl Harbor to support command New Zealand, Peru, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of and control of 3rd Fleet forces in its area of responsibility the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, the for the first time since RIMPAC 2002. United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam. Hosted by Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, RIMPAC 2018 “There are different uniforms, different faces, and differ- is being led by Alexander, who is serving as Combined Task ent cultures, but we share a common purpose here at RIM- Force (CTF) commander. Royal Canadian Navy Rear Adm. PAC,” Aquilino said. “I want to thank all the participating Bob Auchterlonie is serving as CTF deputy commander, nations for sending forces to be a part of RIMPAC. The and Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Rear Adm. Hidships, aircraft and personnel have come a long way, and eyuki Oban is serving as CTF vice commander. U.S. Mathey represent a significant investment by their countries. rine Corps Brig. Gen. Mark Hashimoto is leading the Fleet Those countries are investing in the security and stability Marine Force. Other key leaders of the multinational force in this maritime region that has allowed all nations to enjoy include Commodore Pablo Niemann of Armada de Chile, unprecedented prosperity for decades.” commanding the maritime component, and Air Commodore Israel, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam are participating in RIM- Craig Heap of the Royal Australian Air Force, commanding PAC for the first time. Additional firsts include New Zea- the air component. Rotor Review #141 Summer '18


May 11, 2018

TOP ROW: CDR Robert A Dulin, USN, Commanding Officer HT-28; ENS Charles M. Reis, USN, HT-28; 1st LT. Thomas M. Gould, USMC, HT-28; ENS Stephen C. Schroeder, USN, HT-18; LTJG Daniel C. Chase, USCG, HT-8; LTJG Benjamin J. Kruip, USN, HT-8; LTJG John A. Beach Jr., USN, HT-18; LTJG Thomas Ethan Carpenter, USN, HT-18; LTJG Matthew R. Cleveland, USN, HT-28; ENS Patrick C. Eytchison, USN, HT-8; ENS Thomas D. Marryott Jr., USN, HT-18; 1st LT. Robert A. Carey, USMC, HT-28; Col. David C. Morris, USMC, Commanding Officer TRAWING-5 MIDDLE ROW: Lt. Col. Aaron J. Brunk, USMC, Commanding Officer HT-18; ENS Neeraj A. Talegaonkar, USN, HT-28; LTJG Alexandria N. Membreno, USN, HT-8; 1st. Lt. Steven J. Johns, USMC, HT-18; LTJG Giulio Gaetano Messina, ITNAVY, HT-18; 1st LT. Michael T. Benavides, USMC, HT-8; LTJG Charles B. Blanton III, USN, HT-28; 1st LT. John M. Wilkins, USMC, HT-28; ENS Jonathan M. Lim, USN, HT-8; 1st LT. Jason K. Zimmer, USMC, HT-28; ENS Thomas C. Hand IV, USN, HT-18; ENS Gavin M. Hawbaker, USN, HT-28; VADM DeWolfe H. Miller III, USN, Commander, Naval Air Forces/ Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet BOTTOM ROW: CDR Jessica R. Parker, USN, Commanding Officer HT-8; ENS Jessica C. Fielder, USN, HT-8; LTJG Caterina Legnani, ITNAVY, HT-18; ENS Mary F. Brass, USN, HT-18; 1st LT. John A. McClinton, USMC, HT-18; ENS Brett E. Nellis, USN, HT-28; LTJG Moath Aljuhani. RSNF, HT-28; LTJG Rodney R. Serrano Torres, USN, HT-28; 1st LT. Andrew S. Neuman, USMC, HT-28; ENS Stephen H. Da Cruz, USN, HT-28; ENS Megan F. Snyder, USN, HT-18; ENS Kaitlyn A. Gallagher, USN, HT-28; ENS Julie A. Jesse, USN, HT-8

May 25, 2018 TOP ROW: CDR Robert A Dulin, USN, Commanding Officer HT-28; Capt. Tyler J. Hopping, USMC, HT-18; Lt. Robert W. Pfaff, USCG, HT-28; ENS Jordan M. Krick, USN, HT-28; 1st LT. Brandon J. Phillips, USMC, HT-28; ENS Jonathan R. Vickner, USN, HT-28; LTJG George A. Davis Jr., USN, HT-18; Col. David C. Morris, USMC, Commodore TRAWING-5 MIDDLE ROW: Lt. Col. Aaron J. Brunk, USMC, Commanding Officer HT-18; LTJG Derrick C. Marchant, USN, HT-18; 1st LT. Ross J. Lannin, USMC, HT-8; LTJG Aaron M. Dreher, USN, HT-18; Lt. John D. Decastra Jr., USCG, HT-8; LTJG Nicholas A. Rivas-Sepulveda, USN, HT-28; 1st LT. Jeremy R. Coquoz, USMC, HT-28; CAPT Joe Kimball, USCG, Chief, Aviation Forces (CG-711) BOTTOM ROW: CDR Jessica R. Parker, USN, Commanding Officer HT-8; 1st LT. Marie J. Gaby, USMC, HT-28; ENS Frank J. Guzman Jr., USN, HT-8; LTJG Timothy C. Wu, USN, HT-18; 1st LT. Colleen A. Brown, USMC, HT-8; LTJG Joshua S. Alleman, USCG, HT-8; LTJG Gregory C. Becker, USN, HT-8; 1st LT. Matthew C. McEldowney, USMC


June 8, 2018

TOP ROW: CDR Robert A. Dulin, USN, Commanding Officer HT-28; LTJG Madalyn A. Thompson, USN, HT-8; LTJG Kate L. Sylakowski, USN, HT-8; 1st Lt. Zachary L. Griffitt, USMC, HT-8; LTJG Cullen M. Hanks, USN, HT-28; 1st Lt. Joshua L. Raymond, USMC, HT-8; LTJG Jonpaul L.Canclini, USN, HT-18; 1st Lt. Jeffrey J. Stanton, USMC, HT-18; LTJG Thomas J. Galvin, USN, HT-18; LTJG Michael R. Countouris, USN, HT-28; Col David C. Morris USMC, Commodore Training Wing 5 MIDDLE ROW: CDR Kenneth Kerr, USN, Executive Officer HT-18; LTJG Joseph Balak, USN, HT-8; 1st Lt. Desmond L. Calloway, USMC, HT-18; Lt. Jacob C. Schroeder, USCG, HT-8; LTJG Race E. Betancourt, USN, HT-18; LTJG Andrew E. Scheffey, USCG, HT-8; LTJG Miranda K. Beal, USN, HT-8; LTJG Thomas J. Staubly, Jr., USN, HT-8; LTJG Jesse G. Fine, USN, HT-18; LTJG Anthony M. Romagnoli, USN, HT-28; RADM Michael White, USN (Ret.), Dean, College of Maritime Operational Warfare BOTTOM ROW: CDR Lena Kaman, USN, Executive Officer HT-8; LTJG Sara M. Disciorio, USN, HT-28; LTJG Carson A. Craig, USN, HT-28; 1st Lt. Christopher D. Cantu, USMC, HT-18; LTJG Jennifer L. Kwiatek, USN, HT-18; LTJG Marius P. Bernotas, USN, HT-18; ENS Cameron G. Wade, USN, HT-28; LTJG Alison L. Kennedy, USN, HT-28; LTJG Zoe C. Macfarlane, USN, HT-8; LTJG Faisals Arajhi, RSNF, HT-28; LTJG Joseph

June 23, 2018 TOP ROW: CDR Robert A. Dulin, USN, Commanding Officer HT-28; LTJG James A. Schumacher, USN, HT-8; 1st. Lt. Juan M. Amaya Bedoya, USMC, HT-8; LTJG Sawyer J. Gilmore, USN, HT-18; 1st. Lt. Phillip A. Wood, USMC, HT-18; LTJG Joseph A. Rodgers, USN, HT-18; Col. David C. Morris, USMC, Commodore Training Wing 5 MIDDLE ROW: Lt. Col. Aaron J. Brunk USMC, Commanding Officer HT-18; LTJG Uriah R. Eilinger, USN, HT-8; LTJG Nickalas A. Stennes, USN, HT-18; 1st. Lt. Erik A. Ostermann, USMC, HT-8; Lt. Daniel A. Valenti, USCG, HT-18; LTJG Alexandria S. Karika, USN, HT-8; RADM Linda R. Wackerman, USN, Deputy Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. Fourth Fleet BOTTOM ROW: CDR Jessica R. Parker, USN, Commanding Officer HT-8; LTJG Clarissa E. Thatcher, USN, HT-28; LTJG Maurice M. Harris, USN, HT-8; LTJG Jack T. Lahey, USN, HT-28; LTJG Brendon S. Troutman, USN, HT-28; Lt. Catherine M. Durand, USCG, HT-18; LTJG Madeleine K. Wackerman, USN, HT-18

Rotor Review #141 Summer '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.

CAPT Carlisle Hugh Childress, USNR (Ret.)


APT Carlisle Hugh Childress, USNR (Ret.) passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family April 23, 2018. He was 84 years old. Hugh was born in Foley, Alabama, on November 30, 1933, to Gladys and Carlisle Childress. He graduated in 1951 from Foley High School and attended Auburn University before enlisting in the Navy to become a Naval Aviator. During his naval career he served as commanding officer and executive officer as well as an area commander. He earned several honors including the Vietnam Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross and the Presidential Unit Citation ribbon. Hugh’s military career stretched over 28 years during which he lived in many states and countries including Alabama, California, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana, South Carolina and Texas as well as Morocco and South Vietnam.. Hugh retired from the Navy in 1981 and soon after he and his family returned to Gulf Shores where he enjoyed spending time on the water with family and friends and talking about his days as a pilot, especially recalling flying the Huey helicopter. The family asks in lieu of flowers, donations be made to St Paul’s Episcopal Chapel, P.O. Box 2, Magnolia Springs, AL

CAPT Rick Fenn, USN (Ret.)


APT Richard G. Fenn, USN (Ret.)“Rick”, passed away peacefully on May 3rd, 2018, at 73 years of age from complications due to a stroke. Rick was born in Oshkosh to Elbert R. and Marilyn Fenn. Rick joined the US Navy in 1967, wanting to learn to fly, and earned his wings in Pensacola FL as a helicopter pilot.. Captain Fenn transitioned from the HC community to LAMPS in 1976 and received orders to HSL-36 in Mayport. There he served as the Assistant Operations Officer and deployed as the OINC of Detachment SIX onboard the USS KOELSCH. In March 1983, he assumed the duties of Executive Officer of HSL-34 and on 27 September 1984, he assumed command of the “PROFESSIONALS”. Captain Fenn went on to serve with HSL-30 .Following command of HSL-30, he served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Military Command from 1988-1991 followed by Commanding Officer of the NROTC Unit, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI from 1991 thru 1994, retiring from the Navy in 1994. Among his military awards, Captain Fenn is entitled to wear two Distinguished Flying Crosses, 23 Air Medals with three single action air medals, the Meritorious Service Medal, and two Navy Commendation Medals with a Combat V. He is survived by. his wife, Susan, of 47 years; son, Timothy (Carrie) of Virginia; brother, Timothy (Shauna) of Texas; and six grandchildren. Memorials may be made in Rick’s name to the Dane County Humane Society, in McFarland, or Madison Cat Project (627 Post Rd. Madison 53713). 85

CDR Robert ‘Rob’ Scott Murphy,USN (Ret.)


DR Robert ‘Rob’ Scott Murphy, age 53, of California MD, passed away unexpectedly at St. Mary’s Hospital in Leonardtown, MD, on Friday, April 6th, 2018 due to a medical emergency. Born in Lansdale, PA, to Grace M. Hill (Houpt) of Kempton, PA, and Robert W. Murphy of Albuquerque, NM, Rob displayed an early love for theater and a talent for humor that would serve him well through a career with the U.S. Navy.  He served in active duty as an H-46 pilot and after 20+ years of dedicated service. After graduating from Villanova University, PA, in 1986 with a degree in Computer Science, Rob was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy and later attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, earning a Master of Science degree in Operations Research.  He served numerous deployments overseas and eventually transitioned to the program management field, supporting rotary wing programs (both manned and unmanned) at the Naval Air Systems Command.  A gifted orator, Rob was well known for his quick recall and storytelling abilities.  He is survived by his wife Stephanie (St. Clair) and their two children Caitlin and Haley; his first wife Diane Shaw Freeman, and their daughter Erin of Tuscaloosa AL; his parents; his father-in-law John Hill; his brother Andy; his sister Julie; and numerous nieces and nephews.  In lieu of flowers, donations to his children’s college funds will be gratefully accepted at NFCU Acct# 3096119114, P.O. Box 3100, Merrifield, VA 22119-3100. 

CAPT Robert E. Leonard, USN (Ret.)


APT Robert E. Leonard, USN-(Ret.), former CO of HS-6 passed away Tuesday, June 5, 2018 in Hayesville, NC. July 3, 1944 - June 5, 2018 Born in Brunswick, Georgia on July 3, 1944; he grew up in Macon, Georgia. He received his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1967. He earned his wings in 1968 in Pensacola, Florida. As a helicopter pilot serving for 20 years and later a Squadron Commander, Bob served aboard many carriers and participated in numerous operations. He retired after 26 years in 1993 as a Captain. Afterwards, he lived in Lexington, South Carolina, while he worked for the State handling Medicaid Appeals Adjudication. Bob will be greatly missed and warmly remembered by all his family and friends. He is survived by his wife of 51 years Patricia Graham Leonard, his two sons and a daughter. Grant and Tammara Leonard, (Thomas Grant and Emory Grace); Mark and Pamela Leonard, (Hannah Mackenzie); Jill and Tony Stamps, (Lillian Mae). Memorial gifts may be sent to Hayesville United Methodist Church, Good Shepard Home Health and Hospice or Clay County Food Pantry in lieu of flowers. A memorial celebration will be announced at a later date. Tributes may be sent to the Leonard family at Townson-Rose Funeral Home is in charge of all arrangements.

AD1/Aircrewman John “Ski” Francis Jasinski, USN (Ret.)


D1 AND Aircrewman John “Ski” Francis Jasinski, USN (Ret.) 62, of Coinjock, NC died Thursday, May 24, 2018 at his residence with family by his side. He was born in West Reading, PA on March 13, 1956 John served his country honorably in the US Marine Corps before joining the US Navy during the Vietnam War. He was a skilled jet mechanic, and retired from the US Navy after twenty-three years. He was a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was also a member of the Disabled American Veterans, an honorary life-time member of the American Legion Post #288 and an eleven year past Commander and a member of the Southern Riders Motorcycle Club. In addition to Lorraine, his wife of twenty-two years, he is survived by three daughters, Ashley Hankinson and husband Sean, Angela Benton and husband Jeremy, Jennifer Jordan and Al Cooper; four sons; five grandchildren, Damien, Jayden, Payton, Julian and Zachary; a sister, Karen Rhodes; three brothers, James Jasinski, Dennis Jasinski and Bobby Jasinski, and his sidekick, Mitze, the little diva. He was buried in West Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery with military honors provided by the US Navy and the William Clarence Jacbson VFW Post #6060. with an Escort by the Patriot Riders. Memorial donations may be made Albemarle Hospice, 208 Hastings Lane, Elizabeth City, NC 27909. Twiford Funeral Home, 405 E. Church Street, Elizabeth City, NC is assisting the Jasinski family. Online memorial condolences may be sent to the family at www.TwifordFH. com. 86

CAPT Joseph G. Kamrad, USN (Ret.)


APT Joseph G. Kamrad, USN-(Ret.), former CO of HS-5 and HS-1, passed away Thursday, June 7, 2018 in Virginia Beach, VA. Born February 8, 1928, in Trenton, New Jersey, he was the beloved husband of Joan Ann Wiley Kamrad, his childhood sweetheart, for 65 years. Along with his wife he is survived by his four children: Kurt Kamrad (Deb) of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Leslie Howard (Tom) of Chevy Chase, MD, Christine Ritter (Jim) of Virginia Beach, VA, and Maria Honeycutt (Shade) of Virginia Beach, VA, seven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. Commodore Kamrad enlisted in the Navy in 1946 and became a commissioned officer after his designation as a naval aviator in 1950. Commodore Kamrad’s command assignments included tours as CO HS-5 (1967-1968), CO HS-1 (19681969), CO USS Austin (1974-1976), and Commander Amphibious Squadron 4 (1976-1978). Following his 31-year military career, Commodore Kamrad completed certification as a professional tennis instructor, managed several indoor tennis facilities, and served as a chair umpire at major professional tennis tournaments, including the US Open. Commodore Kamrad will be buried at a later date, to be announced, in Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a contribution in his name to: Sunshine Foundation, Dream Village, 5400 CR 47 North, Davenport, FL 33837. Condolences may be offered to the family at:

LT Thomas Henry Ballard, USNR


homas H. Ballard, 82, Versailles, Mo., passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, at the Good Shepherd Care Center, Versailles, Mo. Thomas Henry Ballard, the son of Mervin D. Ballard and Dorothy E. (Anderson) Ballard was born July 3, 1935. Tom was a graduate of Red Oak High School in Red Oak. He enrolled in the University of Iowa, in Iowa City, earning a B.S. in Biology and a varsity letter in track and field. After graduation, Tom entered the U.S. Navy on March 8, 1958. On July 4, 1958, Tom was united in marriage to Carolyn J. Falk of Stanton. Ensign Ballard received his wings at HTG-1, NAS Ellyson Field, Florida on September 9, 1959. Tom served his country as a helicopter pilot for five years. Most of his service was flying a helicopter from an icebreaker in Antarctica. During his time in the Navy, Tom and Carolyn started their family, having daughter Rebecca and son Timothy. With his young family in tow, Tom next received his Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine degree from Lincoln College in Indianapolis, Ind. Following graduation from Lincoln, the Ballard family relocated to Williamsburg to begin Tom’s chiropractic career. For more than 30 years he served the Amana area at the chiropractic clinic that he founded. Over these years, he helped countless patients with medical issues using chiropractic and acupuncture treatments. Following retirement, he and Carolyn relocated to Versailles. Tom is survived by his wife of 59 years, Carolyn Ballard of Versailles; a daughter and family, Rebecca J. Ballard and Tony Gambino of Gravois Mills, Mo.; grandchildren, Angela Gambino and Melissa Osborne of Chicago, Ill.; and Tony Gambino II of Albuquerque, N.M.; great grandchildren, Mallorie, Michael, Talen and Olive; Tom’s son and his family, Timothy and Leslie Ballard and grandchildren, Nathan H. and Sarah K. Ballard, all of Portland, Ore.; Tom’s sister and her family, Judith and Peter VanBramer and their children, Wendy VanBramer of Thailand and Dennis VanBramer of Sturgeon Bay, Wis.; Tom’s brother and his family, Dennis and Rita Ballard of Sturgeon, Mo., and their children, Thomas Mark Ballard of Columbia, Mo.; Carey Ballard of Ridgeway, Colo.; and Michael Scott Ballard of Gainesville, Ga. May God bless his memory and give strength to those who mourn. A Celebration of Life Service as held June 16, 2018 at Sellergren-Lindell-DeMarce Funeral Home. Burial of cremated remains will be in Evergreen Cemetery, Red Oak.



LCDR Danny O’Neil Mcdonald, USN (Ret)

CDR Danny O’Neil McDonald, USN-(Ret.) 69, of Panama City, passed away on Saturday, June 9, 2018. Our beloved Dan was born in Philadelphia, MS on July 29, 1948 to Lester and Ruth McDonald. Mr. McDonald was a Captain in the U.S. Army from 1966 to 1972 where he flew helicopters in the Vietnam War. He later joined the U.S. Navy to fly jets and later returned to his love of flying helicopters for his remaining years of service in the U.S Navy. Mr. McDonald retired as a Lieutenant Commander in 1989. After his retirement from the Navy, he had the privilege to continue his love of flying in EMS helicopters for the next 30 years, most of which was with Air Methods/Air Heart in Marianna, FL. LCDR McDonald is survived by his wife, Jan McDonald, children Danny Kyle and Michele McDonald and Sean Martin and Shelle McDonald, mother, Ruth Johnson; step-mother, JoAnn McDonald; brothers, Steve and Gregg McDonald; grandchildren: Daniel Johnston, Christopher and Cassandra McDonald and Merik Martin McDonald; sister and brother in law: Linda and Grant Peel and their children Lisa and Scott Flitcraft, Jana and James Stuttard, Krista Garrett, extending to their children, Cody, Kate, Jessica, Logan, Joshua, Emily and Dillon; and loving extended family, to include David Lee-Morrison, Troy Alan Weaver, Alaina Pruess and Martha and Bryan Pruess and a special longstanding friendship to Walker and Ellie Parrish. A memorial service was held on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at Southerland Family Funeral Home Chapel. In lieu of flowers, the family asks anyone lead to please make a donation to a local church or an animal rescue group of your choice, in memory of Dan McDonald.

CDR David Allan Stull, USN (Ret)


DR David Allan Stull, USN (Ret) 80, of Hurricane, West Virginia, passed away on June 17, 2018, following a long and courageous battle with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. He was born in Richwood on October 21, 1937. In his early naval career, he served as officer in charge of the Navy survival school for aviators and served three tours during the Vietnam War as a helicopter/ gun ship pilot. Dave was also Executive Officer for several large naval bases including Misawa Airbase in Japan, San Diego, and North Island and former CO of HSL-35 at North Island. He retired after 24 yearswith the rank of Commander. Dave enjoyed telling family and friends about his adventures. He is survived by his wife, Terri; son, David Jr. (Christine) of Polk City, FL; daughter, Kelli Totten (Jerry) of Ashland, KY; grandchildren, Amanda, Michael, Samantha, Ronnie, Hannah, Nathan, Ben, Sammy, Caleb, Isabella and Matthew; Service were Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at at Tyler Mountain Funeral Home, 5233 Rocky Fork Road, Cross Lanes, WV 25313 with Senior Pastor Ellis Conley officiating. Entombment at Tyler Mountain Memory Gardens. Special thanks to the staff at Cabell Healthcare Center for the special care and compassion shown to Dave. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Forrest Burdette Memorial UMC building fund at 2848 Putnam Ave., Hurricane, WV 25526. Condolences may be sent by visiting





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Rotor Review # 141 Summer 2018  

Focus on Gear - What's Hot What's Not On. Also in this issue: Symposium Highlights, Ross to the Rescue; Helicopter Firsts, the Coast Guard...

Rotor Review # 141 Summer 2018  

Focus on Gear - What's Hot What's Not On. Also in this issue: Symposium Highlights, Ross to the Rescue; Helicopter Firsts, the Coast Guard...