Rotor Review Fall 2021 #154

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Fall 2021 Number 154


of the


Also in this Issue: Symposium Highlights Report from the Rising Sun “MAYDAY” over North Korea You Fight Like You Train - A Case for COTS Eye-Safe Lasers

Thank you to our Corporate Sponsors and Supporters who made Symposium and Fly-In a success!

See you in Norfolk! Rotor Review #154 Fall '21


FOCUS: Force of the Future

A Tale of Two Futures......................................................................................................................28 CDR Tom “Brother” Murray, USN

Fall 2021 ISSUE 154 The future is joint Rotor Review (ISSN: 1085-9683) is published quarterly by the Naval Helicopter Association, Inc. (NHA), a California nonprofit 501(c)(6) 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 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Naval Helicopter Association, P.O. Box 180578, Coronado, CA 92178-0578. Rotor Review supports the goals of the association, provides a forum for discussion and exchange of information on topics of interest to the rotary community and keeps membership informed of NHA activities. As necessary, the President of NHA will provide guidance to the Rotor Review Editorial Board to ensure Rotor Review content continues to support this statement of policy as the Naval Helicopter Association adjusts to the expanding and evolving Rotary Wing and Tilt Rotor Communities.

Rotor Review #154 Fall '21

Cheap Price, Beautiful Substance: Mine Warfare in a GPC World.......................................32 LCDR Tony Leguia, USN Navy Aviation Vision 2030-2035..................................................................................................36 NAVAIR Release Back to the Future – Doubling Down on Visual Information in Naval Aviation...............38 Petty Officer 3rd Class Bayley McMichael, USN Symposium Highlights.....................................................................................................................40

FEATURES "MAYDAY" over North Korea.....................................................................................................50 LT R.L. Dolton, USN PEP, Part 2: Left Pedal or Right Pedal?.........................................................................................52 LT Randall A. Perkins, USN “You Fight Like You Train” - A Case for COTS Eye-Safe Lasers.............................................56 LCDR Chris “tyke” Aldrich, USN


DEPARTMENTS Chairman’s Brief ....................................................................................................................6 Executive Director's View.....................................................................................................7 National President's Message...............................................................................................8 J.O. President Message ..........................................................................................................9 Vice President of Membership Report............................................................................10 In Review...................................................................................................................................12 Scholarship Fund Update .....................................................................................................14 Historical Society....................................................................................................................16

Editorial Staff EDITOR -IN - CHIEF LT Michael "Bubbles" Short, USN MANAGING EDITOR Allyson Darroch COPY EDITORS CDR John Ball, USN (Ret.)

Commodore's Corner ........................................................................................................22


Report from the Rising Sun......................................................................................................24 LT R.O. Swain, USN

LT Molly "Deuce" Burns, USN (HM)

Getting Started Telling Your Stories....................................................................................26 CAPT George Galdorisi, USN (Ret.)

LT Alden "Caspr" Marton, USN (HSC)

View from the Labs ..............................................................................................................18 On Leadership .......................................................................................................................20 Force of the Future By RDML Eric C. Ruttenberg, USN (NAVWAR CHENG)

Industry and Technology .....................................................................................................48 Did You Know?...........................................................................................................................58 Around the Regions .............................................................................................................60 Squadron Anniversaries and Reunions .................................................................................61 Off Duty .................................................................................................................................62 Radio Check ..........................................................................................................................64 Change of Command ...........................................................................................................68 Engaging Rotors ....................................................................................................................70 Signal Charlie .........................................................................................................................76

LT Sarah Beth "MAC" Rupp, USN (HSC) LT Elisha "Grudge" Clark., USN (HSM) LT Johnattan "Snow" Gonzale, USN (HSM) USMC EDITOR Capt. Nolan "Lean Bean" Vihlen, USMC USCG EDITOR LT Marco Tinari, USCG PHOTOGRAPHER Raymond Rivard TECHNICAL ADVISOR LCDR Chip Lancaster, USN (Ret.) NHA HISTORIAN CDR Joe Skrzypek, USN (Ret.)

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

©2021 Naval Helicopter Association, Inc., all rights reserved


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Rotor Review #154 Fall '21


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

President....................................CDR Emily Stellpflug, USN Vice President .......................CAPT Kenneth Colman, USN Executive Director...............CAPT Jim Gillcrist, USN (Ret.) Business Development..............................Ms. Linda Vydra Managing Editor, Rotor Review .......Ms. Allyson Darroch Retired Affairs ..................CDR Mike Brattland, USN (Ret.) Legal Advisor ..............CDR George Hurley, Jr., USN (Ret.) VP Corp. Membership..........CAPT Tres Dehay, USN (Ret.) VP Awards ..........................................CDR Ian Adams, USN VP Membership ..........................CDR Michael Short, USN VP Symposium 2021 ...........CAPT William Eastham, USN Secretary.................................................LT Cort Jones, USN Treasurer ............................................LT Sinjen Povoli, USN NHA Gear.........................................LT Shaun Florance USN Senior HSM Advisor.............AWRCM Nathan Hickey, USN Senior HSC Advisor........AWSCM Darren Hauptman, USN

Regional Officers

Region 1 - San Diego Directors ............................ ..... CAPT Brannon Bickel, USN CAPT Ed Weiler, USN CAPT Sam Bryant USN CAPT Quinton Packard, USN President ...…................................... CDR Tony Perez, USN Region 2 - Washington D.C. Director ................................CAPT Matt Schnappauf, USN President ......................................CDR Richard Haley, USN Co-president CDR Pat Jeck, USN (Ret.) Region 3 - Jacksonville Director ................................CAPT Richard Whitfield, USN President .................................CDR Jonathan Dorsey USN

Region 4 - Norfolk Director .......................................CAPT Ryan Keys, USN Chairman...............................RADM Dan Fillion, USN (Ret.) President .................................CAPT Steven Thomas, USN CAPT Gene Ager, USN (Ret.) Region 5 - Pensacola CAPT Chuck Deitchman, USN (Ret.) CAPT Dennis DuBard, USN (Ret.) Director ..........................................CAPT Jade Lepke, USN CAPT Tony Dzielski, USN (Ret.) President .....................................CDR Patrick O'Neill, USN CAPT Greg Hoffman, USN (Ret.) 2021 Fleet Fly-In Coordinator..........LT Maria Regis, USN CAPT Bill Personius, USN (Ret.) Region 6 - OCONUS CAPT Mario Mifsud, USN (Ret.) CAPT Arne Nelson, USN (Ret.) Director .........................................CAPT Derek Brady, USN LT Alden "Caspr" Marton, USN President .........................................CDR Jason Russo, USN AWRCM Nathan Hickey, USN

Directors at Large

NHA Historical Society

Junior Officers Council

National Pres. / Region .LT Alden "Caspr" Marton, USN Region 2 ..................LT Matthew “Cheeese” Wellens, USN Region 3 ................................LT Ed "Rhino" Stephens, USN Region 4 .................................LT Tyler "Kuzco" Bothel, USN Region 5 ................................LT Chris "Pony" Murphy, USN Region 6...........................................LTJG Griffin Burke, USN

President...........................CAPT Bill Personius, USN (Ret.) Vice President………….CDR Mike Brattland, USN (Ret.) Secretary .............................CDR Joe Skrzypek, USN (Ret.) Treasurer..........................CDR Chris Fitzgerald, USN (Ret.) S.D. Air & Space Museum...CAPT Jim Gillcrist, USN (Ret.) USS Midway Museum....CDR Chris Fitzgerald, USN (Ret.) Webmaster........................CDR Mike Brattland, USN (Ret.)

NHA Scholarship Fund

NHAHS Committee Members

President.............................CAPT Arne Nelson, USN (Ret.) Executive VP/ VP Ops .CAPT Todd Vandegrift, USN (Ret.) VP Plans................................................CAPT Jon Kline, USN VP Scholarships...............................Ms. Nancy Ruttenberg VP Finance.....................................CDR Greg Knutson, USN Treasurer .................................................Mr. Jim Rosenberg Webmaster........................CDR Mike Brattland, USN (Ret.) Social Media .............................................................VACANT CFC/Special Projects ...............................................VACANT CAPT A.E. Monahan, USN (Ret.) CAPT Mark R. Starr, USN (Ret.) CAPT A.F. Emig, USN (Ret.) Mr. H. Nachlin

CAPT Dennis DuBard, USN (Ret.) CAPT Mike Reber, USN (Ret.) CAPT Arne Nelson, USN (Ret.) CAPT Jim O’Brien, USN (Ret.) CAPT Brian Miller, USN CDR Mike Brattland, USN (Ret.) CDR John Ball, USN (Ret.) CDR Chris Fitzgerald, USN (Ret.) CDR Drew Hamblen, USN

Navy Helicopter Association Founders CDR H.F. McLinden, USN (Ret.) CDR W. Straight, USN (Ret.) CDR P.W. Nicholas, USN (Ret.) 5

CDR D.J. Hayes, USN (Ret.) CAPT C.B. Smiley, USN (Ret.) CAPT J.M. Purtell, USN (Ret.) CDR H.V. Pepper, USN (Ret.)

Chairman’s Brief The Future Of NHA

By RADM D.H. “Dano” Fillion, USN (Ret.)


ymposium 2021 is FINEX and was a huge success due in large part to the Leadership of RADM Pat McGrath and the Team of Studs (relax, that is a gender neutral term in my vocabulary), consisting of CAPTs “Super G” Gillcrist, “BP” Personius, Arne Nelson, CDR Mike Brattland, and the ladies who keep all the aircraft moving in the right direction: Allyson Darroch and Linda Vydra. CAPT “Easy” Eastham and the entire team that executed symposium did a superb job. And as I told a group of industry leaders at the Warrior Breakfast I attended, none of the dreams of what NHA was, is currently, and will become did happen or can happen without our industry partners. Thanks to all our industry studs (refer to definition above) for making dreams become reality! OK, I was just reminded by the Navy Nurse (Ret.) at the NHA Jax Beach facility that the Chairman’s page has the word “brief ” in the header, so do some of “that brief stuff, Dano!” So we had our very first Helo four-star ever (and he will not be the last) educate all of the membership on how the FORCE OF THE FUTURE will be built, and the Flag Panel talked to ALCON about what that force will look like—summarize to say it will be different from what we are now. And wait for it…so too will NHA be different. It has to be. We must continue to grow, and serve as the organization that is there for all helicopter maintainers, AWs, and the folks in the front. And most importantly, we will be there for the families/significant others who provide the support that motivates all who wear the uniform, and all who have worn it in the past. NHA is your organization from the time you join until the time you leave the Navy, and beyond. No kidding, we are. We have to do a better job of this, and we will. The Executive Director and I are going to get around to all ready rooms. I will bet you a beverage of choice; it is GOING to happen. Put it on the flight schedule! OK, you got me with Rota, Japan and maybe Hawaii, but we will ZOOM / BOOM / whatever, to sit and LISTEN to what the young maintainers, AWs, pilots, and their families want from their organization. OK, the 9-Line: Based on conversations at Symposium with folks younger than me (don’t go there, Air Boss) I heard some things that quote “suck.” So think about what you want to see differently, or, put another way, tell me what sucks and what you would like your organization to do about it, no kidding. Some topics in discussion with the leadership for the 2022 Symposium in Norfolk, VA: HEALTH, WEALTH and STEALTH. Got you scratching your head? Great—more to follow! This last comment is for our good friend, Commodore "Bick" Bickel, since he is a ten-pound-head smart guy and he assigned all of us five books to read at NHA Symposium. “Life hinges on a couple of seconds you never see coming. And what you decide in those few seconds determines everything from then on….And you have no idea what you’ll do until you’re there.” - Marisha Pessl, Special Topics in Calamity Physics I have no idea what “Calamity Physics” is but I suspect it must be a lot like landing on the back of the boat at night! Remember that NHA works for you. I’ve included my email below; if you want to give me a VFR direct 9-Line, please do it! Until we talk again, I am, as always… V/r and CNJI (Committed Not Just Involved), Dano Rotor Review #154 Fall '21


Executive Director’s View Finishing 2021 on a High Note

By CAPT Jim Gillcrist, USN (Ret.) ith Symposium and Gulf Coast Fleet Fly-In (GCFFI) complete, NHA is getting healthier and stronger as active membership continues to tick up. That both events could be conducted in person this Fall proved to be a real shot in the arm and morale booster. It was downright awesome to see the Rotary Force spending time together. As a result, everyone’s mental health seems to be better as active duty, reserve, retired, civilian, and industry gathered to celebrate who we are and connect with shipmates.


From an event planning and execution standpoint, there are a few critical shoutouts worth noting: • The JO and Aircrew Volunteers made Symposium and GCFFI happen – no question about it. Big thanks to Screech, DQ, Smacks, Pony, Rhino, AWOL, AWSC Chavez, Thumbalina, IKE, Kasey, Gump, Donny, Moose, Scramble, Boggs, Gid’r, AWRC Carpenito, JWA, CTAF, AWSCM Loiselle, Lana, Saul, Banana, AWRCM Hickey, Cathy, AWSCM Hauptman, Kuzco, Leno, Bubbles, Banana, Caspr, Donny, Elsa, Freq, Ink, Outback, Junkie, Amber, BOB, and more. •

Our Industry Partners renewed corporate memberships and sponsored all kinds of activities and events – your consistent generosity is keeping operations in the black.

Lastly, thank you to our outgoing National President (“Easy”) for remaining steady during the pandemic and always finding a way to get to … “yes.” Indebted to your leadership and constant good humor!

I think you will enjoy this issue of Rotor Review – Bubbles, Allyson, and the Editorial Team are engaging across the Rotary Force for interesting and relevant content from the “On Leadership” and “Commodore’s Corner” feature columns to a host of articles from JOs and Aircrew across the Fleet who are pushing the thought leadership envelope on warfighting. Membership is the lifeblood of the organization, and it starts at the squadron level (in the wardrooms & aircrew shops). Our three Winging Clerks at NAS Whiting Field are also part of the team as they help promote NHA to the new wingers. The efforts of Ms. Barbara Pace (HT-8), Mr. Antquil Cage (HT-18), and Mr. Joe Sanders (HT-28) are huge. Finally, connecting with new and expired members remains a team sport. Active members at all levels are in a great position to help drive membership. For those of you who are on the fence about joining or renewing – just do it and become a member of your professional organization! •

Please keep your membership / profile up to date. If you should need any assistance at all, give us a call at (619) 4357139 and we will be happy to help – you will get Linda, Mike, Allyson, or myself.

Warm regards with high hopes, Jim Gillcrist.

“Every Member Counts / Stronger Together”

RADM Dan Fillion,USN (Ret.), NHA's Chairman coins the newest Lifetime Member, Ed Berry (# 537) during at Fleet Fly-In. 7

National President's Message Viva NHA!

By CAPT Will “Easy” Eastham, USN


and leaders.

reetings, Team NHA! Phew….what a Fall for the team! I hope you all enjoyed Symposium 2021 out at Viejas as much as I did. Sun, Fun, and Rotary Evolution indeed. I can tell you almost every debrief point we’ve received - from our industry partners, distinguished guests, and our valued membership - has been overwhelmingly positive! I am extraordinarily proud of the presentation the 2021 Symposium Team was able to provide our members. I hope you enjoyed our exploration of the Force of the Future propelled by dedicated engagements with the VCNO, Air Boss, OPNAV N7, N98, amongst many other distinguished Flag Officers

None of Symposium would have been possible without our volunteers who performed superbly and deserve almost all of the credit for this year’s event. Special shout-out to all of the JOs out there who selflessly lent their time, imagination, and creativity and, in doing so, took Symposium to higher heights. You guys absolutely crushed it! Thank you! Symposium 2022 is right around the corner next May in Norfolk. See you there! Virginia is for hovers! This will be my last note as NHA National President. It’s been a fantastic and rewarding ride. By far, my favorite part of the job was all of the connections, and in some cases re-connections, it provided me with our industry partners, our valued membership, and our retired shipmates alike. At the end of the day, NHA is a vessel through which we retain vital connections and bonds amongst a very special maritime Rotary Wing and Tilt Rotor Community. Over my 18 months in the seat, and particularly so in these times, I hope these bonds and connections proved valuable to our members above all. Finally, let me introduce you our next National President, CDR Emily “ABE” Stellpflug of VRM-50. I’ve had the privilege of serving with ABE in the past, and let me tell you, NHA is in great hands. ABE is a fantastic officer, an innovative leader, and is primed to drive NHA into our future. ABE, you have the controls, my friend. It’s been an honor to serve. Fly Safe….All the best. V/r, Easy NHA National President / NHA Lifetime Member #25

Rotor Review #154 Fall '21


NHA JO President Update Hello, NHA Warriors!

By LT Casey "Screech" Kelity, USN


hank you to everyone who made the 2021 NHA Symposium such a huge success. It truly was an awesome event, and we all worked through so much adversity to make it happen. The event would not have been possible without countless hours of hard work from the NHA staff, active-duty volunteers, and industry participants. At Symposium, we welcomed a new NHA Chairman, RADM Fillion, USN (Ret.) who worked as the Director of Warfare Integration for the Chief of Naval Operations and brings a wealth of experience to NHA. RADM Fillion served for 36 years in the world’s greatest navy, and we could not have a better leader at the helm to continue the impressive success of the NHA organization. RADM Fillion introduced the keynote speaker to kick off Symposium—Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral (ADM) Lescher. ADM Lescher gave an impressive speech with several big takeaways—seek world-class performance, drive culture change, and, most importantly, learn. He emphasized that we must find world-class performers and learn from their processes. The Navy has worked with major airlines to determine how we can improve our maintenance practices to deliver fully missioncapable aircraft to the fight. Drive culture change to embrace the red. We must be truthful in reporting in order to improve. Finally, the Navy must learn when we fall short of the goals we’ve set for ourselves. We illuminate root cause barriers when goals are not met. By doing so, we will see fundamental process improvement and bring world-class performance to the Navy. ADM Lescher opened Symposium in an inspiring way with a common theme in mind—Force of the Future. We are seeing unprecedented peer threats demanding a dynamic and adaptive Navy unlike ever before. The Force of the Future theme addresses this challenge head-on. Readers will see firsthand how the Navy has improved capabilities across the Naval Aviation Enterprise. Symposium 2021 was a resounding success; thank you to all those who made it possible. I hope you all enjoy this edition of Rotor Review. Fly Navy! Screech


VP for membership Report Membership Corner and Annual Wrap-up By CDR Michael Short, USN


t has been an honor to volunteer on the NHA Staff and to work with a strong group of individuals who believe in the mission that is Naval Helicopter Association. I want to start with a quote from Rudyard Kipling. I heard it several times during the HSM-75 Change of Command Ceremony. “The strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.” With that I would like to announce that the HSM-75 Wardroom is this year’s Max Beep Winner and can pick up their $1,500 check from the NHA Office. In February 2022 we will start our next Max Beep Drive in hopes of building a stronger organization. Membership has grown quite a bit since November of 2020. In this time frame, our organization has added over 700 members, 80% of whom joined in the last three months, with more than 80% in the last three months! I attribute this growth to another successful Symposium and Gulf Coast Fleet Fly-in/NHA Join-up. The drumbeat has been "Every Member Counts" and "We are Stronger Together!" I challenge you in the next year to help build NHA into a stronger TEAM. "Together Everyone Achieves More!" We are working to embrace the VRM community and to grow as a strong rotary community. May Symposium, in Norfolk, is right around the corner! We (NHA Membership) can do more in your regions! The Staff at NHA is here to help you. Due to some time constraints, I was unable to formally present the Mentorship Program at this year's Symposium. NHA is working to hang my presentation on the website, but I am proud to say that a great deal of members have updated their profiles and completed mentorship resumes. This will allow our members to have more informed choices about future jobs. It is also an important part of learning how to network. Our next project is a jobs portal that will mirror the mentorship portal but will concentrate on future job opportunities. NHA will take care of members from cradle to grave! Whether you stay for 10 or 20 years, NHA is here to help. Lastly, this is your organization. Events like Symposium and GCFFI / NHA Join Up are executed by a few select volunteers in the region that host those events. Without the support of the volunteers those events would not be possible. If you find yourself in a region that hosts an event, please step up and help! It is rewarding and a selfless service to others. So, on behalf of NHA, thank you to those who have been involved in making events worth attending and adding value to our membership. Fly Navy! Bus

“The strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.”

Rotor Review #154 Fall '21


Congratulations to Our Newest Lifetime Members We are NHA - in it for Life!

Ryan Hayes #154

Matt Guerin #505

Mike King #649

Robert Hassin #492

Jameel McDaniel #773

Dan Keeler # 228

Steve Green # 417 and Jim Gould #282 11

In Review Force of the Future

By LT Mike "Bubbles" Short, USN


steemed Readership, NHA Symposium 2021 is in the books, and what an event it was! First, let me thank the team of volunteers who worked relentlessly in the months leading up to Symposium and throughout the week-long event. I was immediately impressed by the level of buy-in from the volunteer staff at Viejas, predominantly composed of members of HSC-3’s JOPA. The Merlin Instructor Pilots were the driving force behind an incredibly smooth and well-organized operation; we all appreciate your efforts! The theme of this issue, coinciding with that of NHA Symposium 2021, is “Force of the Future.” In his keynote address which kicked off Symposium, ADM Bill Lescher posed the following question: How can we, as a Rotary Force, work together to drive the development of the Force of the Future? ADM Lescher, the first Rotary Wing Aviator to hold the position of Vice Chief of Naval Operations (VCNO), reminded attendees that our force needs to execute differently, experiment more, and learn faster. The increasingly complex geopolitical environment presents us with an opportunity--and frankly, a necessity--to shift from the status quo and solve problems more rapidly than ever before. Success in this endeavor hinges upon accountable leadership and “fascination with root cause.” Leaders must be quick to identify and remove barriers to growth, learning, and production whenever they arise. Our Navy boasts a strong fundamental culture, but within that culture, it’s our behaviors that must improve to enable readiness for the future fight. Closed-mindedness is not an option. There truly is no room for “it’s the way we’ve always done things.” The onus is squarely on the shoulders of the leaders in our community and our squadrons to drive attitude and behavior improvement when archaic thinking rears its head. Shortly after attending the NHA Symposium, I had the opportunity to travel back to San Diego for the Naval Aviation Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Summit. At this event, hosted by Commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF), I was confronted with some glaring areas for behavior and attitude improvement in Naval Aviation. A litany of speakers delivered briefs on the lack of diversity in our Navy, and the destructive effects that follow an organization’s failure to take equity and inclusion of its minority populations seriously. From a demographic standpoint, Naval Aviation is overwhelmingly homogeneous, particularly when it comes to our population of officers. Compared against the racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of the American workforce, Naval Aviation’s officer corps leans even more heavily toward white males. Our minority populations (people of color, women, LGBTQ+ aviators, etc.) are critically underrepresented. Variety in lived experience is an asset to any organization’s ability to learn, grow, and accomplish a mission. A lack of diversity, such as that within our organization, can and will severely degrade our problemsolving abilities and unit cohesion. Moreover, a lack of appreciation and respect, however subliminal, for minority populations in our ranks perpetuates an uphill battle that does not exist for the vast majority of naval aviators. It is easy to say that we are “getting better” in our value of DE&I, or that “it’s not really a problem in my wardroom.” But “getting better” is not good enough. “It’s not a problem here” is unacceptable if we are not actually listening to the people who have something to say. I am someone who has always considered myself an ally to the minority populations in our Nation and in our Navy. I don’t believe this is a groundbreaking statement. But attending this conference allowed me to realize that, as a white male, I have been a passive ally at best. Genuine improvement in behavior and attitudes in an organization is fully dependent on leadership and culture. VCNO tells us that accountable leaders identify and remove barriers to progress. Strong culture in a community allows for trust, openness, and growth. Open communication coupled with a genuine will to listen turns passive support into focused action. With that, the theme of our Winter 2022 Issue (Rotor Review 155) is “Leadership & Culture.” My hope is that this theme will enable submissions that strive to address what our community is doing correctly, and how it can improve on these essential fronts. I challenge you to think critically about how these topics apply in your squadrons and in your communities. Our staff is excited to hear your perspective. More to follow on DE&I. In the meantime, please enjoy RR 154. Thanks for reading. We’ll see you in 2022! Very respectfully, LT Mike “Bubbles” Short Editor-in-Chief, Rotor Review Rotor Review #154 Fall '21


Letters to the Editors It is always great to hear from our membership! We need your input to ensure that Rotor Review keeps you informed, connected and entertained. We maintain many open channels to contact the magazine staff for feedback, suggestions, praise, complaints or publishing corrections. Please advise us if you do not wish to have your input published in the magazine. Your anonymity will be respected. Post comments on the NHA Facebook page or send an email to the Editor-in-Chief; his email is or the Managing Editor; You can use snail mail too. Rotor Review’s mailing address is: Letters to the Editor, c/o Naval Helicopter Association, Inc. P.O. Box 180578, Coronado, CA 92178-0578.

RADIO CHECK Tell Us What You Think! The theme of Rotor Review 155 (Winter 2022) is “Leadership & Culture.” In Admiral Bill Lescher’s keynote address at NHA Symposium, he emphasized our Navy’s need for accountable leaders to carry us forward. Fleet Master Chief (FLTCM) April Beldo embodies accountable leadership every day when she looks in the mirror in the morning and asks herself the following: “Do I have integrity? Credibility? Humility?” What does accountable leadership look like to you? What are the characteristics of accountable leaders you’ve encountered in your careers? What is an example of a moment in which you, as a leader, have had to look in the mirror and perform an accountability check? We want to hear from you! Please send your responses to the Rotor Review Editor-in-Chief at the email address listed below. V/r, LT Mike “Bubbles” Short Editor-in-Chief, Rotor Review

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 rotary wing / tilt rotor industry or of historical interest. Humorous articles are encouraged.

Rotor Review and Website Submission Guidelines

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Articles: MS Word documents for text. Do not embed your images within the document. Send as a separate attachment. 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, wmv 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.

All submissions can be sent via email to your community editor, the Editor-in-Chief (, or the Managing Editor ( You can also use the USPS mail. Our mailing address is Naval Helicopter Association Attn: Rotor Review P.O. Box 180578, Coronado, CA 92178-0578


Naval Helicopter Association Scholarship Fund The NHA Scholarship Always Has Two Things to Say: “Donate" and "Apply!” By CAPT Arne Nelson, USN (Ret.) President


he Naval Helicopter Association Scholarship Fund (NHASF) is a 501(c)3 charitable nonprofit corporation created in 1993.

Our Mission Statement: To award college scholarships to eligible, qualified members of the naval helicopter community and their families (USN, USMC, and USCG) to pursue their educational goals and to support the Naval Helicopter Association and its members. Our Vision: Position NHASF to be a premier scholarship choice in Naval Aviation in 5 years (2025) by providing a sound, growing fund base to incrementally increase the dollar value of the fifteen annual awards total to reach $75K ($5000 each) by 2025. Our grants help undergraduate and graduate students defray the rising costs of higher education. NHASF awards 15 scholarships annually, many of them supporting STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) curriculum. Our 2022 Fundraising Goal: $60K target for fifteen $3500 scholarships ($52.5K // Admin $7.5K // APPLY (1 Sep – 31 Jan) At Symposium, many of our shipmates said they weren’t interested in the NHA Scholarship Fund – their kids were still little. But the scholarships are not just for our children and grandchildren. We also offer undergraduate and graduate scholarships which range in value up to $3500, for spouses and active-duty personnel – pilots, aircrew, maintainers, and support staff. Among the 2021 awards were three enlisted scholarships (an aircrewman, a plane captain, and a yeoman). - A first tour active-duty O-1 / O-2, who is a 2 Year "Nugget" Member of NHA, and his/her family are exempt from the three-year eligibility requirement. - Active duty Enlisted (E-6 and below), with a current or past helicopter affiliation (stationed in a helicopter or MV-22 squadron, or other helicopter aviation unit) and their family members, are exempt from the NHA membership requirement. A letter from his/her command is required confirming the Sponsor/Applicant is currently serving, or has previously served, in a USN, USMC, or USCG helicopter or MV-22 squadron or other helicopter aviation unit. This year we’re adding a Gold Star Scholarship for spouses and students who lost their serving spouse, father or mother while the member was on active duty. If you have any questions about our Gold Star Scholarship, please call the NHA Scholarship Office. Scholarships in Perpetuity: Our perennial scholarship funds now exceed $140,000, yielding at least $7,000 in annual grants. To establish a scholarship in perpetuity, a donor provides NHASF with at least $50,000 either in a lump-sum donation or pay over time. A $50,000 Scholarship yields a $2,500 grant, a $100,000 gift yields a $5000 annual grant for a named scholarship per year in perpetuity. Later, a donor may add funds to their portfolio whenever they chose to increase the annual grant yield for that scholarship from that year on.

Rotor Review #154 Fall '21


Annual Pass-Through Scholarships: An annual or “passthrough” scholarship is funded by a payment of $3,500 or more each year to sponsor a named scholarship that year. Pass through scholarship donations can also be for more than $3,500, and they can change each year by donating more than $3,500. Our scholarship awards use a combination of funds drawn from various sources. Our “Donation Options” are: SPOT ONE: Individual donations. Two fundraising periods each year, Summer and Late Fall: goal of $25K/year. SPOT TWO: Corporate sponsorships. Increasing present level of sponsorship by two each year with a goal of $25K/year. SPOT THREE: Memorial gifts, Legacy/Heroes gifts (named or anonymous), honoring a shipmate’s contribution. Usually a one year named scholarship, but a lasting memorial could be made in perpetuity. Gold Star Family donations support scholarships for surviving spouses and children. SPOT FOUR: Endowments/gifts in perpetuity. A named gift in perpetuity ($60-100K) with an annual 4-5% skim. We have four investment accounts that support three named scholarships and another that provides additional “round-up” funding in the various categories. This additional funding adds to the base donation each year to yield each annual grant at $5K/year. Starboard Delta. Squadron / Wing Challenges. In work. How to donate: • Mail a check to: NHA Scholarship Fund, P.O Box 180578 Coronado, California 92178-0578 • Use a credit card: • Make an Electronic Funds Transfer. Call to obtain the bank routing number and our EFT Account details. (619) 435-7139 Office (619) 607-0800 Cell • Donate through CFC: NHASF CFC # is 10800 • Use Amazon Smile. Set up an Amazon Smile account, then shop using Amazon Smile – you automatically donate 0.5% to the NHA Scholarship Fund The NHA Scholarship Fund is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit charitable California corporation: TAX ID # 33-0513766 Donate, and Apply. SAVE THE DATE: Giving Tuesday was the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving but you can donate any time. Captain Arne Nelson, President of the NHA Scholarship Fund receives a $10,000 grant for the 2022 round of NHA scholarships from Laura White, USS Midway Museum Foundation President. Captain Nelson said, “It is a great honor to accept this generous grant which will cover three scholarships for the upcoming scholarship season. This is a significant selection, signifying that we are maintaining USS Midway Museum’s confidence in our program. Thanks to Mac, Laura, the Board, and staff of the USS Midway Museum.”


Naval Helicopter Association Historical Society Helo on a Stick By CAPT Bill Personius, USN (Ret.) LTM-#46, R-16213 President


HAHS had a very successful experience at the 2021 NHA Symposium at the Viejas Casino and Resort. The Historical Society manned a booth near the Symposium Registration Desk and enjoyed the large number of members that visited. We provided several people with their Helicopter Pilot Designation Numbers for those who didn’t know or had forgotten it and we spent a lot of time talking about the CDR Clyde E. Lassen, USN (Ret.) Memorial SH-60F Display Aircraft/”Helicopter on a Stick” Project at the NBC/ NASNI Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale, USN (Ret.) Main Gate. We collected donations toward the project and met some people who were involved with putting the A-4 Skyhawk on the stick. As a result, we learned more about NAVFAC and their role to get these kind of projects accomplished. If you are interested in making a donation toward the project click on the link below for more information https://sh60fhoas. NHAHS was also involved with the Opportunity Gift Basket Drawing to help raise funds for both the Scholarship Fund and Historical Society. Both organizations would like to thank Katherine Gillcrist and all the people that assisted her with the project: Rene Murphy, Molly Personius, Debbie Nelson and Linda Vydra. Thank you ladies for all your hard work and thank you to all those who participated in the fund raiser. The ladies raised over $3K for the Scholarship Fund and Historical Society. Our next project involved coordinating a Base Community Service Project with the Chief Selects to wash the aircraft at Flag Circle. This work is tied to the Lassen SH-60F and is part of an on-going agreement with the base where USS Midway Museum and NHA will assist with the upkeep and maintenance of the aircraft on the base “in kind consideration” for authorization to place the SH-60F at the Admiral James B. Stockdale, USN (Ret.) Main Gate. As USS Midway and NHA are both Non-Federal Entities (NFEs), this support was viewed as an opportunity for both organizations to give back for providing NHA office space and Midway's rework and restoration facility, Hangar 805 aboard the base. NHA will coordinate (remind the custodians) of the quarterly inspections of the aircraft and help put together a plan to execute the wash jobs twice a year. The first cooperative wash job was a base-wide community service project on Saturday November 13 and was supported by the Chief Selects. The hope is that this effort will become routine each year with volunteers accomplishing the work in the Spring and the Chief Selects doing the work in the Fall during and around the Veterans Day long weekend. NHAHS and NHASF also hosted a successful Charity Golf Tournament on October 9 at the Admiral Baker North Course the day after the NHA Symposium concluded. Everyone had a great time and it was a beautiful day. The Air Boss, VADM Ken Whitesell, USN along with our new NHA Chairman, RADM Dan Fillion, USN (Ret.), joined a host of folks from across the base. Two JOs from the Eightballers of HSC-8 played along to keep the Admirals out of trouble. The teams had a great lunch of grilled chicken and pulled pork to include all the fixings following the outing and there were some very nice prizes awarded to the winners.

First Place The Veterans Golf Association Ben Bushong Tyler Galleher Scott Hall Lance Beyerle

Second Place BOTEC Boyz Knight Hammock Ross Hertzler Casey Keilty Taylor Klein

Third Place Screamin Indians Chad Alvarez Erik Bergstom Ryan Mathieson Connor Tallman Rotor Review #154 Fall '21

L to R – LT Matt Whitford, USN HSC-8, RADM Dan Fillion, USN (Ret.), VADM Ken Whitesell, USN, and LT Reid Toombs, USN, HSC-8


Paypal Donation Link

Computer Rendition of NASNI Stockdale Entrance with SH-60F on a Pedestal

Mail Checks to: Naval Helicopter Association Historical Society, Inc. (NHAHS) NASNI SH-60F Project PO Box 180578, Coronado, CA 92178-0578 To donate with Paypay visit and click on the Paypal icon or copy and paste this link in your browser 17

View from the Labs How Can We Help Our Unmanned Aerial Systems Become Our “Loyal Wingmen?” By CAPT George Galdorisi, USN (Ret.)


n the previous issue of Rotor Review, we addressed the theme of that issue, “UAVs and You,” and talked about UAVs in general and how they are beginning to become a substantial percentage of naval aviation. The MQ-4C Triton, MQ-8C Fire Scout and MQ-25 Stingray are the prime examples. We examined how these UAVs can take on missions that manned aircraft previously performed. The theme of this issue of Rotor Review is “Force of the Future.” That is a perfect segue to what we will address in this column. When we think of UAVs, we typically think of the unmanned aerial system as an entity unto itself. That is okay as far as it goes. In order to optimize the contributions UAVs can make to our rotary wing community and to naval aviation writ large, it is important that we think of them not just as that “thing,” but as loyal wingman to our manned platforms. Indeed, DoD’s “Third Offset Strategy” calls out the P-8 Poseidon-MQ-4C Triton and MH-60 (Seahawk or Nighthawk)-MQ-8C Fire Scout as the epitome of manned-unmanned teaming. While this is a vision, it cannot be achieved until we make our UAS smarter and therefore more autonomous. We need to put the era of “One UAV, many people, many joysticks,” behind us and enhance the “brains” of our UAVs. The way to do this is by using big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning to enable our UAVs to “up their games” and become our loyal wingmen. Which brings me back to our 2021 NHA Symposium (and massive kudos to the NHA Staff and countless volunteers who made this all work). Here is some of what I took away from the event that directly applies to what it takes to make our UAVs loyal wingmen that will give us an edge in combat. The importance of focusing on a small bundle of technologies to ensure that the Navy can prevail in tomorrow’s fight was emphasized by the Vice Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral William Lescher, in his keynote address at Symposium when he said: “The four pillars of the CNO’s NAVPLAN are: readiness, capability, capacity and Sailors. There are four cross-cutting technologies critical to supporting these pillars: unmanned systems, artificial intelligence, machine learning and mannedunmanned teaming.” This address by our first rotary wing four-star put a punctuation mark on what can be accomplished if we use these emerging technologies to enhance the capabilities of our UAVs, in order to achieve optimal man-machine teaming and make these capable platforms our loyal wingmen. During the Symposium Flag Panel, our senior leaders in Naval Aviation said a number of things that applied directly to the VCNO’s remarks: • Manpower currently consumes 70% of the Department of the Navy’s budget. • Naval Aviation is on a glideslope to be approximately 40% unmanned circa 2035. • Current Navy UAS are not really autonomous, but require one or more operators “hands-on” at all times. • The DoD’s “Third Offset Strategy” emphasizes man-unmanned teaming as a central concept. • The P-8 Poisiden-MQ-4C Triton and the MH-60 Seahawk-MQ-8C Fire Scout are held out as exemplars of mannedunmanned teaming.

Rotor Review #154 Fall '21


Taken together, it is clear that the senior leaders in our Naval Aviation Enterprise “get” the importance of making our UAVs loyal wingmen to our manned aircraft. However, along with these positive statements, what we didn’t hear at the Symposium suggests that we still have a great deal of work to do to achieve this desired end state. Here is what I did not hear: • • • • •

I did not hear that there is a plan to leverage big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning to make Naval Aviation’s UAS more autonomous. I did not hear that there is a concurrent plan to enable Triton and Fire Scout to perform discrete tasks, without direction, once on-station. I did not hear that there is a plan to enable Triton and Fire Scout to curate data aboard the platform, rather than send terabytes of data down a link. I did not hear that there is a plan to have Triton and Fire Scout communicate directly with their respective manned aircraft. I did not hear that there is a plan (or even a desire) to achieve manned-unmanned teaming with the P-8 Poisiden-MQ4C Triton and the MH-60R/S-MQ-8C.

This summary isn’t intended to be gloom and doom. To be fair, our Naval Aviation UAVs are relatively new, and upgrades will need to evolve over time once the basic platform is in the hands of our operators and valuable feedback is obtained. However, all that said, we are all in this together. If we wait for “them” to work on these issues they may not ever get addressed. Those of you wearing flight suits are the best ones to ask for these solutions – and the sooner the better.

Timeline of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in the U.S. Navy

Triton over Pt. Mugu

Fire Scout MQ-8C at North Island 19

On Leadership "On Leadership” is a feature column in which Rotary Wing Flag Officers are able to submit articles on leadership topics of their choosing.

On Leadership - Force of the Future

By RDML Eric C. Ruttenberg, USN NAVWAR CHENG


his year’s NHA Symposium focused on the Force of the Future. There is no better time than now to define what the future of the Aviation Enterprise needs to be, and how Future Vertical Lift (FVL) capabilities enable our Naval Forces to maintain our competitive advantage and win in a high-end fight. With the October 2021 release of SECNAV’s Strategic Guidance, our north star continues to be aligned with our TriService Maritime Strategy, the CNO’s Navigation Plan, and the CMC’s Planning Guidance. As VADM Ken Whitesell (CNAF) and VADM Jeff Hughes (OPNAV Force of the Future Panel at the NHA 2021 Symposium N7) stated, the rotary mission isn’t going away. In fact, FVL will continue to play a significant role in the shaping and utilization of our assets shape tactics to insure we maintain this superiority, while to maintain maritime superiority. Additionally, RDML denying the adversary of the same. Admiral Hayward wrote Max McCoy (NAWDC) has requested enduring support in the first edition of Fleet Tactics and Naval Operations that from the helicopter community in order to support further “tactical elements must fight as a cohesive team… and that development of the Air Wing’s expeditionary mission. the future will include land and space-based assets.”1 In the The Rotary Community has been the leading force behind Third Edition, Captain Wayne Hughes (Ret.) collaborated integrating unmanned capabilities and plays a critical role in with RADM Robert Girrier (Ret.) and other authors and in connecting sensors, shooters, and enabling Command and addressed how information and now decision superiority are Control (C2). The right mix of manned and unmanned will enabled when the naval networks connect ashore, afloat, and continue to evolve over the next several years as we evaluate disaggregated forces, increasing the rate of decision making capability, capacity, and affordability. The importance of while degrading the adversaries' ability to make decisions.2 In extending the field of view or scouting will remain critical to recent months, we have seen senior leaders across the DoD and understanding the adversary’s intentions as well as the location DON prioritize our “ability to sense, make sense, and act” as of their fleet of fishing vessels and AGIs as part of their an imperative to winning the fight in Strategic Competition. intelligence network collection. Future Manned-Unmanned Teaming will need to happen at scale and must focus on Limited resources across the Aviation Enterprise and the Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) scenarios where we are able to modernization of our Strategic Deterrent Force have made it couple and decouple controlled and autonomously controlled a challenge to modernize our Vertical Lift capability and keep unmanned systems (UxS). The use of MQ-8 Firescout and pace with the advancement of technology. Both commercial future unmanned vehicles will not only provide us important and Warfare Center focused technology are outpacing our indications and warnings, but will also extend the range ability to integrate new technology onto current platforms. of our offensive cyber capabilities in support of Carrier One element of the modernization is in our communication and Expeditionary Strike Groups conducting Distributed capabilities. Our ability to have resilient and redundant Maritime Operations. These capabilities will support the communications will depend on the success of Project appropriate tactics that will enable our ability to operate in Overmatch. Overmatch will provide the Fleet with the contested environments. ability to aggregate data, move data anywhere, and enable Fleet and Global Exercises have demonstrated that today’s fight begins with information superiority and that our cross-domain Warfare Tactics Instructors (WTI) must Rotor Review #154 Fall '21

data driven decisions regardless of the networks or bandwidth available. This system of system approach and highly reliable


communications will enable the seamless integration of manned and unmanned platforms, ensuring Next Generation Air Dominance. As a continuous learning force, we are investing in warfighters so that we can prepare for future Fleet integration and better understand the impact that current technology brings to future tactics. Advances in technology over the last several decades have affected every aspect of naval warfare. As technology continues to influence strategy and Fleet tactics, our success in the future will be based on our most critical asset, our people. Force Development (Fd) and Force Generation (Fg) will require War Gaming, Fleet Experimentation, and constant improvement across our Aviation Enterprise. Carefully orchestrating opportunities across production, Joint, Navy Staff, and education tours and valuing the diversity of career paths will be critical to shaping our Rotary Force of the future.

are charged with maintaining free and open use of the maritime environment. Our Rotary Force today, our Future Vertical Lift capability, and the integration of manned and unmanned capabilities will play a critical role in delivering free and open commerce to support our global economy. Our community is ready for the fight tonight. With increased vigilance on the fight tomorrow, I encourage all of you to continue learning, lead and engage our Sailors, and win at everything you do. Notes 1 Wayne P. Hughes and Robert Girrier, “Fleet Tactics and Naval Operations,” Annapolis: Naval Institure Press, 2018), xxv-xxvi 2 ibid., 257-258

We are a maritime nation, dedicated to maintaining free and open sea lines and maritime order based on international law. With more than seventy percent of the world’s commerce transiting over the sea, the United States and partner nations


Airwing of the Future 2021

Commodore's Corner The Future is Very Bright By CAPT Sam Bryant, USN


n behalf of the Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission (VRM) Community, I want to thank you for welcoming us to your membership ranks. I am CAPT Sam “Flesh” Bryant, Commodore VRMWING, and I am joined by CAPT Justin “Juice” McCaffree as my Deputy Commodore. I originally hail from the C-2A Greyhound Community, and Juice came from the HSC Community; which is fairly representative of the Navy Tiltrotor Community as a whole. We are excited to have the talent mission knowledge of both VRC and HSC Communities as we employ them with this entirely different kind of airframe. The CMV-22 Osprey brings the same flexible and transformational capabilities to the U.S. Navy, that the MV-22B brought to the USMC and USAFSOC almost 20 years ago. While, we employ the aircraft differently than our sister services, the Fleet is already recognizing the CMV-22’s awesome flexibility over its predecessor, the venerable C-2A Greyhound. Through a tremendous effort between our Industry partners and the USMC, the Navy VRM Community was able to leverage over 20 years of experience, best practices, and scar tissue to accelerate our learning with operating and maintaining the CMV-22B. Our first squadron, the “Titans” of VRM-30, accepted their first aircraft in June of 2020 and went Safe-forFlight just over a year ago in October of 2020. Here we are, only a year later, and we already have our first detachment of three aircraft under way with USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and CVW 2. Our second detachment is executing COMPTUEX with USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and CVW 9, and our FRS (VRM-50) has already accepted its first two aircraft. The pace our team has been able to perform at, has been truly eye-watering to witness.

VRC-30 Detachment 1 lands at Camp Foster, Okinawa JP during a MEDEVAC mission.

Rotor Review #154 Fall '21


I am pleased to report that Detachment 1 on Vinson has already been exercising the flexibility of the CMV-22 in several mission areas, to include MEDEVAC at-sea. In addition to completing over 13 MEDEVAC missions so far, one mission in particular stood out as “transformational." While operating over 600NM off the coast of Okinawa, a Sailor onboard Vinson experienced a stroke. Due to the fact that the ship was out of helicopter range, and the patient could not withstand a catapult shot, the call went out for the CMV22. Detachment 1 was able to fly 1000 NM round-trip, at airplane speeds, and bring a critical care patient directly to the helo pad and the waiting hands of trauma personnel at Camp Foster, Okinawa, rather than to a runway and a waiting ambulance. The patient was able to get the time-critical care required to reverse the stroke symptoms, and will regain use of his arm. Meanwhile, back at NASNI in San Diego, a CMV-22 that happened to

be at the hot pits received a call to immediately proceed to USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) for another critical MEDEVAC during the recent tragic HSC-8 mishap. Despite the awful circumstances surrounding that day, the CMV-22 was able to expedite transfer of a critical survivor with a spinal injury to a level one trauma center in San Diego. This is just one example of the flexibility this aircraft will offer the Fleet, and will likely change how Carrier Strike Groups approach future contingencies. In addition to MEDEVAC, the CMV-22 is capable of landing on multiple classes of ships, as well as those of our strategic allies, acting VRM-30 Detachment 1 aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth during Exercise MALIBAR as an expeditionary refueling platform, and many other missions outside the capability of the C-2A. These transformational capabilities of the CMV-22, are the exact reason the aircraft was procured by N98. As we look to the horizon and see the looming Great Power Competition, and begin to fully understand the contested logistics scenarios we will likely face in a high-end fight—this aircraft is exactly the multi-tool required to take us into the era of Air Wing of The Future. With the combined talents of the rotarywing and tilt rotor members of our community - that future is very bright! VRM-30 experiments with providing ground refueling to HSCWINGPAC aircraft during CMV-22 Operational Test.

Did you know that you can take your copy of Rotor Review anywhere you want to go? Read it on your kindle, nook, tablet or on your phone. Rotor Review is right there when you want it. Go to your App Store. Search for Issuu. That’s the name of the platform that hosts Rotor Review (there is no charge for you to use this App) Download Issuu’s App Create a login (this doesn’t have to be your NHA login) – they will send you a verification code – enter it per instructions, Next Enter “Rotor Review” in the search bar on the Issuu app. Click on Rotor Review. Be informed, be entertained, be NHA.


Report from the Rising Sun A Cultural Lesson in Attention to Detail By LT Rob “OG” Swain, USN


onnichi wa ( ) Naval Helicopter Association! My name is LT Rob “OG” Swain. I am the Helicopter Element Coordinator for the World Famous, Forward Deployed Naval Force CVW 5 “Badman” Team stationed out of Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. To inform and educate the rotary-wing community, this column will draw inspiration from partner nation cultures and provide TRANS-PAC insight to Navy helicopter operations abroad! I arrived in Japan mid-October, two months after meeting the Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group on the home stretch of deployment in the Northern Arabian Sea. After two and a half years in San Diego and following a third visit to Fifth Fleet, I was shocked to disembark into a rainstorm on the Yokosuka pier. Environmentals aside, everything felt foreign…even on a US Navy installation. Retaining walls separated jungle growth from the road stretching away from the ships. Unfamiliar vines snaked their way down the stone barriers. Every vehicle rolling across the base appeared smaller and boxier than those on California freeways. Mini vans were micro-vans. Instead of 4x4 F-150s, the Japanese appear to drive 1x1s. Walking past the gate, I observed that the off-base infrastructure follows some universal, culturally agnostic trend. Even though I couldn’t read the Japanese writing plastered across storefront entrances in neon lights, I recognized the familiar tattoo parlors, barber shops, and used car dealerships which form the staple of main-gate adjacent industry. I was the only member of the CVW 5 OPS Team who had not previously spent time in Japan and felt drawn to stop

Photo credit: Getty images

Rotor Review #154 Fall '21

and peer through each commercial window. I filtered out the calls ahead from my fixed-wing aviator counterparts, but heard “speed up” something, something “helicopter.” Rather than nosing over, I stood transfixed looking through a bakery window at an origami crane and a bottle of jam. I have no idea what flavor the jam was. I only know that every glass container was filled with a mix of fruit and tiny, evenly distributed flower petals. I stared pensively, reflecting on the delicate care that must have gone into preserving the integrity of those petals throughout the mixing process. Over the past two weeks in Japan, my interactions with the people, cultural exposure, and introductory education on Japanese history has consistently reinforced a concept rooted deeply in this land. An ethos which echoes our own rotary-wing professional challenge and endeavor – attention to detail. The nature of maritime-based, vertical flight is inherently multi-mission. Helicopters provide a spectrum of capability necessary for the full range of military operations in both peacetime and conflict. Whether providing close-in ship defense, airborne mine countermeasures, permissive and non-permissive personnel recovery, anti-submarine warfare, or urgent logistic support, each mission area demands rotarywing pilots and aircrewmen to approach the event with focused attention and precision planning. Contributing to a culture of professional pride and attention to detail across the Navy Rotary-Wing Community is not "drinking the kool aid," or "buying the tourist jam." To the contrary, enthusiastic attention to detail promotes and force multiplies organizational positivity, adaptable problemsolving, and flexible operational preparedness. Job satisfaction rarely occurs passively. That bottle of Japanese jam reminded me that when you proactively hone your craft as a rotarywing aviator with focus, resilience, and attention to detail, the dividends of your effort will yield a beautiful experience in Naval Aviation. Standby for follow-on situation updates in this Report from the Rising Sun and Fly Navy! 24


Get Started Telling Your Stories By CAPT George Galdorisi, USN (Ret.)

Putting the Pieces Together

Over the last several writing columns, we have taken a deep dive into the basics of writing a novel, focusing on plot (things like the Log Line and Freytag Pyramid) and characterization (creating memorable characters your readers love to be with and don’t forget). In this column, we will put the pieces together and talk about other aspects of what makes a successful novel. First, a reminder as to: “Why Should We Write?” In his best-seller, The Undoing Project, Michael Lewis quoted Daniel Kahneman, who said this: “No one ever made a decision because of a number. They need a story.” We all need stories. That said, it takes courage to write. As the infamous Cardinal Armand Jean du Plesssis, Duke of Richelieu, said, "Give me six lines written by the most honorable of men, and I will find an excuse to hang him." While most aspiring writers aren’t fearful of being hanged, most do fear rejection. Think of it this way. You tell your family, friends and co-workers that you are working on a novel. Then, month after month, and even year after year, they ask, “When is your novel coming out?” It takes courage to say: “Never.” So let’s talk about how to avoid “never.” First, as you embark on writing 80,000 to 100,000 words to produce your novel, it’s worth remembering why many of us write. Here is how New York Times best-selling writer Dick Couch put it: “For me, I gotta write, and it’s the adventure of it that’s hooked me. As the writer, I can do it all. I get to be the National Security Advisor who recommends the action to the President who must commit the forces. I’m the senior officer who sends his men into action and who feels the pain if they don’t make it back. I’m the enemy and the defender; logistician and staff planner. But most of all, I’m a young man again, that fresh lieutenant who must lead his men into battle.” Rotor Review #154 Fall '21

Dick Couch has produced twenty-three books and he makes writing look easy. For most of us, it’s not that easy. At the risk of dampening anyone’s enthusiasm, you should approach writing as you approach your profession as a naval aviator (current or past) – it is work and you are only successful if you work hard. Here is how an article about Tom Clancy put it: “Mr. Clancy said none of his success came easily, and he would remind aspiring writers of that when he spoke to them. “I tell them you learn to write the same way you learn to play golf,” he once said. “You do it, and keep doing it until you get it right. A lot of people think something mystical happens to you, that maybe the muse kisses you on the ear. But writing isn’t divinely inspired — it’s hard work. With that by way of background, it is important to decide what kind of novel you are setting out to write. This is hugely important, but a step many people skip over in their urge to put words on paper. Make this decision to pick one of these two before you pick up your pen: • Literary Fiction: Literary fiction, also known as serious fiction, is a term principally used for fictional works that hold literary merit, that is to say, they are works that offer deliberate social commentary, political criticism, or focus on the individual to explore some part of the human condition. • Trade Fiction: Trade books are published for general readership, and usually are headed for bookstores and libraries. They are not rare books or textbooks for small, specialized or niche readerships. A trade book can be paperback or hardback. It can occupy a wide range of genres.


• The writer introduces a hero or heroine who has just been or is about to be – plunged into terrible trouble

For me, and most writers I talk with, we are firmly in the Trade Fiction camp. This isn’t to discourage you from taking on Literary Fiction, but just to say that most of what I know about writing novels is focused on Trade Fiction. In our world of Trade Fiction, one of the most successful novelists is Dean Koontz, author of countless best-sellers. Unlike many writers who keep the secrets of their success… well…secret, Dean Koontz liberally shares his secrets. Here are some gems from the master: On Generating New Story Ideas: • Read! • Write! • Tickle the imagination and generate story ideas by playing around with exotic titles • Type out a bunch of narrative hooks and find one that is intriguing • Prime the idea pump by building up a couple of characters in enormous detail • Whatever you write, you must begin your novel by plunging the hero or heroine into terrible trouble What the Average Reader Demands of a Novel: • • • • • • • •

A strong plot A great deal of action A hero, or heroine, or both Colorful, imaginative, & convincing characterization Clear, believable, character motivations Well-drawn backgrounds At least some familiarity with the English language A style with lyrical language and striking images

While you cogitate on and internalize these attributes, I want to invite your attention to what is probably the most crucial bit of writing advice – perhaps ever. It comes from Ian Fleming, who wrote the fabulously successful James Bond books:

• The hero or heroine attempts to solve his or her problem but only slips deeper into trouble • As they try to climb out of the hole they’re in, complications arise, each more terrible than the one before, until the situation could not become more hopeless, then one final unthinkable complication arises and makes matters worse. • At last, deeply affected and changed by his awful experiences and intolerable circumstances, the hero learns something about himself and the human condition. He then understands what he must do to get out of the dangerous situation in which he has wound up. He takes the necessary actions and either succeeds or fails, succeeding more often than not. Perhaps enough for now. If your curiosity has kicked in and you don’t want to wait for the next issue of Rotor Review, try this link to my website: https://www.georgegaldorisi. com/. Other than writing thrillers, I like nothing more than connecting with readers. You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter, and learn more about my books, blogs and other writing on my website. For those of you trying to up your game regarding any kind of writing, check out my “Writing Tips,” which offer useful advice for all writers, from established authors to future best-selling writers.

CAPT George Galdorisi, USN (Ret.) is a career naval aviator with thirty years of active duty service. For more on Get Started Telling Your Stories or other writing seminar information, visit CAPT Galdorisi's webpage: https://www.

“There is only one recipe for a bestseller and it is a very simple one. If you look back on all the bestsellers you have read, you will find they all have one quality that makes you simply have to turn the page.” This is hugely important and is where so many aspiring novelists go astray. If you write page after page describing a beautiful sunset, the reader will stop turning the page. Less is more, make them turn the page! Finally, while there are many different ways to write a novel, for most first-timers my advice is to stay with what works, the tried and true, not the crazy, avant garde. Save that for your tenth novel. Here is what works for most of us in constructing a classic plot:

A book shelf of Trade fiction 27

Focus - Force of the Future A Tale of Two Futures

By CDR Tom “Brother” Murray, USN Commanding Officer, HSC-4


uch has been written of late on the purpose and identity of the Helicopter Sea Combat (HSC) Community. I have no identity crisis – I’m a utility player and a rescue pilot. My squadron provides critical protection and support to our Carrier Air Wing (CVW) and Carrier Strike Group on a daily basis; we also fill the gaps and seams when needed. When tasked, we deliver people and parts; provide permissive, contested and combat Search and Rescue coverage; and ruthlessly defend any asset with deadly accurate fires. But this article is not about the identity of the HSC Community. This article is also not an academic research paper. Rather, I’m writing to offer my thoughts on the future of the HSC Community, raise awareness about changes afoot, and generate discussion about the same. I see our CVW squadrons rapidly approaching a fork in the road. I didn’t see this fork approaching when I coordinated the first HS to HSC (CVW) squadron transition in 2007 as a first tour aviator at HS-8. But, I see it clearly now as I lead the last HSC (CVW) squadron to deploy with our traditional complement of eight MH-60S helicopters. This fork offers two futures – a future in which my successors have a significantly reduced capacity (Future 1) and a future with an ever-increasing workload (Future 2). Perhaps they are not mutually exclusive. But first – a few sentences on innovation and change. Some reading this article may suppose that I am resisting change or unable to innovate. I am absolutely in favor of adapting to meet changing missions and operating environments. Further, I do not believe that the way we’ve always done business is good enough. However, I believe that the change about to occur in our HSC (CVW) squadrons may be out in front of some prerequisite discussions and resource reallocation. That is, funding for billets and airframes was cut and racks are being earmarked for redistribution prior to a shared understanding

(or conversation) about how to rebalance Naval Aviation Enterprise (NAE) resources & requirements. We owe it to ourselves, to the future of our community, and to the NAE to have an open discussion about the changes afoot. And if the fully informed plan has us continue as briefed, I’ll be the first to jump in with both feet and get to work.

Future 1: Reduced Capacity The HSC Community has been a community in “transition” for the entirety of its life. From Naval Air Ambulance Detachments in Kuwait and Iraq, to frequent pop up tasking around the globe, to Littoral Combat Ships and MQ-8B/C, and to being the most widely deployed Community in all of the NAE, HSC is literally everywhere and doing myriad things at any one time. It’s no surprise to many of us that the transition continues. In the latest significant change, the HSC (CVW) community – that is, our squadrons assigned to CVWs – is shifting from an eight MH-60S footprint (six airframes on the CVN and two airframes on a Combat Logistics Force (CLF) ship) to a five aircraft footprint (three MH60S on the CVN and two on a CLF). The decision, first shared with HSC Community leadership in mid-2020, is billed as a mix of budget savings from the Pentagon and one of many steps across the NAE toward freeing up CVN deck space (and rack space) for the everMH-60S from HSC-4 departing USS CARL VINSON to provide long range growing and ever-changing Air Wing of personnel recovery for air wing operations. the Future. Rotor Review #154 Fall '21


There’s also the discussion of whether we could pull all 5x aircraft in this smaller squadron onto the CVN. Such a move would obviously serve to get us just about back to where we are today (albeit with little to no depth on the bench when aircraft don’t cooperate); however, that would leave holes on our CLF ships that require vertical lift capability.

2 MH-60S from HSC-4 refueling from VRM-30 CMV-22B’s via ADGR in the California desert (Inyokern).

To those who would ask how an HSC (CVW) squadron will solve the heavy SAR requirement prescribed in CV NATOPS with only three aircraft on the CVN, I’ll tell you: we can’t, and HSC Community leadership is well aware of this. There are ongoing efforts above my paygrade to update the SAR requirements in CV NATOPS and to educate NAE leadership on the impacts of a reduced HSC footprint. Is the time ripe to update the SAR requirements for our capital ships? Perhaps. However, such a change must be done with an acknowledgment that Plane Guard is much more than just flying “the D.” Some days it is ACTC opportunity. Others it is SAR training or H2P checks. It is always proficiency for flight crews, and it is often critical readiness generation for one of the missions in our wheelhouse. To the more complicated question of whether we’ll still be able to do all of the other things…passenger moves, VERTREP, alerts, strafe and crew-served weapons currency, dirt landing currency, ACTC, etc., with a reduced footprint, I’ll say: I don’t think so, but the jury is still out. More precisely, I should say that we will not be able to do all of the other things at the same time. Today, with six airframes and ~12 crews on the CVN, I frequently execute multiple missions simultaneously, flying 3-4 of my aircraft at the same time. “Tomorrow,” with three airframes, I will be able to execute each mission sequentially (i.e., one at a time). Generating a section of aircraft for either readiness or ACTC events will become much more challenging (not impossible), and we’d likely be “two to make two” for SAR requirements most of the time. I know that data collection regarding this reduced footprint is ongoing by interested staffs to ensure that our decision makers have the most current info at their disposal.


Future 2: Increased Workload There’s also a sea change underway across the NAE – and USN/DOD writ large – as we continue to wrap our collective arms and minds around the Great Power Competition (GPC). As it pertains to this article, I’ll focus on one small subset of that change… long range Personnel Recovery (i.e., Search and Rescue) from the CVN. Many have postulated that DOD capacity and force laydown will require the U.S. Navy to conduct much of its own rescue and recovery in certain branches of GPC. As I look around CVW 2 (literally… I’m writing this from deployment onboard USS Carl Vinson), I’m certain that task – long range Personnel Recovery (PR) – will fall to my squadron, the Legendary Black Knights of HSC-4. To that end, and in support of CVW 2 tasking around the world, HSC-4 supports all CVW 2 flight operations with PR/SAR coverage (unless there’s a more logical PR asset already in place). From long range training of various types to long range operations in multiple AOs – sometimes via Expeditionary Advanced Basing Operations or thanks to CMV-22B refueling to extend our SAR radius – we have promised our Air Wing brothers and sisters that we will be there, no matter when or where. We are executing what has been either overlooked or “whitecarded” for much too long. We are positioning rescue assets where they may be needed, when they may be needed. Many of these flights have required creative solutions for fuel. Most have required non-standard configurations (additional fuel tanks) and exposed the communication challenges we encounter at long range and low altitude. Some missions have stretched the limits of our crew days. All of these flights have made my squadron and our Air Wing better. Because we have not been content to whitecard, and because we are out there executing daily, CVW 2 and CCSG 1 know that HSC-4 is up to the task when we transition beyond Phase 0 operations.

Focus - Force of the Future These missions come at a cost – repeatedly flying a section of aircraft over the horizon on long range events costs flight hours and airframe hours and adds risk to an already high risk profession. On top of the additional search and rescue work my squadron is tasked with, the logistics beast will continue to grow and continue to be an incredibly important part of GPC. We will not be able to provide the same long range PR/SAR support to our Air Wing while completing all other tasking if we decrement our footprint to only 3x MH-60S on the aircraft carrier.

Summary The requirement for long range Personnel Recovery is real – it is happening today. Theoretical / proposed solutions for long range Personnel Recovery assets in a future conflict are just that… proposed. After the decrement of our HSC (CVW) squadrons occurs, we will have a real problem – reduced assets to cover requirements – with a proposed solution that is not in place (e.g., joint forces or MH-60S on other platforms). Clearly I’m of the mind that we should not decrement our HSC (CVW) squadrons, or that we should at least pull the remaining 5 aircraft onto the CVN. However, I also acknowledge that this is a complex problem and that I don’t have all of the information.

Future 1/2: Do Both? Perhaps there is a world where we can support our growing workload with a reduced footprint in our HSC (CVW) squadrons. What if we reduce the SAR requirement close The HSC Community has long been a gap and seam filler. aboard our capital ships and eliminate the CLF detachment When tasking arises ashore or at sea that doesn’t fit neatly requirement for our HSC (CVW) squadrons? A slight into a particular T/M/S’s Required Operational Capability reduction in CV NATOPS SAR requirements will provide / Projected Operating Environment (ROC / POE), it is the some wiggle room in capacity. Simultaneously outsourcing HSC Community that more than likely solves the problem. CLF aircraft requirements to contracted services or filling with From aerial firefighting (wildland and, sadly, USS Bonhomme expeditionary detachments – if we need them at all – would Richard); to COVID patient moves aplenty; to Congressional allow a slightly smaller HSC (CVW) squadron to retain a Delegation and senior leader aerial surveys of anything and five to six aircraft presence on the CVN. But what about the everything; to long range Personnel Recovery (PR); to many deck space on aircraft carriers?!? I can’t solve that one, but I other missions that exceed this publication’s classification; think if you ask, you’ll find that we’ve got some really smart the HSC Community will continue to provide that X-factor, minds working it. Great conversations are already happening covering the seams with its multi-mission airframe, can-do with all stakeholders – from working toward use of support attitude, and versatile crews. At the end of the day, it’s up to equipment that can be shared across all T/M/S to creative NAE leadership to decide how much gap and seam filler we storage solutions for gear that would otherwise occupy hangar need on our capital ships. Gotta run – I’m walking in 5 on bay square footage – we’re solving this problem on the deck another long range Personnel Recovery event to ensure my Air plates right now and making recommendations to program Wing brethren get home safely! offices and HHQ. Notes Swain, Rob. “HSC Restructure: Resolving Organizational Dissonance through Cultural Alignment.” Rotor Review, Spring 2021 #152. McCaffree, Justin. “The HSC Funnies.” Rotor Review, Winter 2020 #147.

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Focus - Force of the Future Cheap Price, Beautiful Substance: Mine Warfare in a GPC World By LCDR Tony Leguia, USN

Introduction The Gulf War demonstrated that naval mines remain a credible threat to modern, technologically sophisticated navies.1 Easy deployment, tactical effectiveness, and low relative cost make naval mines a powerful force multiplier. They can also be used across the spectrum of conflict, acting as battlespace shapers in war and deterrents of incursion in international disagreements. History is replete with examples that showcase the tactical advantages and capabilities that naval mines provide.2 In the words of one Peoples Republic of China (PRC) analyst they are characterized as “cheap price, beautiful substance.”3

(HM) and EOD communities have acted to fill these knowledge gaps. With the impending loss of HM, and no concrete plan to preserve the MCM community knowledge and experience, U.S. MCM could fall prey to traps that are common in the MCM world. This could lead to failure in future MIW engagements when combined with the technical challenges common to future MCM systems.

Technological Advances Despite technological advances to reduce the electromagnetic and acoustic signatures of ships, mine manufacturers have advanced the sophistication of mine designs to keep pace. However, older mine designs still remain effective as In a world that will become dominated by great power demonstrated in the cases of the USS Tripoli, USS Princeton, competition (GPC), mine warfare will be a crucial warfare and the USS Samuel B. Roberts. area of competition due to the preponderance of naval mines In modernity, the primary exporters of mines are the in the inventories of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Russian Federation (RF). The transition from legacy People’s Republic of China (PRC), the Russian Federation Mine Counter Measure (MCM) platforms to next generation (RF), Italy, and Sweden.10 These mine producers have begun platforms offers potential for success, but could be a stumbling using odd shapes to enhance mine stealth and burial rates. Additionally, they have designed coatings to reduce sonar block for the U.S. and its allies and partnerships. return.11 Simultaneously, new sensors and digital technologies have made ship detection systems more sophisticated. A Problem of Leadership While the deadly effects of naval mines are obvious, the All of these technologies can be found within the inventories psychological factors surrounding the analysis and decision making of suspected naval mines are just as crucial to their of the United States’s primary geo-political competitors. Even effectiveness. This is proven in historical Mine Warfare (MIW) as mines have grown in capability, they have received little decision making. When faced with the decision to cross mine attention on weapons proliferation treaties or weapons export infested waters, operational commanders face a high degree of controls.12 There is effectively no tracking or monitoring risk and uncertainty. MCM operations reduce this risk, while systems in place for naval mines like those for land mines and weapons of mass destruction.13 Thus, the proliferation statistical analysis is used to evaluate it. of naval mines will continue for the foreseeable future, largely Psychological factors can act as impediments to analysis.4 unregulated and untracked.14 Additionally, adversaries in History suggests that commanders will often dismiss or the GPC context continue to look for U.S. vulnerabilities to fail to use statistical evidence, discern patterns where none exploit in the event of conventional or proxy conflict.15 exist, become overly attached to initial quantitative values, Legal frameworks governing the undersea domain remain become overconfident, or face other fallacies when evaluating data.5 During the mining of the Dardanelles, Sir Roger outdated as well, particularly in international waters and Keyes noted that commanders refused to transit battleships exclusive economic zones.16 During the 2014 China-Vietnam through unswept minefields without any attempt to calculate oil rig crisis, a state-owned Chinese corporation deployed or evaluate the risk of the transit.6 German officers later an oil platform near the Paracel Islands. Vietnam claimed remarked that most mines in the fields had probably sunk or the move infringed on its sovereign space and responded by been carried away by currents. It was likely that less than 10% sending ships to stop the rig’s placement. Several ships were damaged and people injured in the ensuing chaos. In the end, of mines laid were operational.7 the platform remained in the area for months and completed Most people do not account for statistical analysis when its mission prior to any significant legal intervention by facing risk and uncertainty. Instead, they employ heuristics and the international community.17 We might imagine a world personal biases, regardless of their familiarity with statistics.8 where rather than wait for an impotent reaction from the These pitfalls can be avoided with expertise and experience. international community, either party may defend its undersea However, mine warfare subject matter experts (SMEs) are few claims through the use of mine warfare. and far between. Many MCM leaders lack any experience Other technologies lie in the rich soil of the cutting edge. or exposure in the warfare domain, while SMEs typically do not advance to positions where they can make a difference.9 Unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) are becoming Historically, members of the helicopter mine countermeasures increasingly proliferated and it’s a short leap from a Rotor Review #154 Fall '21


minehunting UUV to a mine laying UUV. Low cost and easy production likely mean that UUVs will become common among low to middle income countries. If constructed from plastics and composite materials and powered by batteries, minelaying UUVs could be nearly invisible to many detection systems.18 PRC The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) describes naval mines as “easy to lay and difficult to sweep; their concealment potential is strong; their destructive power is high; and the threat value is long-lasting."19 Furthermore, PLAN strategists have evaluated the U.S. Navy’s capability to combat a mine threat as “extremely weak” compared to other combat mission areas.20 For this reason, PLAN members refer to naval mines as an Assassin’s Mace, a reference to Chinese folklore whereby a hero slew a much more powerful enemy with cleverness and wile, and is roughly equivalent to the English idiom “silver bullet."21 China has no modern naval history. Its last major naval engagement was during the Qing dynasty in 1895 during a catastrophic defeat against the Japanese Fleet, only a few years after the Qing had boasted possessing the strongest navy in East Asia in 1888.22 Thus, in modernity, PRC war planners engage in kaifang, the systematic study of foreign war experiences.23 They have noted the historical effectiveness of naval mines. In particular, the Gulf War jarred the PLA into confronting their lack of capability and propelled them into an aggressive modernization program, including within the domain of MIW. Fu Jinzhu, a PRC specialist, notes that MIW provides one of the most effective methods by which a weak nation can deter a strong one, and concludes that MIW played an unexpectedly large role in the Gulf War.24 His analysis focused on the fact that despite the failures of Iraqi minelayers to carry out an effective MIW plan, they succeeded in crippling two U.S. Navy vessels.25 Another PRC analyst noted, “The U.S. will need to move supplies by sea. But China is not Iraq. China has advanced sea mines . . . this is a fatal threat to U.S. seaborne transport . . . it would not be easy for the U.S. military to sweep all the mines that the PLA might lay.”26 Thus, the PLAN has undergone a frenzied attempt to advance and upgrade its naval mine inventory, which includes relatively simple (but robust) contact mines, advanced deepwater rising mines, and potentially nuclear-armed mines.27 Since at least 2007, they have also engaged in research towards the development of anti-aircraft naval mines, with a focus against helicopters, due to their seeming invulnerability during MCM operations.28 Russian Federation China’s leading naval publication refers to the Russian Federation as “the world’s sea-mine kingdom."29 The title is well deserved as the RF claims the largest naval mine inventory in the world and has set the standard for mine production for the last century. Indigenous copies of Russian designs account for a startling portion of inventories across the world. The

M-08, named for its production year and designed under the Russian Empire of Tsar Nicholas II, remains among the most numerous and proliferated mines in the world.30 Into the 21st century, the RF has upgraded its mine inventory and possesses many of the same capabilities, and is engaged in similar research areas, as the PRC. U.S. Navy Response As a response to these threats, the U.S. Navy began a program to move away from dedicated MCM assets in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s towards what was dubbed “organic MCM." In this construct, expeditionary forces would have assets to conduct in-stride MCM operations to avoid or quickly neutralize potential MIW threats. The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) equipped with the mine warfare package eventually became the keystone of this program, along with the MH-60S equipped with AMNS, the AQS-20A, OASIS, ALMDS, and RAMICS. Later, the MQ-8B/C and its package systems became another element.31 Other systems that began development in the intervening years were the Remote Multi-Mission Vehicle (RMMV), the Coastal Battlefield Reconnaissance and Analysis System (COBRA Block I and II), the Unmanned Influence Sweep System (UISS, which achieved milestone C February of 202032 and IOT&E August of 2021),33 Knifefish, and the MK-18 Family of Systems. Twenty years later, many of these systems are no longer funded, are experiencing serious delays, or have only recently been introduced to the Fleet. Perhaps the RMMV presents an archetypal example of the recent history of MCM development. In 2015, it was described as having plateaued in its development since 2005, and demonstrated no significant improvements. Due to these long standing testing problems and scheduling delays, it was cancelled in 2016.34 Difficulties meeting design requirements and fielding schedules plague MCM programs. Some systems experienced difficulty meeting their key performance characteristics (KPPs). For instance, ALMDS was derived from Magic Lantern, an experimental system deployed from SH-2Gs during the Gulf War. It was initially envisioned as a single pass system, but the system produced too many contacts to remain operationally relevant and required inordinate amounts of post-mission analysis.35 ALMDS has not significantly improved from Magic Lantern and remains subject to many of the same limitations despite decades of development. Currently, its tactical employment requires three passes to reduce the number of false contacts. A singlepass system became a multi-pass one. Additionally, most organic MCM packages for the MH60S have been cancelled. RAMICS was cancelled in 2011, towing the AQS-20A sonar from a MH-60S was discontinued in 2012, and OASIS was cancelled in 2013.36 This leaves ALMDS and AMNS as the only remaining AMCM specific devices for the MH-60S. As these and other MCM systems


Focus - Force of the Future have been canceled, they have left behind exposed gaps in capability they were meant to cover.37 In the meantime, legacy systems have limped along in an attempt to mitigate MIW risks while future systems complete their development and fielding cycles. The Avenger Class MCM Ships have served long past their original service life, and are in the process of decommissioning. Despite several changes to its decommissioning date, the MH-53E continues carrying out its mission, having had its maximum flight hours extended beyond its original intended service life. Both platforms suffer from a host of maintenance, supply chain, and training issues. Another threat to the MCM capability is complexity. Attacking an MIW problem is a compound, multiprong endeavor, requiring extensive communication and adaptability. A minelayer does not simply lay one type of mine in a uniform, homogenous environment. Instead, an assorted variety of mines of different degrees of sophistication are laid in a complex maritime environment. This environment will vary in bottom types, which might affect sonar return, burial rates, and acoustic and electromagnetic transmission. Different depths along a body of water introduce the problem of system limitations. Some systems will not work in deep water, others cannot operate in the surf zone. Mines will be laid throughout the water column, with some mines floating from a tether near the surface, and others lurking on the cold ocean floor (to say nothing of floating mines). Contact with a ship hull will be required for the detonation of simpler mines. Others will sense coming ships with an array of sensors, while digital processors identify an incoming target as a merchant ship, and determine it would be optimal to delay detonation until a higher value military target comes within range. To combat this problem, even for legacy platforms (often imagined as a triad of air, surface, and EOD assets), no one system can perform all required MCM tasks. Different mine threats and environments require different countermeasure techniques and systems. Therefore, different members of the MCM triad must perform tasks for which they are best suited. Ideally, multiple MCM assets will perform some portion of the MCM solution simultaneously in different areas. When complete, they will pass information gathered and proceed to the next area. Alternatively, they may change employment to a new device to begin peeling the next layer of the onion.

mines, with some allowance for limitations that are covered by a device in another platform. Integrated MCM operations compensate for the limitations and lack of effectiveness of individual systems. Integration is achieved via coordination of tasking and the exchange of information and data between units. However, numerous data handoffs and the need for subsequent reacquisitions of mine-like contacts introduces the possibility of error and degradation to operations.38 The desire to remove the “man out of the minefield” had led to a substantial increase in complexity to what was already a complex warfare domain.39 Future MCM systems implement revolutionary technologies that were ahead of their time when they were being designed. Additionally, they were meant to be modular. Once the organic MCM concept shifted to revolve around the LCS, the systems had to work together, requiring integration at the hardware and software level. Thus, “complex machines (all unproven and unprecedented) were wrapped in a complex package, to be employed on a complex vessel” while many systems were still in development.40 The technical difficulties associated with a complicated system of systems aggregates onto the already existing problem of data handoff and subsequent acquisition that legacy platforms experience. Analysts suggest that the cost overruns, reliability problems, failure to meet KPPs, and delays associated with many of these systems are due to this complexity. 41 Conclusion The military environment has shifted to a competitive GPC world. Our adversaries are observing our activities and identifying our weaknesses, and MCM has been identified as a key one. As we transition from legacy to future we have the potential to meet the advanced capabilities of 21st century MIW threats. Yet, it offers our competitors a potential assassin’s mace, whereby they can exploit our weakness to their benefit. Additionally, naval mines could become a tool utilized in international conflicts short of war as disagreements in the exploitation of undersea resources become more common. The U.S. Navy must be ready to face these lurking threats, or we risk the economic and military consequences of being unprepared.

Most legacy MCM platforms provide some degree of full detect-toengage capability against Rotor Review #154 Fall '21


To prevent this undesirable future, the U.S. Navy must ensure two things. First, the transfer of MCM knowledge must be preserved and the personnel must have ways of transferring the information to future system platforms. Additionally, career paths must be maintained so these individuals can rise to positions where they can effect change and apply their knowledge at the highest levels. Second, funding must be provided so that legacy systems can execute the MCM mission to their full extent while future systems finalize testing and fielding. Even after fielding, it will take time for the warfighter to become proficient in the operational employment of this system of systems. The price of failure is an unsuspecting ship being crippled in contested waters, incapable of projecting force abroad. It is too high a price. Bibliography Broyles, David A. A Prognosis for Mine Countermeasures: Getting the Mine out of the Minefield (CNA, February, 2017). Erickson, Andrew S. and Lyle J. Goldstein, and William S. Murray. Chinese Mine Warfare: A PLA Navy ‘Assassin’s Mace’ Capability (Naval War College, June 2009). Freedberg, Sydney J. Minefields at Sea: From the Tsars to Putin (Breaking Defense, March 2015). https://breakingdefense. com/2015/03/shutting-down-the-sea-russia-china-iran-and-the-hidden-danger-of-sea-mines/. Katz, Justin. Fielding LCS Minehunting Mission Package Now a Key Priority (Naval Warfare, July 2021). https:// Landreth, James. Evolving Naval Mine Warfare for the 2020s and Beyond, (DAU, March 2020). library/defense-atl/blog/evolving--naval-mine-warfare--for-the-2020s-and-beyond/. Program Executive Office Unmanned and Small Combatants Public Affairs. US Navy’s UISS System Achieves Milestone C (NAVSEA, Feb, 2020). Rios, John J. Naval Mines in the 21st Century: Can NATO Navies Meet the Challenge? (NPS, June 2005). Savitz, Scott. Psychology and the Mined: Overcoming Psychological Barriers to the Use of Statistics in Naval Mine Warfare (CNA, May, 2006). Vavasseur, Xavier. US Navy’s UISS Completes IOT&E (Naval News, Aug 2021). Footnotes 1. John J. Rios, Naval Mines in the 21st Century: Can NATO 24. Ibid, 4. Navies Meet the Challenge? (NPS, June 2005), 1. 25. Ibid, 4. 2. Ibid, 2-3. 26. Ibid, 5. 3.Andrew S. Erickson, Lyle J. Goldstein, and William S. Murray, 27. Ibid, 22-24. Chinese Mine Warfare: A PLA Navy ‘Assassin’s Mace’ Capability 28. Erickson et al., 25. (Naval War College, June 2009), 29. Erickson et al., 21. 4. Scott Savitz, Psychology and the Mined: Overcoming 30. Sydney J. Freedberg, Minefields at Sea: From the Tsars to Psychological Barriers to the Use of Statistics in Naval Mine Warfare Putin (Breaking Defense, March 2015), https://breakingdefense. (CNA, May 2006), 17. com/2015/03/shutting-down-the-sea-russia-china-iran-and-the5. Ibid, 17. hidden-danger-of-sea-mines/. 6. Ibid, 18. 31. Rios, 35-36. 7. Ibid, 18. 32. Program Executive Office Unmanned and Small Combatants 8. Ibid, 18. Public Affairs, US Navy’s UISS System Achieves Milestone C 9. David A. Broyles, A Prognosis for Mine Countermeasures: (NAVSEA, Feb 2020), Getting the Mine out of the Minefield (CNA, February 2017), 31. News/SavedNewsModule/Article/2094860/us-navys-unmanned10. Rios, 8. influence-sweep-system-achieves-milestone-c/. 11. Ibid, 9. 33. Xavier Vavasseur, US Navy’s UISS Completes IOT&E (Naval 12. Ibid, 9. News, Aug 2021), 13. Ibid, 9-10. u-s-navys-unmanned-influence-sweep-system-completes-iote/. 14. Ibid, 10. 34. Justin Katz, Fielding LCS Minehunting Mission Package Now 15. Erickson et al., 22. a Key Priority (Naval Warfare, July 2021), https://breakingdefense. 16. James Landreth, Evolving Naval Mine Warfare for the 2020s com/2021/07/fielding-lcs-minehunting-mission-package-now-aand Beyond, (DAU March 2020) key-priority/. defense-atl/blog/evolving--naval-mine-warfare--for-the-2020s-and35. Broyles, 8. beyond/. 36. Ibid, 9. 17. Ibid. 37. Ibid, 31. 18. Landreth. 38. Broyles, 31. 19. Erickson et al., 1. 39. Ibid, 17. 20. Ibid, 1. 40. Ibid, 21. 21. Ibid, 2. 41. Broyles, 22. 22. Ibid, 3. 23. Ibid, 3. 35

Focus - Force of the Future Navy Aviation Vision 2030-2035

NAVAIR Public Release 2021-478. Distribution Statement A Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

The following is an exerpt from the full unclassified and approved for public release report. The entire report may be viewed and downloaded here: AVIATION%20VISION%202030-2035_FNL.PDF Introduction he National Defense Strategy (NDS) identifies a complex global security environment characterized by overt challenges to the current international order and the resurgence of long-term, strategic competition among nations. It calls for a lethal, agile, resilient, and rapidly deployable force designed to compete against, deter, and win victories over all adversaries. Implementing CNO’s guidance centered on our core principles of sea control and power projection, and the forward-looking Fleet Design concept, the Navy conducts Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO), providing the strong maritime component that the NDS requires. Integral to the NDS, Navy Aviation is strongly focused on updating current capabilities, bringing new and advanced platforms on line, and complementing today’s warfighting competency with enhanced tactics and procedures for the high-end fight.


Today’s Carrier Strike Groups (CSGs)— centered on large-deck, nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and their embarked carrier air wings (CVWs)—enable the implementation of this innovative Fleet Design by providing Fleet commanders with multi-domain military might. CSGs bring unmatched contributions of lethality, battle space awareness, and mobility to any maritime theater, ensuring the Navy’s ability to establish and sustain sea control, achieve maritime superiority, and project power at great distances. The Navy’s expeditionary fixed and rotary wing, manned and unmanned, aircraft constitute the most widely distributed aviation platforms in the world, operating in support of CSGs, Expeditionary Strike Groups (ESGs), and surface ships, providing a broad range of enabling missions. The Navy Aviation Vision 2030-2035 supersedes The Vision for Naval Aviation 2025 and reflects key concepts to meet CNO’s vision of a Navy that swarms the sea, delivering synchronized lethal and non-lethal efforts from near and far, on every axis and in every domain. As the Navy plans to build and sustain a lethal, resilient force, it is imperative to have a clear roadmap aligned with, and supporting, the overarching strategy. Rotor Review #154 Fall '21

The Air Boss’s vision lays out three key elements— delivering capability and capacity to win in the Great Power Competition (GPC); generating future readiness across the force; and achieving revolutionary training—to form the framework of Navy Aviation’s future. The fiscal environment is expected to remain constrained, placing wholeness at risk, so Navy Aviation’s ability to responsibly manage its resources available to organize, man, train, and equip the aviation Fleet across its full range of missions will be central to ensuring maritime air superiority. An expanded Navy Aviation Vision 2030-2035 document will be made available at the secret classification level.


Strategic Environment The character of maritime warfare is changing rapidly and despite efforts over the last few years, China and Russia continue to work to erode the U.S. Navy’s warfighting advantages, putting national objectives in jeopardy. Technological advancements increase the potential for adversaries to track, target, and threaten our ships and aircraft. Our adversaries, both near-peer and regional threats, have demonstrated the ability to develop and employ an increasing number of highend capabilities at a pace not seen since the height of the Cold War. Anticipated adversary threat capabilities will be more complex, more disruptive, and more lethal. In the early 2030s, Navy Aviation can expect to face: •

Increased People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) aircraft carrier inventory

Improved People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) capabilities and capacity (to include fighters, bombers, and special interest aircraft)

Advanced kill chains that extend over great distances

Proliferation of complex threat emitters

Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance, and Targeting (C4ISR&T) networks

Information warfare attacks

In an environment of GPC, left unchecked, these symmetric and asymmetric threats can impose a high cost by exposing our forces to significant risk, particularly in areas long considered geographic strategic chokepoints. This could jeopardize the U.S. Navy’s ability to project power and maintain maritime superiority. Anticipating and staying ahead of these advancements by developing and fielding capable and affordable platforms and delivering weapons and sensors on a relevant timeline will continue to be at the forefront of Navy Aviation priorities.


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Focus - Force of the Future

Back to the Future – Doubling Down on Visual Information in Naval Aviation By Petty Officer 3rd Class Bayley McMichael, USN USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77)


ven before the designation of aircraft carriers nearly a century ago, visual information (VI) – still imagery and, later, video – was a core element of naval aviation’s mission. And while VI expanded to other warfighting communities as well - consider its utility to LT Arleigh Burke as the Officer-in-Charge of the Battle Force Camera Party for fleet training in the mid-1930s. Or, to CAPT John Ford as he used motion pictures such as “Midway” to inform the public of the war effort. Its operational significance in an ever expanding digital information environment continues to grow. Today the Navy’s warfighting communities are re-investing in their public affairs (PA) and visual information (VI) assets to restore a historical, operational role for PA/VI professionals to support Fleet and strike group commanders. This is no more apparent than in Naval Aviation and the A18A, or Aerial Cameraman, Navy Enlisted Classification (NEC) for Mass Communication Specialists (MC). "Aerial photographers have been vital assets to the HSC Community, the Carrier Air Wing Team, and the Navy for ages,” said CDR Thomas “Princess” Van Hoozer, Commanding Officer of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5. “The increased capability aerial photographers provide us to

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showcase the talent and spirit of our hardworking Sailors and the combat effectiveness of our Navy is a powerful tool that can help win over partner nations, deter potential competitors, and improve the morale of the Force and their families. They are invaluable to today's global efforts. Aerial photographers are the force multipliers that enable our dominance of the information environment.” Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (MC3) Novalee Manzella, Naval Aircrew Warfare Specialist assigned to USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) frequently works with HSC-5, one of two rotary-wing squadrons within Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7. Both CVW 7 and GHWB report to Commander, Carrier Strike Group 10 - the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group – on their next deployment. “Before I became an Aerial Photographer, I didn’t fully understand the critical role that MCs played in the military,” said Manzella. “Photography and videography offer the truth of operating in an active environment, while also telling the stories of the men and women who serve in the military.” The continued integration between the aviation and MC communities offers a unique opportunity for the Navy to optimize workforce capability and mission effectiveness.


“The H-60 community has the privilege to work alongside aerial cameramen routinely,” Van Hoozer said. “I am constantly impressed with our Aerial MC's skill and look forward to each opportunity to fly with them as part of my crew.” Since 2019, aerial photographers have undergone rigorous training to become mission ready as the vital visual information asset needed for the Navy. After finishing MC “A” School, where they learn the basics of being a Navy Mass Communicator, they move straight to Naval Aircrew Candidate School where they learn the basics of being a Naval Aircrewman and complete a water survival class. From there they must complete Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE), a training program that prepares U.S. military personnel to survive and "return with honor" in lifethreatening scenarios. The Navy Aircrewmen still have much more training and testing to go through before finally earning their wings. After the completion of all training evolutions, A18A’s are expected to be proficient in mission effectiveness and Operational Tasking and Visual Information (OPTASK VI), and knowledgeable in the ways in which Naval Aviation supports all aspects of the Naval Doctrine. Mission effectiveness is defined as the probability of successfully completing an assigned mission, and an appropriate

measure of effectiveness for the military system. One example of how A18As are increasing mission effectiveness is by documentation of missions. By getting the Navy’s story out first, we limit the spread of misinformation from adversaries both foreign and domestic. Mission effectiveness is increased when A18As come into play because they allow the public to see firsthand the truth of the operational environment. “I was lucky enough to document HSC-5 during their Helicopter Advanced Readiness Program (HARP) exercise on Naval Air Station Key West’s Boca Chica Field. HARP is an essential tactical training that MH-60S squadrons undergo to prepare for missions performed in a hostile environment,” said Manzella. “The preparation for HARP ensures each Sailor is fully qualified and prepared to successfully complete the mission. Over the course of a week, I captured photos and videos of the crewmen and pilots demonstrating their skills with escape and evasion strategies, ground recovery element evolutions, and Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief tactics.” Another key aspect of the Fleet-wide optimization of the MC rating is OPTASK VI. OPTASK VI is a mission to visually document key moments of unsafe, unprofessional or abnormal interactions by vessels and aircraft of other nations against U.S. assets. This applies to Naval Aviation because of the inherent nature and enduring principles of naval forces. The PA and VI Community have supported intensive training for this in recent years. Media has become a weapon adversaries try to use against the US, but MC’s and now A18As are trained in fighting back quicker with the most accurate documentation. Maintaining a sharp focus on the Navy's global operations is a top priority for PA, as the need to effectively communicate what the Navy does to various audiences increases. As the world shifts to a digital form, the PA community helps to keep naval operations on the forefront in the information age. Media points the way for intelligence support in meeting the requirements of both regional conflicts and operations other than war. PA also develops doctrine to reaffirm the foundation of US Navy expeditionary maritime traditions. Overall, MCs and A18As alike have made strides using their knowledge and skills in an effective way for the mission. The PA and VI Community is moving forward and taking action in an increasingly fast and complex battlefield of information. The A18As today are paving the way for the future, as media becomes more necessary to mission effectiveness "The Aerial Cameramen continue to show the growing capabilities they bring to the HSC Community and overall mission of the Navy,” Van Hoozer said. A18As will continue to provide a crucial warfighting capability in Naval Aviation.


Focus - Force of the Future NHA Symposium Returns with Bold Vision for Rotary Capabilities From Naval Aviation Enterprise Public Affairs


he Naval Helicopter Association (NHA) completed its first in-person Symposium at the Viejas Resort, October 6-9, 2021, after pandemic precautions led the organization to cancel its symposium last year. The event, which included two full days of programming, centered on Naval Aviation’s bold vision for rotary wing aviation in the years ahead with the forward-looking theme, “Force of the Future.” The NHA Symposium featured leaders from around Naval Aviation providing information to the Naval Aviation corps and discussing the powerful capabilities required for the rotary wing community to maintain maritime superiority in the coming years. On October8, the second and final day of programming— seven leaders from units across the Fleet participated in the Commodore and Commander, Air Group (CAG) Panel. They discussed future changes to mission sets and capabilities in the rotary wing community, then answered questions from junior officers in the audience. “Small unit leadership is in our DNA,” said CAPT Brannon Bickel, Commodore, Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing, Pacific. “We go out in detachments and carry out the full functions of a squadron. This expeditionary model that we operate in builds the small-unit leadership we need to carry out the missions of tomorrow.” Panel members spoke about new concepts and capabilities initiated at the squadron level to validate capabilities needed for the future fight. “We are out there on San Clemente Island flying to FARPs (forward arming and refueling points), testing concepts like forward V-22 refueling, and launching sonobuoys from Hueys,” said Bickel. “Those are some of the initiatives we are doing to prepare to operate in a contested, distributed environment.” The capstone event of the final day of programming was the Flag Panel moderated by retired RADM Daniel Fillion, the incoming National Chairman for the NHA. Panel participants included VADM Kenneth Whitesell, Commander, Naval Air Forces/Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet; VADM Jeffrey Hughes, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfighting Development, N7; RADM Scott Jones, Commander, Naval Air Force Reserve / Deputy Commander, Naval Air Forces / Deputy Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet; RADM Alvin Holsey, Commander, Navy Personnel Command/Deputy Chief of Naval Personnel;

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Commodore/CAG Panel

RADM Andrew Loiselle, Director, Air Warfare Division, N98; RADM Shoshana Chatfield, President, Naval War College; RADM John Gumbleton, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Budget/Director, Fiscal Management Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations; and RADM Max McCoy, Commander, Naval Aviation Warfare Development Center. The admirals each shared their visions for the future of Naval Aviation and their efforts to bring manned-unmanned teaming capabilities to the Fleet. “Make no mistake … this is a Navy fight,” said Whitesell. “It’s the great power competition. We are on a defined trajectory to use manned-unmanned teaming on our expeditionary platforms, LHA platforms and carrier platforms to win in a contested environment.” The admirals also discussed unmanned integration and programming, diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in Naval Aviation, and joint service integration in Distributed Maritime Operations. Other events during the second day of programming included the Captains of Industry Panel, the Junior Officer Call with the Airboss with VADM Whitesell, also known as the Navy’s “Air Boss,” and a final reception to close the Symposium.


VCNO Opens NHA Symposium with Call to Accelerate Force Modernization From Naval Aviation Enterprise Public Affairs


DM Bill Lescher, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, opened the first day of panels and briefs during the Naval Helicopter Association (NHA) Symposium at the Viejas Resort in San Diego on Otober 7, 2021. During his opening remarks, he emphasized the importance of collaboration among the many Naval Aviation stakeholders involved in building the force of the future needed to compete in an era of Great Power Competition. “The work we are going to do together to make the Force of the Future real requires excellence in execution and innovation,” said Lescher. During his remarks, Lescher mentioned several different examples of how Navy leaders harnessed ideas and practices outside of the military to drive readiness and process improvement in the Navy. He recounted the success of the Maintenance Operations Center (MOC) in boosting mission capable (MC) rates for the Super Hornet community and shared how the concept originated from commercial airline best practices. The MOC is a centralized coordination center of resources and maintenance activities for Naval Aviation. The MOC concept was first introduced to Naval Aviation in late 2018 as part of the Naval Sustainment System-Aviation (NSS-A) effort. Lescher also spoke to the rotary wing community’s role in future operating concepts laid out in the Tri-Service Maritime Strategy Advantage at Sea. “Both Distributed Maritime Operations and the Joint Warfighting Concept value distributed, multi-access, multidomain operational art,” said Lescher. “That context creates tremendous rotary wing community opportunities to contribute and drive to that lethality and the key elements of how we shoot, how we maneuver, how we resupply and how we defend.” Lescher ended his remarks by calling upon the young leaders in attendance to lead positive, organizational change in their units to build a more ready force for tomorrow’s fight. Later in the day, CAPT Matt Schnappauf, Director of the Liaison Office to the U.S. House of Representatives for U.S. Navy, moderated the Force of the Future Panel that included VADM Jeffrey Hughes, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Warfighting Development; RADM Max McCoy, Commander, Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center; and Brig. Gen. Ryan Rideout, Deputy Commanding General, I Marine Expeditionary Force. The panelists discussed the capabilities and force structure required for Naval Aviation to carry out operating concepts laid out by the National Defense Strategy, Tri-Service Maritime Strategy and CNO’s Navigation Plan.

ADM Bill Lescher delivers the keynote address at the 2021 Symposium

Hughes stated the importance of leadership at the tactical level in developing needed capabilities: “We need our young leaders to boldly outthink our adversary, learn faster, and put superior, adaptable, resilient naval rotary forces to sea to deliver deterrence and warfighting advantage.” The panelists also discussed the importance of training in the rotary wing community, the Marine Corps’ role in Distributed Maritime Operations and changes in force structure, and the importance of technical expertise for pilots. Other highlights during the first day of NHA programming included a presentation by RADM Andrew Loiselle, Director, Air Warfare Division, Office Chief of Naval Operations on the POM cycle and aviation program offices; a brief from Navy aviation detailers; and a presentation from the Naval Safety Center. For additional information and coverage of the NHA Symposium, follow the NAE on Facebook @NAEready and on Twitter @NAE_Readiness.


Focus - Force of the Future The NHA Annual Achievement Awards were presented at the 2021 Symposium. The competition from all regions was, once again, extremely intense and regional winners may be justifiably proud of their accomplishments and contributions to Naval Rotary Wing Aviation.

Captain Arnold Jay Isbell Trophy sponsored by Lockheed Martin Company and presented by Mr. Hamid Salim. The 2020 winners of the Isbell Award for CNAP are HSM77 and HSC-23. HSCWP Commodore Sean Rocheleau and CDR Kyle McDaniel, Commanding Officer, HSC-23 accepted the award.

The Admiral Jay S. “Jimmy” Thach Award, sponsored by Lockheed Martin Company, presented by Mr. Hamid Salim to HSM-72. Receiving the award on behalf of HSM-72 is HSMWL Commodore, CAPT Richard Whitfield.

Aviation Squadron Battle Efficiency Awards:

Commodore Rocheleau presents the Battle E to: CDR Chris Whitehouse, Commanding Officer, HSC-6, and CDR Mike Silver, Commanding Officer, HSC-21.

Commodore Whitfield, Mr. Hamid Salim and RADM Daniel Fillion, USN (Ret.) present the Battle E to a squadron representative for HSM-72 and HSM-48.

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Commodore Keys presents the Battle E to: CDR Kevin Chambley, Commanding Officer, HSC-7, CDR Timothy Drosinos, Commanding Officer, HSC-22, and CDR Steven Hatch, Commanding officer, HM-14.

Commodore Bickel, Mr. Hamid Salim and RADM Daniel Fillion, USN (Ret.) present the Battle E to CDR M. E. Chang, Executive Officer, HSM-51.


The CNAL Aircrewman of the Year was awarded to AWS1 Joseph Southern of HSC-26. CDRE Keys presented the award to CDR Eric Severson, CO, HSC-26 who accepted for him. On stage with them were RADM Fillion, NHA Chairman (r), and Mr. Hamid of Lockheed Martin (l).

The NHA Aircrew of the Year (Non-Deployed), sponsored by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, and presented by Mr. Hamid Salim. The 2020 winner is the crew of COAST GUARD 6025 from USCG Air Station Sitka, Alaska. The members of the crew consisted of LT Justin Neal, LT Jonathan Orthman, AET2 James Schwader, AST2 Grant Roberts. RADM Bouboulis, CAPT Emerson, and Master Chief Young accepted on their behalf.

The NHA Aircrew of the Year (Deployed) is sponsored by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, and presented by Mr. Hamid Salim to the crew of BULLET 47 of the HSC-23 Wild Cards: LT Sorcha Hartman, LT Richard Harrell, AWS2 Joseph Riviera, and AWS2 Collin Travis.

The NHA Pilot of the Year, sponsored by L3 Harris Technologies and presented by Mr. Gil Vardeny to LT Catherine Cortesio of HSM-72.

The NHA Fleet Instructor Pilot of the Year is sponsored by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, and presented by Mr. Hamid Salim to LT George Evans of HSM-40. Accepting the award on his behalf is CDR Justin Banz

The NHA Shipboard Pilot of the Year, sponsored by Trident Home Loans, and presented by Mr. Paul “Sully” Sullivan to LCDR Matthew Schwab, USS Bonhomme Richard, LHD-6.


Focus - Force of the Future

The 2020 NHA Training Command Pilot of the Year, sponsored by CAE and presented by CAPT Kevin Kenny, USN (Ret.), is LT Stephen Vandal of HT-8. CDR Keith Johnson of HT-8 accepted on his behalf.

The 2020 NHA Aircrew Instructor of the Year, sponsored by CAE and presented by CAPT Kevin Kenney, USN (Ret.) was awarded to AWR1 David Ibanez of HSM-40. Accepting on his behalf was HSM-40 Commanding Officer, CDR Justin Banz.

The NHA Rescue Swimmer of the Year, sponsored by Vertex Aerospace, and presented by Mr. Richard “Vinny” Caputo to RADM Bouboulis, CAPT Emerson, and Master Chief Young who accepted on behalf of AST3 J.P. Kelly of USCG Sector North Bend.

The NHA Aircrewman of the Year, sponsored by Massif and presented by Mr. Tyler Boeddker, is AWS1 Heather Shoemaker of HSC-12.

The 2020 NHA Junior Enlisted Maintainer of the Year is sponsored by Vertex Aerospace and presented by Mr. Richard "Vinny" Caputo to AD2 Stacy Kim of HSM-51. CDR Chang accepted on his behalf.

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The NHA Senior Enlisted Maintainer of the Year is sponsored by BAE Systems and presented by CAPT Reggie Howard, USN (Ret.) to ADC Charles Burnett of HSC-25. Standing to his left is NHA Chairman, RADM Daniel Fillion, USN (Ret.). 44

The 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. RADM Daniel Fillion, USN (Ret.) presented the award to CDR Michael Silver, USN, Commanding Officer, HSC-21.

Rotor Review's Best Scribe was awarded to LT Steven Cusumano of HSC-26 for "The Future of Training is Artificial." CDR Matthew "G.B." Mravlja, HSC-26 Executive Officer, accepted the award on LT Cusumano's behalf.

Four individuals were recognized this spring by the CNO for outstanding performance in operating and instructing the MQ-8 Fire Scout. Representing Northrup Grumman, award sponsor, is Mr. Lance Eischeid. On stage with him are CAPT Sean Rocheleau, HSCWINGPAC, LT Brain Larson of HSC-3, AVO Instructor of the Year, AWS1 Jake Sampson of HSC21, Mission Payload Operator of the Year, and AWS1 Matthew Lobiondo of HSC-2, MPO Instructor of the Year. Accepting on behalf of LT Cassandra Gettinger of HSC-22, Air Vehicle Operator of the Year is CAPT Ryan Keys, Commodore, HSCWL On stage with them is RADM Daniel Fillion,USN (Ret.), NHA Chairman.


Focus - Force of the Future

The Captain Mark Starr Pioneer Award is presented to CAPT Gene Pellerin, USN (Ret.) and CAPT Mike Coumatos, USN (Ret.) Presenting the award to CAPT Pellerin is CAPT Bill Personius, USN (Ret.).

RADM Fillion and Mr. Hamid Salim present the NHA Chairman’s Award to CAPT Will Eastham, USN.

The Rear Admiral Tomaszeski Squadron Commanding Officer Leadership Award is sponsored by G.E. Aviation and presented by Ms. Venita Walker to CDR Eli Owre, USN, Commanding Officer, HSM-75.

The Service to NHA Award is sponsored by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, and presented by Mr. Hamid Salim to CAPT Jim Toone for his dedicated efforts as NHASF Executive VP and VP of Operations. CAPT Arne Nelson, USN (Ret.) accepted on his behalf.

The Lifelong Service Award to NHA is sponsored by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company, and presented by Mr. Hamid Salim to CAPT Michael O’Connor, USN (Ret.).

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The NHA 2021 Symposium wasn't just panels and ceremonies; there was so much more! We'll see you in May 2022 for the next NHA Symposium in Norfolk!

The Female Aviator Mentorship Breakfast The Members Reunion at the Willows

VRM-30 Aircrew at the Aircrew Challenge The Opportunity Basket Mavins 47

Industry and Technology Air Center Helicopters Wins Two New Commercial Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP) Support Contracts in the Pacific Press Release from Air Center Helicopters


ir Center Helicopters, Inc. (ACHI), the leading provider of contingency and expeditionary aviation support services for the U.S. Government, is extremely pleased to announce the award of two additional VERTREP contracts in support of U.S. Pacific Fleet (PACFLT) and Military Sealift Command (MSC). These new detachments will join ACHI’s current effort in the Pacific and the Middle East. As a VERTREP program incumbent, ACHI looks forward to continuing our commitment to performance excellence for the U.S. Navy and MSC. From initial VERTREP contract inception in late 2018 to present day, ACHI has maintained unmatched operational readiness rates of 98% while successfully transporting more than 14.5M lbs. of cargo and over 11,100 external loads in support of underway replenishment operations for the Fleet. ACHI has a unique VERTREP pioneering history. Air Center Helicopters, Inc. was the first to deploy the modern H225 Super Puma aboard U.S. Navy ships when it deployed PAC DET C embarked on the USNS Wally Schirra in February of 2019. Later that year, ACHI deployed the first heavy lift capable detachment aboard USNS Cesar Chavez on LANT DET A. Furthering this pioneering legacy, in March of 2021, Air Center Helicopters conducted the first-ever at-sea vertical replenishment of the Joint Strike Fighter F135 power module mass simulator during a COMPACFLT proof-ofconcept exercise. This exercise provided proof-of concept that Navy aircraft carriers will have the ability to receive critical parts to maintain the F-35C while underway. “This successful exercise confirmed the ability to maintain maritime operations in a new generation of jet fighter aircraft for the U.S. Navy," stated CAPT P. Scott Miller, Commanding Officer, USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).

government and commercial customer including but not limited to: Personnel Recovery and Casualty Evacuation (PR/ CASEVAC), at-sea Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP), logistics, scientific research, tactical training, Search and Rescue (SAR), Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) and utility services along with a full-service MRO maintenance facility. ACHI is a Department of Defense Commercial Airlift Review Board (CARB) certified provider and was the first aviation firm to receive “Special Operations” certification from the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS). The ACHI fleet of rotary and fixed wing aircraft includes the Airbus H225 Super Puma and AS350B3e A-Star, Bell 412EP and 206 helicopters as well as the Dassault 900EX and Lear 35A Corporate Jet fixed wing aircraft. Air Center Helicopters Inc. has operated across all seven oceans and all seven continents with mission specific, custom configured aircraft.

About Air Center Helicopters, Inc. Headquartered in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex of Texas, ACHI is a U.S.-owned and operated small business concern under NAICS 481212. ACHI has performed multiple mission profiles for a diverse customer base in various expeditionary and contingency environments around the world since 1986. An FAA Parts 133, 135, 137, and 145 certified aviation service provider, ACHI brings over 35 years of experience in aviation support missions to the Rotor Review #154 Fall '21


Sustaining Distributed Maritime Operations The Role of the CMV-22B By Robbin Laird


he U.S. Navy is working to shape its approach to distributed maritime operations. This is in response to the new age of warfighting generated by the rise of nuclear armed peer competitors. Distributed capabilities delivering integrated effects is a key effort which the U.S. Navy is pursuing full steam ahead. At the same time, the Marine Corps is increasingly focused on how to integrate more effectively with the Navy which is under strategic redesign. The Marine Corp is highlighting how its basing capabilities from ship to shore, ashore to support at sea can provide a significant boost to enhance the Navy’s air-maritime capabilities. It will take time to make this all work, and the Commandant’s Force Design 2030 certainly highlights this. But waiting to deliver these capabilities is not an option. How to accelerate DMO? Ramp up the buy of the CMV22B. It is certainly quicker than waiting for new ships, or a build-up of the Military Sealift Command. And as DMO is inclusive of mobile or expeditionary basing, the speed, range and flexibility of the Osprey clearly are mission enablers. In the fluid battlespace where a distributed force operates, logistical support cannot readily be assumed. Logistics is a weapon system; if you do not have supplies delivered to the right platform at the right time during combat, the ability of that force to achieve its objectives is seriously compromised.

In effect, we are talking about the durability of the force, i.e., the ability of the force to operate long enough to prevail in a crisis situation. Logistics is a weapon system in such an effort. As my colleague, COL David Beaumont, ADF, a noted Australian logistician and head of the Army’s future command has put it to me, “Durability is also about your ability to survive initial combat shocks, replenish and respond, eventually to ensure continued high combat performance. Between two adversaries, it is the one that responds the quickest and replenishes the fastest that will gain the initiative. It is very possible we will have short warning times, so the ability to take shocks and to manage the counter punch effectively will be a key requirement for durability of the force in a crisis.” If the Navy did not have the CMV-22B, they would have to invent it. Without it, the speed and range of closing the logistics gap would not be possible. But to get enough aircraft, you need a production line. And the Navy faces a short window to keep the line open and deliver the significant numbers of aircraft they need not just for large deck carrier support, but for cross-decking throughout the fleet, and working ship to shore and shore to ship which the Marines can deliver from mobile or expeditionary land bases. The gap to close to ensure production is approaching. But potential conflict or even combat with peer competitors is also on a similar timeline. Losing the competition is not an option if we want to defend our way of life.


Features "MAYDAY" over North Korea

As written by USS Iowa helicopter pilot, LT R.L. Dolton (Received from grandson Adam Dalton with edits from Dave Way, USS Iowa’s Curator)


t was midafternoon on July 15, 1952. I was flying over the coast of North Korea on a gun spotting mission with a Marine gunner in the rear seat. He held a chart showing the "coordinates” he used to direct gun fire from the battleship. Our mission was to find targets of opportunity, The big 16inch guns of USS Iowa were directed by computers so as to automatically correct for ship movement and azimuth of the target. While thus engaged, the helicopter radio began receiving a “MAYDAY” call from a pilot who was "bailing out" over the mountains of North Korea. He gave his coordinates before jumping. He reported that he was flying an F4U Corsair Fighter and his engine had been hit by anti-aircraft fire near the target he was strafing. The message was also received by Iowa and I was immediately recalled to base. Four rescue helicopters stationed at strategic points around Korea were always on guard duty. My helicopter (a Sikorsky HO3S “Horse”) was one of the four and I was in the best location for this emergency. Upon landing back on board, I learned that planes from the aircraft carrier USS Princeton were bombing and strafing bridges that crossed the Yalu River (northern border of Korea) in an effort to slow down the flow of Chinese crossing over from their base in China. LTJG H.A. Riedl of Boone, Iowa was one of those pilots. In getting back to the ship, I instructed my crew to refuel and be ready for immediate takeoff. Captain Smedberg (Conmanding Officer of USS Iowa) informed me that Reidl's Squadron Leader was in touch with Iowa and wanted to attempt a rescue today if possible. Pilots of Reidl's squadron were remaining on station to see where Reidl had landed with his parachute. The planes were running low on fuel and the day was getting late with bad weather. Could we do it? My answer was, “affirmative.” I needed one crewman with a carbine semiautomatic rifle. Every man in my crew volunteered to go. I chose W.A. Meyer, as he was the smallest, and therefore the lightest in weight. Meyer was an AD1 (mechanic) in case we went down, and his light weight would mean more flying time over the target if we had trouble finding our man. Guided to the downed pilot's location by his Squadron Leader flying an F-4U Corsair, we arrived on location just at dusk. Reidl was using his walkie-talkie on the ground. He reported that he was OK, but the batteries were now very low and he was looking for a hiding place, as troops were in the area. We could not see him, but thought he was about midway up the mountain. Darkness settled in quickly, so visibility was poor. The escorting planes reported that they were very low on fuel and had only enough to get back to their carrier some distance away. I was left alone to do what I could, which was nothing without backup guns to strafe while I attempted to land. And, of course I did not know his exact location. What Rotor Review #154 Fall '21

LT Robert Dolton congratulated for rescue by helicopter commander.

to do? It did not take long to figure that I had better get out of those mountains before total darkness. The enemy would have probably been happy to turn on some lights for me to land, but somehow it didn't seem like the thing to do. The battleship had rigged lights on the helicopter pad to aid in landing. It was just after dark when we touched down. I told Captain Smedberg that I would like to try again when the weather cleared somewhat. I checked the weather and went to bed. About 4:30 AM the next morning, a Marine guard was shaking me out of my sleep to inform me that the Captain was in touch with Princeton and the Squadron Leader was willing to assist in another rescue attempt. The weather had now moved out to sea and engulfed Iowa in heavy fog and light drizzle. The plan was that the Corsair would swing out of the clouds to our deck level and if I would lift off immediately, I could guide on his wings up through the clouds. The HO3S helicopter we were flying did not have instrument capabilities, thus the need to use another airplane for an artificial horizon. We topped out at 4,000 feet and continued toward the target. The weather improved as we approached our location, but low lying clouds still hung like bed sheets between mountain peaks. The Squadron Leader's code name was “Red Leader.” Other fighter planes of the squadron were now on station to help. It was to be an all-out effort to get their pilot back to safety. "Red" Reidl had been on the ground all night and his radio was dead, so we did not know what we would find. Red Leader said he thought Reidl was under that cloud and gave me a reference as to which one. I flew over the spot, holding my altitude, as I did not want to commit too soon. I had seen a village nearby. 50

Then, directly in front of my helicopter, a beautiful red flare rose majestically into the sky. The perfect timing of his shot and in the exact location, considering he could only hear the chopper and not see it, was an inspiration. I called Red Leader to advise that I was going under the clouds that hid our man from sight. The Squadron began to circle with guns "on ready" if strafing became an option. I could hear Meyer preparing his carbine for action. He had opened the sliding door and was ready and eager. The cloud was perched like a big white pancake between two rising peaks. The only place I could see to land near where I thought our pilot would be was on a slope between the two peaks. The ground was not flat enough to land so I knew I had to drive the nose of my helicopter into the sloping ground with wheels still in the air. Making sure the whirling blades above us did not touch the hill side was my only concern. Meyer was already firing at anything that moved. I carried a Smith and Wesson pistol but could not free my hands to fire. I was busy keeping the plane on the side of the hill. I heard Meyer cry out that troops were moving in as he grabbed for another can of ammo. Then, he said, "I see him, he's coming like a rabbit through the briar patch.” In an instant Red Reidl leaped through the open passenger door some 10 feet off the ground. "Get the hell out!" he said. "They're right behind me.” I turned the helicopter as best I could by bumping it off the ground, as I had no lift from the chopper's downwash. When on a slope the cushion of air normally formed by the rotor blades was slipping on down the slope. As I turned 180 degrees I could see troops coming up the slope from lower down. A few more bumps and the helicopter was airborne. The choice was easy; I went up into the clouds which at that level was a very low ceiling. I flew horizontal in the thin

cloud layer and broke out going north, but well below the surrounding mountain peaks. The Fighter Squadron was still circling to protect us as I headed west toward the open sea. There was still one more obstacle to face, however, and that was a narrow pass which we had to pass through as I climbed the helicopter to rise above the local terrain. As I entered the pass I was able to see a cliff on our port side with machine gun mounts in place. These guns opened fire as we approached. I could see the spark from the guns. Red Leader saw the guns at the same time as I requested help. The circling fighters came out of the sky like eagles diving for their prey. They hit the cliffs with 3 inch rockets and then followed up with another strafing pass. The cliff and its guns disappeared in a cloud of smoke and the helicopter passed through without further incident. Throughout the whole ordeal, both Meyer and Reidl were shooting out of both sides of the helicopter and only one side had a door. Reidl used his pistol, and Meyer kept the carbine hot. They were great! When over water and safe from any unseen coastal guns, I headed the chopper south. I figured the battleship would be steaming north to intercept our position, but I was not sure how far north we were or where the ship would be. From our low altitude my line of sight to the horizon was about 20 miles. The battleship did not show up when I thought it should, so I called the Bridge to ask them to "blow out the stacks" so I could home in on the smoke as it rose into the air. The battleship was not familiar with this tactic, but pilots use it in flying from carriers when radio reception is bad. Soon a thin curl of smoke rose from over the horizon. It was beautiful, and we headed for home. When "Red" Reidl stepped from the plane I noticed for the first time how covered he was with mud, even on his face and hands. He told us how it was on the ground as the press took notes for writing the story. He had heard his captors coming shortly after parachuting and landing on the mountain side. His first inclination was to pull his revolver and shoot. Then he reasoned it would cost him his life and accomplish nothing. He then buried his parachute and then buried himself in the side of an old creek bed after covering himself with mud. He said during the night he could hear enemy troops talking on the trail above where he was hidden. He remained there all night without food or drink. He was confident that his squadron would not abandon him and a helicopter would try for a rescue when daylight came. At daybreak he was alert and waiting. He could not see the helicopter but he listened to the sound above him and when he thought he had a fix on our position, he fired his only flare. If he had guessed wrong, or if he had fired behind us, we may not have been able to determine his position so accurately. Riedl had followed good training procedures and it probably saved his life.

LT Robert L Dolton and ADI Meyer with Iowa's Sikorksy HO3S-1 Horse helicopter, Lucky Lady.

For this action my crewman ADI W.A. Meyer was awarded the Naval Air Metal, and I received the DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross). 51

Features PEP, Part 2: Left Pedal or Right Pedal? MH-60S Knighthawk vs AS365 Dauphin By LT Randall Perkins, USN


n “PEP, Part 1” (Rotor Review #153), I provided an in-depth look at the Personnel Exchange Program (PEP) and its requirements for selection. In this article, I will shift focus from the administrative and academic side of the program to the actual flying. We’ll focus specifically on maintaining proficiency while at DLI, flight prep prior to a flying PEP Tour, an introduction to the AS365 Dauphin, and how the Dauphin compares to the MH-60S. Flight Proficiency at DLI & Flight Prep for a PEP Tour Any pilot prefers to be in the cockpit rather than behind a computer, staring at a tracker of another tracker in Microsoft Excel. Unfortunately, while attending DLI you’ll be a full-time student studying the language day in and day out. But depending on the PEP Tour you have selected, there might be an introductory “CAT I” FRS-Type Syllabus for you when you arrive. In an ideal world, every single PEP pilot would complete some such a syllabus upon arriving at their PEP unit, or perhaps (best case scenario) receive some sort of stateside training prior to moving overseas after completion of DLI if a similar T/M/S aircraft exists. Despite seeming almost like a hard-set requirement, not all flying PEP tours will include this training. For example, PEP Toulon does not include a stateside H-65 FRS in the orders, or a French FRS upon arrival. The initial syllabus for PEP Toulon is essentially a combination of an HTs/FRS/H2P syllabus upon your arrival to the unit. This can feel a bit overwhelming, especially because the training is conducted in a foreign language! Allin-all, it is likely that most will arrive at their PEP units not having flown in the past year, and feeling quite rusty. PEP selectees can take comfort in the fact that, whether it’s made by Sikorsky or Airbus, a helicopter is still a helicopter. If you’d like to maintain some sort of aviation preparedness or “readiness” while attending DLI, you can always attempt to join a flight club nearby (check out Monterey Regional Airport). If you’re lucky, you might even have the opportunity to work with a nearby Naval Aviation unit to maintain some sort of proficiency. For example, NAS Lemore is just a fewhour drive from DLI in Monterey. Prior to reporting to DLI, I was fortunate enough to re-base my annual NATOPS Instrument check rides. This was significant in allowing me to maintain proficiency with a nearby MH-60S unit and therefore arrive at my PEP unit in a “current” status. A realworld example of the U.S .Navy re-basing an “exchange/PEP '' pilot prior to sending them overseas is displayed in the United States Navy Test Pilot School (USNTPS) exchange billet with the French TPS, EPNER. At the present time, the Rotor Review #154 Fall '21

Big Sur, CA

US Navy sends a TPS pilot to the French Test Pilot School every third rotation (every third pilot). Prior to reporting overseas, and post-DLI, this pilot goes through a condensed TPS Syllabus in Pax River, MD to prepare them for their tour at French TPS. They’ve likely just come off of almost a year without flying, and rather than send a rusty aviator overseas, the U.S. Navy elects to provide them with an opportunity to prepare. This is a fantastic idea and process which allows us to send a refreshed aviator overseas. Now timing, career milestones, nine-plus months of language learning, and other factors largely prohibit this icing on the cake for every flying PEP Tour. But if you’ve just finished a flying tour prior to DLI, you’ll do just fine. It will be painful at first but eventually you will become comfortable, or at least comfortable enough, with flying a foreign aircraft in a foreign language. Note: Orders to the DLIFLC are DIFDEN and not DIFOPS. A flight waiver will be required if you wish to fly with a Naval Aviation Unit. I recommend looking ahead, coordinating with the unit, and submitting the waiver early. AS365 N, F, N3 – Intro to the Dauphin My PEP unit flies three Dauphin variants. The Dauphin N, the Dauphin F (nicknamed “Pedro”), and the N3. On top of these, the N3 has slight variations. Certain detachments of the PEP unit stationed at outlying French territories fly the N3+. The base model for all of these aircraft is the Dauphin, but the avionics, engines, and autopilot functions vary across the platforms.


radar, and a doppler system. All aircraft except for the N3+ are mostly “steam” gauges with cockpit configurations usually being asymmetrical between pilots due to the installation of a radar screen on one side. This can make some maneuvers and regimes, including IFR flight, a bit challenging due to the cross-cockpit scan.

Dauphin “Pedro”

At its base, the Dauphin is a twin-engine aircraft with two free-turbine turboshaft Arriel engines, a rigid STARFLEX rotor head with four composite material blades and a tail rotor fenestron. The engines vary from aircraft to aircraft as follows: Dauphin N – Arriel 1C, Dauphin F – Arriel 1MN, and Dauphin N3/N3+ – Arriel 2C. The maximum gross weight of the aircraft is anywhere between 4000kg and 4300kg depending on the model, with the N3/N3+ boasting the highest gross weight and power availability. The Dauphin, built by Eurocopters (now Airbus), entered service in 1975 and will continue flying in the French Navy until the year 2030, at which point it will be replaced by the Airbus H160. The Airbus Helicopters headquarters is currently located in Marseille, FR, which is also home to their helicopter simulators where pilots from across the world conduct much of their training. Each model of the Dauphin serves a different purpose for “La Flottille 35F,” the French squadron here in Hyeres, France. The Dauphin N is a 3-axe autopilot aircraft with minimal avionics and a weather radar. It serves as a SAR asset for the coastal detachments and as a training platform for the home guard unit in Hyeres. The Dauphin F is the designated “PEDRO” asset, or the SAR aircraft for the Charles de Gaulle French Aircraft Carrier. It sports a 4-axe autopilot, improved radar for SAR, weather, Helicopter Control Approaches (HCA), and more. The N3 is the primary “service publique” asset for Hyeres. It’s equipped with improved engine performance but only a 3-axe autopilot, basic weather radar, and no doppler. The N3 fulfills what Americans would refer to as a “SAR Alert,” or coastal SAR mission. An aircraft and crew are on alert 24/7 with varying recall hours. Finally, the N3+ is a specific aircraft reserved for the French Territory of Tahiti. The mission of this detachment is most like that of HSC-25, which operates out of Guam and serves as the primary SAR asset for the island. This model is also closest to the MH-60S in terms of power and capacity with a full autopilot, enhanced

CAT A & B – Intro to the Dauphin As a smaller aircraft, the Dauphin is extremely nimble, but you are often taking off near your max gross weight if loaded with a complete SAR crew and full bag of gas. The habit of taking off heavy with underpowered engines leads to a large emphasis on single engine failure procedures here amongst the French Dauphin Community. Depending on your gross weight and performance characteristics, your takeoff profile, abort takeoff speed, and landing profile can vary drastically. In the HSC Community, this is a simple discussion of power margin that leads to the decision to conduct either a normal takeoff from a helicopter pad, a running takeoff, or a max gross weight takeoff. Here, it is a bit more complex. General knowledge amongst the civilian helicopter community in the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and amongst the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is that helicopters can be categorized (certified) as either CAT A or CAT B. This certification is at the level of aircraft manufacturer, which adheres to certain levels of compliance for each category of aircraft. The difference between CAT A and CAT B is in the ability to continue safe flight in the case of engine failure. A helicopter certified as CAT A is a multi-engine helicopter that has the capacity to either interrupt the takeoff and land safely due to engine failure, or continue safe single-engine flight. A helicopter certified CAT B does not meet CAT A standards (single engine or multi engine) and thus has no guaranteed margin of safety. Essentially, in the event of an engine failure, continued safe flight is likely not possible. Furthermore, Category A helicopters may operate in Performance Class 1, 2 or 3, but Category B helicopters may operate in Class 3. Operation in a specific performance class is determined by the performance data in a specific situation and location. Essentially, you can think of Class 1 as being able to “fly away” after an engine failure during takeoff (based on performance data, length of

CAT A depiction from 53

runway, etc). Class 2 is expected not to be capable of continued single engine flight during takeoff or landing (i.e. Class 3) but capable of continued single engine flight during the climb, cruise, or descent. And Class 3 refers to aircraft in which, if an engine failure occurs during any phase of the flight, a forced landing may be required in a multi-engine helicopter and will be required in a single engine helicopter. Whether an aircraft is certified CAT A or B and which performance class it falls into for that day will alter the type of takeoff or landing procedure conducted. Moreover, to make things more confusing, depending on the type of runway, helicopter pad, and obstacles present, the takeoff profiles vary between CAT A and CAT B. To simplify, if the Dauphin is under a certain gross weight, it may conduct operations as a CAT A certified helicopter, and IF it meets the performance requirements it may conduct the takeoff and landing using Performance Class 1 procedures. If it has the mass but not the performance, it will conduct operations in Performance Class 2 which alters the abort takeoff speed and procedures to conduct if an engine failure occurs. At the basic pilot level, figuring out which category and performance you will be operating in will determine what type of takeoff you will conduct, the abort or continued takeoff airspeed, and lastly, how you will react in the case of engine failure. Why the difference for the Dauphin? The Dauphin operated by the 35F is considered a civilian airframe and thus operates under a blend of these civilian parameters (EASA) and a military exception that allows operations in CAT B or lower Performance Class if required. While “we” (the HSC Community) operate a military aircraft under military rules and regulations. To summarize, in the MH-60S we have the luxury of not thinking twice about a takeoff from the nearest helicopter pad, as long as we have the power margin. In the Dauphin Community, 90% of the takeoffs are conducted via the runway. These are accomplished by accelerating from a hover to 70 kts at an altitude of 20 feet. This profile allows for quick-stop takeoff interruption, if necessary, due to engine failure, or a single engine climb at the decision airspeed of the day based on performance numbers. This discussion now leads us into initial differences between the MH-60S Knighthawk and the AS365 Dauphin.

directions…I welcome you to the 60 vs 65. No longer are you leading with left pedal on takeoff as done in the MH-60S. You are now leading with right pedal as you increase the collective. What was once second nature now humbles you back to HTs requiring you take a second, pause, and ensure you are employing the correct anti-torque action. Due to the change in direction of the rotor head (now clockwise, as opposed to counterclockwise) the direction of the anti-torque provided is flipped and therefore the translating tendency is the inverse of that of the 60. Instead of the traditional 10-foot hover with left wing down you are now hovering with right wing down. All the small corrections and piloting skills that seemed to happen subconsciously in the 60 now must be a conscious thought while flying. Power, Mass, Calculations – The Dauphin F and Dauphin N are power-limited airframes compared to the 60. The aircraft and engines are old, and the gas generator (Ng) can often be the limiting factor for the Dauphin F & Dauphin N. The exception to this limitation is realized in the winter, when torque can start to become a limiting factor as well. In the 60 Community, we often discuss our capacity for internal cargo in terms of torque (“couple” in French) and what margin we will have, not often approaching our Max Gross Weight. In the 65 Community, a mass max takeoff with cargo or passengers (4100kg in the Dauphin F) is commonplace, with the discussion relating more to mass than to power availability for the day. Oddly enough, the power charts for the Dauphin are constructed as mass charts, which rightly assume that the capacity of the engine (Ng) will be altered with a change in the environmental data. These charts will tell you, based on aircraft mass, altitude, and temperature, whether you can take off, hover in ground effect (HIGE), and hover out of ground effect (HOGE). The values in these charts are based on either a continuous Ng limit, or a time-constrained/transitory Ng limit. The power calculations are a bit like tabular data in the 60S Community, but here, we assume that the engine is always performing at 100% for each flight. Hence, the mass calculations assuming a change in Ng for a given altitude/ temperature do not consider or measure engine degradation

65 vs 60 Initial Differences Piloting – Remember when you were growing up you would wonder why the toilets in Australia flushed in the opposite direction? It was a big mystery until you grew up, got smart, and thought that it might be attributable to a difference between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. You would then reference things like the Coriolis Effect, which results in a difference in the direction of deflection of objects between the two hemispheres…only to finally do some research and come to realize that it’s just the water jets pointing in opposite

Rotor Review #154 Fall '21

small boat hoisting 54

from flight to flight. The manual does not offer a “1.0” or “.90” engine performance option. HIT checks and power checks, both of which confirm that engines are operating as advertised, are also not performed. What is verified during a “vol de control,” or an FCF, is that a single engine can pull until the elevated single engine Ng limit without drooping (a decrease in Nr). This is similar to the engine checks done for an MH-60S but verifications during the period between “vol

HSC Community is in their practice of small boat hoisting. Since the 35F also holds the responsibility for coastal SAR, a large portion of their training is focused on this mission. Hoist training occurs on anything from small zodiacs, fishing vessels, and sailing boats to larger ships like those found in the French Navy. Additionally, they assist in the fight against shipping pollution, piracy, and freedom of the seas navigation. As for secondary missions, they are also equally capable of providing special operations support such as fast rope training, parachute operations, and airborne ship defense with a sniper on board. For any questions concerning PEP or corrections to information stated in this article please contact me, LT Randall A. Perkins IV, at randyperkinsIV@ Follow-on articles will discuss experiences flying in a foreign language, Safety & CRM within French Naval Aviation, and lessons learned for the U.S. Naval Aviation Community. Editor's Note: Photographs were taken by the author.

de control” flights are not conducted nearly as often as they are in the MH-60S Community. Dauphin N3 Airframe – In terms of size, the Dauphin’s total length is approximately 45 feet with a rotor diameter of 39 feet compared to the airframe of the considerably larger MH-60S. The cabin has enough room for six seated passengers, including crew chief and rescue swimmer, but can adjust slightly for more depending on mission and power availability. The fenestron of the Dauphin adds a blanket of security in terms of a complete loss of tail rotor thrust. Because of the fenestron, if a complete loss of tail rotor thrust occurs around bucket airspeed or cruise airspeed, the result is slightly less stable flight with the application of a faster than normal running landing for recovery. Overall, the Dauphin has a very sleek and modern form which has resulted in its sustained performance and longevity as an airframe. Missions – Several missions of the 35F and the Dauphin align with missions found in the HSC Community to include the following: Search and Rescue, Maritime Surveillance, VERTREP, and Logistics. The 35F prides itself on SAR and hoisting abilities. Where they differ from the SAR missions found in the 55

Features “You Fight Like You Train” - A Case for COTS Eye-Safe Lasers By LCDR Chris “tyke” Aldrich, USN


very individual with military experience understands Patton’s timeless adage regarding reality-based training (RBT). Only by training in environments that allow utilization of all available mission systems, as well as tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), can we adequately prepare for combat operations. Like all units military-wide, the Naval Rotary Wing (RW) Community faces the challenge of training against accurate threat representations with the equipment and tools available during combat. Without a doubt, scenarios and presentations have drastically improved thanks to the dedication of committed instructors and Commanding Officers who invest in their units’ training. Flight simulators create a training environment unprecedented in its realism, while simulation modes for HELLFIRE and aircraft survivability equipment (ASE) allow aircrews to exercise those systems in flight on a routine basis. We write detailed concepts of operations (CONOPS) and training scripts, schedule ranges and emitters, and utilize training mode on the combat survivor evader locator (CSEL), all to make our training events more closely resemble the real world. Clearly, at all levels there has been significant emphasis placed on creating a “Narnia” training environment that resembles operational reality, while avoiding excessive risk. Together these training aides exist purely to support the fight like you train concept. Yet, despite RBT advancements over the years, ample room remains to incorporate additional tools. One type of tool that is almost universally restricted is the LASER. Specifically, relevant to this discussion is the use of the Infrared Zoom LASER Illuminator Designator (IZLID), a series of either handheld or weapon-mounted LASERs common to all Navy RW. The IZLID is a proven tool that builds situational awareness (SA) for RW pilots and gunners. Though the LASER has its place in nearly every mission set that the RW Community executes, the opportunities to actually employ become extremely rare due to restrictions on their use. IZLIDs are non-eye safe, therefore can only legally be used on a LASER range, within specific range constraints, by aircrew wearing LASER Eye Protection (LEP). In fact, OPNAVINST 5100.27B (May 2008, p. 10) restricts all LASER usage by stating that “LASER systems shall not be fired outside of these LASER System Safety Officer (LSSO)-designated areas and targets.” Legitimate barriers to IZLID use such as these inhibit crews from readily training with a system they would use in an operational or combat environment. Being critical tools that shorten kill chains and build aircrew SA, IZLIDSs, and LASER use in general, reduce risk in all mission areas.

Rotor Review #154 Fall '21

Close Air Support (CAS) is one mission set that requires LASER usage by aviators. Whether aircrew utilize the eye safe LASER range finder (ELRF) to determine the range to a target, the LASER target marker (LTM) to verify the correct target, the LASER ranging designator (LRD) for HELLFIRE employment, or the IZLID for target correlation during crew served weapon (CSW) employment, LASERs are used throughout the mission. LASERs also significantly increase safety during night terrain flight (TERF) and operations in the terminal area (TA). Aircrew must constantly scan the surrounding environment for hazards and when they may be a factor, voicing it to the rest of the crew. The crew must then identify and track the threat in order to mitigate it. This identification could be instantaneous on high-light nights, or it could require a talk-on over several minutes – minutes that may not be available. A LASER provides aircrew the ability to cue the entire crew to a potential hazard. The same concept applies to obstacles in the helicopter landing zone (HLZ), often unidentified until the aircraft is about to land. TA gun patterns require detailed crew coordination and accurate target talk-ons to ensure the correct target is engaged. LASERs simplify and speed up target correlation between pilots and gunners, as well as reduce communications between air and ground elements. Marking a building, vehicle, or group of personnel with a LASER provides instant clarity while reducing communications on an already clobbered frequency. LASERs also have their place in Search and Rescue (SAR) missions. Most helicopter pilots have experienced Night Vision Goggle (NVG) degradation caused by a pyrotechnic on a low-light night SAR. Though essential to defining the relative position of a survivor, placing the marker too close to the survivor can degrade overall SA. Providing the crew chief with an eye safe LASER to continuously mark the position of the survivor relative to the marker would enhance SA and reduce risk of disorientation. Overland, dropping a smoke typically is not an option. If eye safe LASERs were available, crews could continuously mark the position of a survivor without concern for any skin or ocular hazard distances. Aircrew are currently unable to take full advantage of the IZLID in the training environment as a result of current restrictions. According to the 11-95IZLID-1 (June 2016, 00300), due to its Nominal Ocular Hazard Distance (NOHD) of 724 m, the use of the Class 3B IZLID 200P (which is the primary Navy RW hand-held and CSW-mounted laser) is restricted to designated LASER ranges or combat. Based on the NOHD of the IZLID, both operators and personnel in the surrounding area incur the requirement to wear LEP. Even when on a designated LASER range, limitations exist restricting users to specific altitudes and headings during employment, which do not mimic real world operations.


The LEP requirement during IZLID usage is itself a potential hazard. LEP inherently reduces transmitted light to the user, degrading visual acuity that is only compounded by low light or poor weather conditions (June 2016, 003-00). Flight crews often face the decision to either risk permanent blindness from inadvertent lasing, or controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) due to the degraded visual acuity when wearing LEP. LEP need not be worn throughout the flight—only during operation of the LASER. Unfortunately, LASER operations (and therefore the donning of LEP) occur in the TA, which is commonly the most dangerous and complex portion of the flight. Most crews opt completely out of IZLID usage for all of the above reasons, even at the expense of significantly improved SA. Eyesafe LASERs provide a solution with all the benefits of LASER usage in any phase of flight and none of the drawbacks. They offer a simple, cost-effective solution that allows aircrew to train how they fight, without usage restrictions. Commercial off the shelf (COTS) eye-safe LASERs are available today – with a negligible NOHD – for a fraction of the cost of an IZLID. One example eye-safe LASER is a $200, FDA certified, Class 1 product with a range of 1km. The same company also manufactures a $450, ANSI Class 3R LASER with an NOHD of 13.7m and a range of 5km. Comparatively, the IZLID has a range of 39km and an NOHD of 724m, however, with a price point of $4825.64, the decision on which is more suitable for the training environment is obvious. Although they have less intensity than the IZLID, eye-safe LASERs are a cost effective option that avoid the requirements for LEP and a LASER range. These COTS LASERs have similar accessories to the IZLID for lasing through cockpit windows and CSW mounting. Eye-

safe LASERs affords aircrews the ability to train and condition themselves to use the tools that they would need to be familiar with in combat operations. In order to outfit the Fleet with COTS LASERS, the Navy requires a LASER Safety Review Board (LSRB) to ensure the LASER meets all Navy standards prior to granting an interim flight clearance (IFC). That process can cost around $25,000 – a small price to pay in order to provide Navy RW crews the appropriate tools needed to enhance the RBT environment. For the cost of a single brand new rotor blade on the H-60 ($335,000 or $100,365 refurbished), the Navy could buy and field 688 COTS LASERs (the more expensive of the two), with LSRB costs included. Though the acquisitions process is generally much slower than desired, an LSRB and COTS material solution appear as prime candidates for end-of-theyear funds. The cost savings from even a single prevented mishap far outweigh the costs of fielding a solution. If the Navy determines that eye safe LASERs do not meet the level required for priority purchase to provide for RW aircrew, providing squadrons the opportunity to open purchase them by conducting an LSRB and granting an IFC to an eye-safe LASER that meets NAVAIR specifications is equally beneficial. Until then, continual documentation is required through ASAPS and HAZREPS to highlight this critical hazard and gap in training efficiency. LASERs provide significantly enhanced SA, both in and out of combat, and Navy RW units need a cost-effective solution to allow for LASER usage while mitigating excessive NOHDs. An eyesafe (or nearly eye-safe) COTS solution will allow crews to train like they fight, and fight like they train.


Did You Know? The Mail Must Go Through

by Blake Stilwell Reprinted from "We Are the Mighty," October 24, 2021


he “Great War” had ended, and the “Roaring Twenties” had begun. It was a time of financial excesses, upheavals in social order; a rise of Communism and Fascism and a time before the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). America had entered the world stage as a major player and was shedding its frontier image. But some old habits die hard. The Roaring Twenties were a time when everything of value moved via the US Mail, and criminals had declared war on the US Mail. In the period of April 1920 to April 1921, there were 36 major armed robberies of the U.S. Mail which netted $6,300,000 (approximately $70,623,000 in 2009). In response, the US Postmaster armed postal workers which resulted in the deaths of several postal employees, several robbers and a loss of $300,000. In desperation, the U.S. Postmaster appealed to President Harding for assistance. In 1878, Congress passed the Posse Comitatus Act in response to the excesses of the U.S. Army during the Reconstruction in the South. The Act strictly forbade the use of the U.S. military for law enforcement purposes except during times of national emergency or martial law. Strangely, the Act did not apply to the US Navy nor the U.S. Marine Corps, although this was rectified many years later. President Harding forwarded the US Postmaster’s request to the Secretary of the Navy, Mr. Edwin Denby, who in turn contacted the Commandant of the Marine Corps. The Marine Commandant had anticipated such a request and was prepared when he was contacted by SECNAV Denby. The Marines deployed within days of notification, and it was no token show of force or small scale operation. The original contingent of 53 officers and 2,200 enlisted men were quickly dispatched throughout the country; heavily armed, serious and ready for action.

must begin shooting at once. One may be killed, but the other will get the robber and save the mail. When our men go in as guards over mail, that mail must be delivered or there must be a Marine dead at the post of duty…” Simple enough. The mail must be delivered or a Marine must have died trying to protect it. Within days of deployment, Marines were found in rail cars and mail trucks. They had their orders and they were now the protectors of the US Mail. The Marine detachment was formally recognized as the Marine Mail Guards, and their duty was considered as Guard Duty. The importance of this step cannot be ignored. The safety and order of an entire unit depends upon those who stand Guard. This importance is underscored by the fact that sleeping on Guard Duty can be punished by death in time of war and by heavy penalties in time of peace. The Marines were heavily armed for their duties, and carried M-1897 Winchester 12Ga Trench Shotguns and M1911A1 .45 Caliber Semiautomatic Pistols. The shotguns were loaded with 00 buckshot, and carried with an empty chamber to prevent accidents, but always in hand. The pistols were carried “cocked and locked” with a round in the chamber, the hammer back and the safety engaged. During movement, Marines were expected to have the pistol in their hands, ready for any action. Otherwise, their holsters were to be tied down to their legs, with their flaps folded back and the pistol ready for immediate use. The Marines clearly displayed that they meant business.

SECNAV Denby had been an enlisted Marine and had retired from the Marines as a Major. In a letter to the US Marine “Mail Guards,” Secretary Denby clearly defined the Marines’ mission and his expectations: “…You must be brave, as you always are. You must be constantly alert. You must, when on guard duty, keep your weapon in hand, if attacked, shoot and shoot to kill. There is no compromise with the bandits. If two Marines, guarding a mail car, are suddenly covered by a robber, neither must hold up his hands, but both Marines armed and ready to roll with a U.S. Mail driver.

Rotor Review #154 Fall '21


Soon after their deployment, the robberies stopped, and there was not a single delivery of the mail disrupted while the Marines stood guard. It was later written: “Their mere presence has been enough to bring peace and order.” The violent armed robbers who had only days before terrorized the mail and railway services wanted no part of any fight with the Marines. The first Marine Mail Guard deployment lasted from October 1921 until March 1922 In 1926, a mail truck driver was brutally robbed and murdered in Elizabeth, NJ. The public was outraged and President Coolidge issued an Executive Order calling for the Marines to again protect the mail. Again, this was no small token deployment or small scale operation. General Smedley Butler, holder of two Medals of Honor and veteran of numerous wars and campaigns commanded the Western Mail Guards while General Logan Feland commanded the Eastern Mail Guards. Using mainly the 4th Marine Regiment, the Marine Mail Guards quickly spread through parts of Texas and 11 other states. Once again,

Marines became familiar sights to the public on mail trains and trucks. During this deployment, only one mail robbery attempt was made – against an empty and unguarded train. As during their first mail guard deployment, the robbers did not want to go against armed and determined Marines. By January 1927, Marine Mail Guards began to filter back to their home bases. Although welcomed by the public, they had accomplished their mission and returned to their primary job – being Soldiers from the Sea. The Marine Mail Guard mission ended in February 1927 as the last of the Marines left the U.S. Mail trucks and trains. Soon, many of these men were deployed to China and Nicaragua where they fought against warlords, bandits and revolutionaries even more daring, dangerous and deadly than the mail robbers. Their mission was accomplished without a shot being fired. The mail must go through, and it did.

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Around the Regions Region 2 Update

Members of NHA Region 2 pose with the Director of Air Warfare (OPNAV N98), RADM Andrew “Bucket” Loiselle, and the Deputy Director of Air Warfare (OPNAV N98B), Ms. Angie Knappenberger, at the 2021 Sea Services Aviation Happy Hour in conjunction with the Annual Sea, Air, and Space Symposium. The event was organized by ANA, NHA, MPA, VAW/ VRC, MCAA, Tailhook, and CGAA.

Region 5 Update Student aviators take off at Gulf Coast Fleet Fly In at NAS Whiting Field The 2021 Naval Helicopter Association Gulf Coast Fleet Fly In is a week-long training event for student aviators, according to a news release from the NASWF. The event brings many types of Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and agency helicopters to Whiting Field from various bases in the U.S. Students are able to fly fleet helicopters and learn from experienced pilots from Training Air Wing Five, a sector that “supports 60 percent of all primary fixed-wing flight training for the Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps.

Rotor Review #154 Fall '21


Region 6 Update By CDR Jonathan "O'Doyle" Dorsey, USN and Region 6 President


he commands and units representative of Region 6 are always busy and providing support all over the world, but specifically in INDO-PACOM. While many CONUS commands are finding relief from the COVID restrictions, many in FDNF and Region 6 are still navigating the many COVID mitigations not only to maintain a readily deployable force but also in their daily lives. Please enjoy some of the updates from a few of the many commands of Region 6 that are always ready and getting it done in 2021: Golden Falcons of HSC-12: Deployed on USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) to 5th and 7th Fleets (no port calls), supporting Operation Freedom's Sentinel to provide regional stability in final drawdown from Afghanistan while maintaining regional maritime PR support to contingency operations. After M/T Mercer Street was struck by aerial UAV off the coast of Oman, provided insertion, security over watch, and extraction of CSG-5 EOD to offer medical support and provide SSE for further examination. Det 1 deployed on USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) providing support to C7F; provided DV lift to CNO and PACFLT in support of relations-building between U.S., Gov. of Japan, and ROK leadership; training integration with USMC 3rd BAT, 2nd MAR for Fuji Viper Exercise and U.S. Army 340th Chemical Company / 901st MPs for CBRN defense exercises in Yokohama/Atsugi. Saberhawks of HSM-77: Deployed on USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) to 5th and 7th Fleets (no port calls), supporting Operation Freedom's Sentinel to provide regional stability in final drawdown from Afghanistan. Provided continuous SSC over a 5 day span, logging 178 hours. After M/T Mercer Street was struck by aerial UAV off the coast of Oman, provided SSC, communication relay, and security over watch until vessel was able to be stabilized and secured.Assisted CVN 76 in successful location of open ocean man-overboard Combat Element ONE conducted 8 x SOH armed MH-60R RWTs Warlords of HSM-51: Detachment 1 participated in exercises Talisman Saber and Pacific VanguardDetachment 4 conducted high profile collection operations in the Seventh Fleet AOR Conducted bilateral formation and Anti-Submarine Warfare training with helicopters of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force Island Knights of HSC-25: Participated in Exercise Pacific Griffin with the Republic of Singapore Navy Conducted 12 SAR launches, 7 MEDEVACS, and 9 lives saved Detachment 6 participated in Talisman Saber and operated with the 31st MEU and 76th ARG Participated in Exercise MALABAR with Japan, Australia, and India Easyriders of HSM-37: Detachment 7 provided extensive HADR operations in Central America Conducted various full live SARs including a single PIW Detachment 6 provided SSBN SOH escort


Off Duty The Herdon Climb by RADM James McNeal, USN (Ret.) and Scott Tomasheski Reviewed by LCDR Chip Lancaster, USN (Ret.)


lowly and methodically the plebes began working together, and soon they began to understand the potential of a solidly engineered structure built from their own bodies.” This and much more is learned from McNeal’s and Tomasheski’s fine literary work. In just187 pages, we are given a unique look at an often-overlooked event. Herdon gives us this and much more, but first a little perspective. I’m back in Annapolis for my 50-year reunion (yeah, I can’t believe it either) walking around the yard, that’s what they call it. The Academy Yard is a walking, talking history lesson going back some 250 years. From its amazing museum to monuments, artifacts and buildings to the brick paved walkways, one is literally walking through history. It’s history that you can literally reach out and touch or walk upon, feeling and sensing what midshipmen and officers did 175 years before. Down one meandering yard path through the lush green grass, bushes and hundred-year-old trees toward the entrance to the chapel, you come upon a rather plain nondescript 21-foot high obelisk with the word HERDON in raised block letters inscribed on it. The Herdon Monument is what McNeal’s and Tomasheski’s book is about. Through thirteen chapters we are led from the source to one of the most recent events. We learn the background of CDR William Herdon and the events leading to his selfless act of command leadership that resulted in the monument dedicated to his heroism. Then, using a piecewise framework of an actual climb event, the next chapters take us through every part of the ceremony from preparing the monument to the formation and run to the climb itself. Each chapter frames circumstances and the young men and women midshipmen who took part in the event. From the climbs origins in the 1940s to present day, the authors tell us not only of the fastest and longest but of the preparations of the monument by the preceding class to defeat (or at least make it much more difficult) to successfully perform the climb and the switching of caps atop it. We are put into the midst of the throng of sweaty, muddy humanity with all the shoving, pushing, pummeling and pulling; a literal soaking wet crush of plebes trying to come together, building a pyramid to the top. We are also given heart rending but inspirational accounts such as the Bianchi’s and Dickmann’s stories. The Bianchi brothers, LT Robert ’83 and CDR Kevin, both helicopter pilots who died in service to their country, were the progeny of a proud Navy family of former and future service members leading to Kevin’s son, Chris ’19, who completed the climb and switched the caps ending his plebe year. And the story of MIDN Kristen Marie Dickmann ’11 who died in her sleep before the event with her classmates using her caps for the ceremony. She is buried in the Academy cemetery alongside such dignitaries as Senator John McCain and ADM James Stockdale. James and Scott have given us a well written and fascinating account that both academy and non-academy members will find intriguing. It is especially personal to me as I knew Bob Bianchi when we were stationed together aboard the USNS Mercy as well as participating in the event at the end of my plebe year. I strongly recommend The Herndon Climb, check it out, you will not be disappointed. I also recommend visiting the Academy on Google Maps where you can take a virtual street-view walk around the yard. Enjoy the book and the tour.

About the Authors James McNeal Rear Adm. James R. McNeal, SC, USN (Ret.) was born in Hawaii and raised in Southern California. The son of a 1962 USNA grad, he graduated from the Naval Academy in 1986. After six years on Active Duty in the Supply Corps, he transitioned into the Reserve component, retiring in 2017. Scott Tomasheski Scott Tomasheski is a Los Angeles-based novelist and writer, author of three books in the TIME DEFENDERS series. Rotor Review #154 Fall '21


Don’t Wash That Coffee Mug!

Reprinted From The Naval Historical Foundation


n 2006, I began at the Hampton Roads Naval Museum as a wide-eyed intern, ready to take on the new and fascinating world of naval history. I thought the coffee mess at work was reserved for staff and volunteers only. I did not feel comfortable partaking in the delicious brew until somebody told me I could. When I finally got the green light, I happily brought my coffee mug in the next day, eager to drink from the well all working class souls go to each morning. This was my first experience with “Navy coffee.” It was hot and strong. Very strong. The thickness of it closely resembled crude oil. It tasted both wonderful and terrible at the same time. Your mind can trick you into believing anything. When a supreme pot of joe is brewed, many of the volunteers would call it “Signal Bridge Coffee,” recalling the nostalgia of long nights and many cups consumed. After that first morning of coffee, I went to the break room to wash my cup and let it dry for the next day’s angry fix. As I washed out my cup, I felt the sting of glaring eyes from behind my back. I’m sure whoever it was, they could sense my hesitation. I turned around to see GMC Dana Martin, the museum’s active duty OIC. He had a puzzled, concerned look on his face. Chief Martin was grizzled and salty. He was by far one of the saltiest Sailors I have ever met. He grabbled my arm washing the cup. My hesitation grew to fear. He leaned in close and told me to “never wash it again,” staring back down at my cup and back to me. I looked at him, puzzled with fascination and disbelief. Although I drink my coffee black, my mind struggled to find reason in the practice. “I don’t understand,” I told him. “I need to clean my cup.” I was merely doing what I was taught. Bills should be paid on time. Five minutes early is five minutes late. Coffee mugs should be washed out after use. Simple, right? Wrong. I held my breath and found out just how wrong I really was. He leaned in again, this time more relaxed (and less confrontational). “I know you are just starting out here, but I want to let you in on a little secret.” He was almost whispering. “If you intend to stay here at the museum, you

can impress the Navy guys with your mug.” He went on to explain to me the significance of an unwashed or “seasoned” coffee mug, particularly in the Navy Chief Community. “And keep it as tarry black as possible,” he added. “Sometimes it’s the only way you can drink this swill. But you will grow to love it and depend on the taste.” I would never think I would believe him. Boy, was I wrong. Old coffee in a cup signifies seniority and stature in the military, particularly on deployment. As one blogger noted, “You may not be able to embrace your loved ones while you are gone, but at least you can still taste the same coffee you drank the day you left.” To many in the military, this is nothing new. Ask anybody who served or is currently serving in the military, and they will likely give you a story about an experience involving the practice of “seasoning” their cup. Navy Chiefs, however, are considered by many to be the most Spartan of stalwarts to the unwashed coffee mug. I spoke to some retired CPOs who counted four or five deployments on a single unwashed cup. The August 1949 edition of All Hands Magazine declared that coffee was the “Lifeblood of the U.S. Navy.” The article goes on to discuss why many Sailors take their coffee so seriously. The 1945 Cookbook of the United States Navy lists several reasons why a clean mug and pot of coffee are essential to a flavorful experience. All parts of the coffee mess had to be “scrupulously clean,” according to the cook book. Sailors today might read those guidelines and laugh at the rules and regulations. Several recent articles about the practice surfaced on the internet on message boards and military news blogs. One blogger from the Military Times (Broadside Blog) wrote about it this past August. “There are only a few things you need to know about Navy coffee, and most of it involves the cup,” the blogger writes. “You do not wash a Navy coffee cup. Ever.” I took Chief Martin’s advice, but not at first. For the first few weeks following our confrontation, I washed my cup out after he left for the day. But I got lazy after a while. I started noticing dark brown rings inside my cup. My mug started to look like the inside of a tree, and I started to like it. The mug was white, so it was easy to measure my progress. The rings grew larger and darker until the entire inside was jet back. Although I was never in the military, I felt a swelling of pride at my Frankenstein creation. Unfortunately, that mug did not survive. My latest and greatest creation came about in 2009. It has not been washed or cleaned since its purchase. I don’t know if my peers understand it. I know my wife doesnt.


Radio Check The theme of Rotor Review #154 is “Force of the Future.” As warfighting communities evolve to meet the demands of modern and future conflict, continuous innovation is essential. But new ideas that challenge the status quo are often initially met with skepticism and resistance prior to being accepted. Throughout your careers, what is one significant advancement in technology, procedures, or policy that you have encountered? How did your command adapt to this change? Was the development met with open arms, or did your organization experience considerable growing pains?

CDR Ed Berry, USN (Ret.)


was right out of Grad School with an MS in Logistics when Goldwater / Nichols Act came out. I was in the Pentagon with all the ships that start with “T” or “A” under my purview in Plans and Policy. The Joint Staff wanted to start the TPFID process and stand up the Joint Transportation Command (JTC). The Army and the Air Force were dead set against it and the Navy was all for it. It would allow us to use computers at MSC, something we were prevented from buying or even investigating by Congress. At the decision brief, the J-5 went round the table, Air Force no, Army no, Navy and USMC yes. The main point of rejection among the other services was cost. They didn’t realize that the cost would be minimal. I told them they could get a translator program for less than 5K, they changed their minds and the JTC came into being.

From Ray Colman


ood morning from Philadelphia… Birthplace of Vertical Lift!

BLUF: CRM and ORM combined was a Transformational advancement in safety not only in training but operational employment. As a young “nugget” H2P co-pilot with a late 1990s HMM conducting afloat pre-deployment training, the loss of two of our squadron mates and a AH-1W Cobra was a rude awakening to the “unforgiving” nature of Naval Aviation. I vividly remember that night, and I recall the briefing, CRM and ORM culture during that time period. Would the crew have survived with 21st Century crew coordination techniques, flight briefing minutiae, and risk analysis/mitigation ownership? That’s a question that will never be answered but we can make some assumptions. The Marine Corps defines assumptions as supposition of the operational environment that is assumed to be true, in the absence of positive proof, essential for the continuation of planning. Officers are by their nature Planners. Thus, as Captain Fisher USN, former Commodore TRAWING-5 liked to say, “As Naval Aviators we must have a Questioning Attitude.” The emergence and acceptance of CRM and ORM provided and / or contributed not only to the desired attitudes and behaviors deemed necessary for Navy, Marine and Coast Guard Aircrews but it demanded the development of skills to increase overall squadron, group, wing and enterprise safety. A byproduct of this was not simply a reaffirmation of the importance of the wonderful organization known as the Naval Safety Center. Instead, it also resulted in renewed vigor and focus on the vertical lift capability within the U.S. Naval Service and specifically the following: synthetic and flight training devices, improved planning techniques and tools, better overall training, optimized and improved maintenance training/procedures and practices, improved operational planning and scheduling, cross-cultural coordination within communities and services, and ultimately procurement of modern aircraft.

From CAPT Brian Buzzell, USN (Ret.)


he SH-60B was the first Fleet aircraft to be equipped with GPS. Although there were very few GPS satellites in 1984-85 where they were available, it revolutionized navigation and therefore, ASW operations. In fact, I received a message from a West Coast squadron stating that it was routine for the CO of the ship with LAMPS dets embarked, to ask the Det to position the aircraft on deck and turn on the GPS, so the ship could get a precise fix of its location. At the time I was OP-03H and the “Duty Aviator” in the Surface Warfare world.

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From Ted “Alex P” Kaehler, PMP


am an HSL alumni. I started in HSL-45 in 1986 and retired out of CNAF in 2006 as the Training and Readiness Officer. I just went to the HSL-45 35th Reunion at NHA. It has been a while since I rubbed shoulders with fellow rotary wing community members. During my flying career our systems and weapons were fairly static. The big changes for HSL/HSM – FLIR, Low Light TV, forward firing weapons, Romeo upgrade, etc came just after my time. We did face a failed introduction of the Penguin Missile which was a DoD/Navy foreign sales drug deal whereby we bought a bunch of those weapons from Norway and then looked for a place to hang them. We were not the right platform and the weapon did not have the capability to adapt – although it looked good on paper, actual PK was too low with single missile carried - and not enough training rounds. Currently, I support CPF for live training through their Range Complex Sustainment Programs – capability, design, and environmental compliance. The big issue facing training is Live Virtual and Constructive training and understanding the integration of manned, uninhabited, and autonomous systems. Should be a challenging future as we still don’t have good methodologies for measuring actual warfighting performance derived from all the effort we throw at training – short of a real shooting match. We can look around corners and guess but it is still largely just an activity based process. Do a lot and you must be ready. The next ASW fight will be a real learning adventure.

A U.S. Navy SH-60B Seahawk helicopter fires an AGM-119 missile off the coast of Okinawa, Japan in July 2002.

From Doug Hudson


ecades ago, every improvement to the SH-3D was met with enthusiasm and confidence. I was QA Test for HS-4 back in Lincoln's time . . .. one of the great rotorcraft of all time. It's STILL in use driving our President around! We had over 150,000 accident free hours piled up.

H-3 Seaking during the late 1960s for the water recovery of Apollo astronauts. 65

From Col. Howard Whitfield, USMC (Ret.) Executive Director of NHA from 2000 - 2014


started my Marine Corps aviation career flying UH-34Ds. My squadron, HMM-361, was the second Marine Corps helicopter squadron in Vietnam in 1963.

Later, in 1968, I reluctantly transitioned to CH-46s. I say “reluctantly” because the tails were falling off. At that time, the H-46 had a rotor control called “hover aft” which the pilot could activate and it would cause the rotors to re-program. This acted like a speed brake and put stress on the fuselage at station 410 just in front of the mix box and engines where they were coming apart. The CH-46s were pulled out of Vietnam and the “hover aft” control was disconnected and the fuselage was strengthened at station 410 which corrected the problem. The CH-46 went on to be one of the most successful helicopters in Marine Corps aviation history.

From CAPT Mike "Midds" Middleton, USN (Regt.) CVS to “CV Concept” Transition: t the time, most of us HS’ers questioned if the transition from the CVS to the “CV concept” in the early 1970s was in fact an advancement in technology, procedures or policy! The CV was always going to be Fighter/Attack centric, while the CVS was a platform totally dedicated to the Anti-Submarine Warfare mission. When a red flare was seen from the bridge of the USS Ticonderoga (CVS 14) in the South China Sea in the Summer of ‘72, it was evaluated as a signal from a Soviet Submarine in distress, not from the pencil flares of Mac Thomas and Andy Cain after an unscheduled water landing!


The early planning for the transition of USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) to one of the first CVs, was a challenge. It was anticipated that both of the eight A/C Black Knight and Eightballer squadrons would embark onboard. That never happened much to the delight of the HS-8ers. However, our first AX was gonna make the Hawk an ASW platform come hell or high water! Insertion of an impressive ASW Module, much better than Tico’s, was a great start. He even convinced CAG to put an MCJR transmitter in the drops of an A-7! Always went down off the cat! (Very suspicious). Early ASW exercises validated the Hawk’s buoy data link capability and the P-3 guys in the module were good analysis. Early indicators showed the infant “CV Concept” had a long way to go but the technology, procedures and policies were in place to allow the CV to grow into a viable war fighting platform.

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2021 Naval Helicopter Anniversaries Source is original research done by CAPT Tom Ford, USN (Ret.)

NHA Retired/Former Events and Reunions Check the NHA Website for the most current information on anniversaries and reunions or contact

HS-1-70th Year (1951)

HM-12 50th Year (1971)

HS-5/HSC-5 65th Year (1956)

HAL-4/HCS-4/HSC-84 40th Year (1976)

HS-6-HSC-6-65th Year (1956)

HM-18 35th Year (1976)

HS-8/HSC-8 65th Year-Date 1956

HSL-44/HSM-74 35th Year (1976)

HS-9 65th Year (1956)

HSL-45/HSM-75 35th Year (1986)

HS-15/HSC-15 50th Year (1971)

HSL-51/HSM-51 30th Year (1990)


Change of Command HSCWINGPAC

HSC-28 Dragonwhales

CAPT Edward Weiler, USN relieved CAPT Sean Rocheleau, USN December 2, 2021

CDR Brett P. Johnson, USN relieved CDR Susan M. Pinckney, USN November 18, 2021

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HSC-6 Indians

CDR Christopher Whitehouse, USN relieved CDR Charles Chmielak, USN October 01, 2021.



HSM-74 Swamp Foxes

CAPT Samuel C. Bryant, USN relieved CAPT Dewon M. Chaney, USN September 2, 2021

CDR Courtney Herdt, USN relieved CDR Daniel Murphy, USN May 30, 2021

HSM-51 Warlords

CDR Timothy E. Rogers, USN relieved CDR Jason P. Russo, USN May 13, 2021


Engaging Rotors Congratulations to the next generation of Naval Aviation warfighters who received their Wings of Gold at NAS Whiting Field. These aviators will move to the Fleet to learn their designated platforms!

Congratulations to the New Naval Aviators October 15, 2021

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Congratulations to the New Naval Aviators October 1, 2021



Engaging Rotors Congratulations to the New Naval Aviators September 10, 2021

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Congratulations to the New Naval Aviators August 27, 2021

(Photo credits: Ensign Wallis Lawrence, NAS Whiting Field Public Affairs Office) 73

Engaging Rotors Congratulations to the New Naval Aviators August 13, 2021

Rotor Review #154 Fall '21


Congratulations to the New Naval Aviators July 25, 2021

Congratulations to the New Naval Aviator August 6, 2021

The newest HT training platform, the TH-73 "Thrasher." makes a low pass over South Whiting Field.


Signal Charlie 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 Roger William Lloyd, USN (Ret.)


APT Bill Lloyd was buried at Miramar National Cemetery on December 3rde followed by a Celebration of Life at the Elks Lodge in El Cajon (

CDR David V. Stoddard, USN (Ret.)


DR David V. Stoddard, USN (Ret.), 73, died peacefully in the company of his children on March 30, 2021, after battling a long illness. David was born in 1948 in San Francisco to Gordon and Katherine Stoddard. He attended college and was commissioned as an officer at The United States Naval Academy in 1970. David went on to serve his country as a tactical helicopter pilot, retiring in 1990. He and his family settled in Ponte Vedra Beach where he and his wife, Donna, raised their children, Jeffrey and Jennifer, while running a successful computer software development company. David is preceded in death by his loving parents and his wife, Donna. He is survived by his brother, Michael; son, Jeffrey (Elizabeth); daughter, Jennifer (Brian); and six grandsons, Easton, Jack, Asher, Hayden, Evan, and Blake. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to be made to the veterans support group of your choice. Services were held on Saturday, April 17, 2021, 10:00 am at Ponte Vedra Valley Cemetery. CAPT William “Bill” Roop, USN (Ret.)


APT Bill Roop, USN (Ret.), former CO of HS-12, passed away Thursday evening, October 21, 2021 in San Diego from complications suffered in a fall at home during the previous week. Fair Winds and Following Seas. A Memorial Service will be held on USS Midway on December 11, 2021 at 11:30.

Rotor Review #154 Fall '21


LT Phillip “Skip” Roy Lehrfeld, USNR


NS Phillip “Skip” Roy Lehrfeld, USNR received his wings as a Naval Aviator on January 29, 1964 at HT-8, NAS Ellyson Field, Pensacola, Florida. Ensign Lehrfeld was Navy Helicopter Pilot Designator Number R-7192. Phillip Roy Lehrfeld (known fondly as Skip) of Riverton, Utah passed away on Friday, October 22, 2021, at the age of 80. After a year of declining health, Phillip died peacefully with his beloved wife Sophia. daughter, Laura, and his son in law, Chad, by his side. Skip was born in Waukegan, Illinois on May 29, 1941 to Philip Roy Pink and Marion Adelle Olson. He was the only son of Philip Pink. His mom remarried to his stepfather Leon Lehrfeld. Over the years, he became a big brother to Samuel Lehrfeld, Sharon Lehrfeld, Marci Lehrfeld, Sandy Lehrfeld and Raymond Lehrfeld. On May 7, 1965, Skip married Sophia Mc Arthur in Elizabeth City, North Carolina just three days before he left with the military for Vietnam. Three years later on June 21, 1968, they were sealed in the Los Angeles Temple for time and all eternity. Skip proudly served our country, flying the SH-2 Seasprite helicopter. Stationed on USS Independence, he flew rescue missions, retrieving pilots who had been ejected from their planes. During his military service, Skip and Sophia lived in Lakehurst, New Jersey and then in Milton, Florida where he served as a flight instructor. Skip had a love of reading and listening to mystery stories on tape. He enjoyed learning about outer space and spent countless hours studying about our Solar System and beyond. He absolutely loved animated movies, especially Disney. One of his favorite things to do with his grandchildren was taking them to see Disney movies. His last smile while here on earth was seen while watching Toy Story with his granddaughter Arianna, just a day before his passing. One of Skip’s most admirable qualities was that he was always prepared. He loved planning every detail of the many road trips he took across the country to visit National Parks, family and friends. Saying that he took the council of emergency preparedness to heart is an understatement. He gathered supplies that he would have generously shared with any and all who would have needed it. Skip loved Genealogy. He served a 2 year service mission as a Genealogy Specialist, offering support to people all over the world while sharing his passion for family history and technical knowledge of the Family Search website. Skip was married to his beautiful bride, Sophia, for 56 years. Skip and Sophia celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with kids and grandkids in Hawaii. He enjoyed a helicopter ride around the Oahu and Kauai Hawaiian Islands. Skip was preceded in death by his parents and by his sister Sharon Lehrfeld. He is survived by his wife, Sophia Lehrfeld; children; Laura Christensen, Michael Lehrfeld, Benjamin Lehrfeld and David Lehrfeld; Son in law, Chad Christensen, daughter in law, Carlie Lehrfeld and Dawn Lehrfeld; grandchildren, Arianna, Connor, Arabella and Corbin Christensen, Evie and Lily Lehrfeld, Olivia & Katelyn Lehrfeld and Tim and Collin Butler. The Funeral Service was held Wednesday, October 27, 2021, at 11:00 AM at Broomhead Funeral Home at 12600 South 2200 West in Riverton, Utah. The graveside dedication was immediately after the funeral service at the Utah Veterans Cemetery at 17111 S 1700 W Bluffdale, Utah. Skip reeived full military honors.


RADM Frederic Richard Ruehe, USN (Ret.)


ADM Frederic R Ruehe (USN Ret.), age 70, passed away July 18, 2021 after a thirteen year battle with a rare form of dementia. Known as Rick, Frederic was born May 3, 1951 at Fort Jackson, South Carolina to Richard and Florence Ruehe. Rick married Catherine Lynn Adkins on December 23, 1972 in Aurora, Illinois. They had two children Emily Puckett and Eric Ruehe. Rick was raised in a military family and traveled the world as a child. He attended the University of Illinois on a NROTC scholarship. Rick became a helicopter pilot and served in the Navy for 34 years in many leadership roles before retiring in 2008 as a Rear Admiral. Rick was an incredible father who loved his children, taught them to be kind and encouraged them to make their own paths. He instilled values in them through his own example, and supported them as they grew into adults with their own families. Rick loved his wife, Cathy, who loved and supported him every step of the way. He received remarkable and loving care during his last few years at the Southern Utah Veterans Home in Ivins, Utah. Rick Ruehe volunteered to serve our Navy and nation at a time when other Americans were setting fire to ROTC buildings. He served with distinction in the challenging domain of helicopter anti-submarine warfare, turning what had been a utility platform into a viable submarine hunter and killer, filling a void left by the retirement of the ASW carriers (CVS.) He was a leader in the development and operational employment of the Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) in both Seasprite and Seahawk helicopters. Deploying in detachments to different ships at a faster optempo than the ships themselves, the HSL community required considerable time at sea and commensurate sacrifice of family time. Nevertheless, HSL helos provided protection at sea to high-value Navy units (carriers and even battleships) during the culmination of the Cold War with the Soviet Union and into the present day. With fewer career options than jet aviators, Rick nevertheless blazed a trail to flag rank through superior leadership at all levels, and his career probably ended sooner than it should have, due to a courageous fight of a different kind. He was someone who listened, was not quick to judge, and took care to consider all points of view. He was also described as a humble and kind man with a wonderful sense of humor, but that didn’t stop him from getting the job done no matter how difficult the challenge at sea and ashore. Rick’s influence and legacy no doubt continues in the Navy helicopter community today, and the Navy and nation are better for his dedicated service. Rick is survived by his wife, Catherine A Ruehe, his children, Emily Puckett and Eric Ruehe, his grandchildren, Iyla Ruehe and James Puckett; as well as his brother John Ruehe and sisters Ann Adams and Cathy Moore Ruehe. In lieu of flowers, Rick’s family requests that you consider donating to: The Association for Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration, LTJG Ruehe, USN received his wings as a Naval Aviator on January 23, 1976 at HT-18, NAS Ellyson Field, Pensacola, Florida. LTJG Ruehe was Navy Helicopter Designator Number R-13768 Rick entered the U.S. Navy in 1969 via the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps and served as a helicopter pilot until his retirement in 2008 as Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic. His commands included HSL-33, HSL-40, USS Belleau Wood (LHA 3,) Navy Region Southwest, Amphibious Group 1 and U.S. Naval Forces Japan. In February 2000, RDML Ruehe assumed command of Navy Region Southwest in San Diego. He was promoted to Rear Admiral (lower half) on August 1, 2000. In March 2002, RDML Ruehe assumed command of Amphibious Force 7th Fleet/ Amphibious Group 1 in Japan. He was designated a Rear Admiral (two star) on 19 September 19 2002. In September 2003, RADM Ruehe assumed command of U.S. Naval Forces Japan in Yokosuka, Japan and the next month was promoted to Rear Admiral. In November 2005, RADM Ruehe assumed command of Navy Region Mid-Atlantic. He retired on January 1, 2008. RADM Ruehe’s awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (four awards) the Meritorious Service Medal (five awards) Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award (two awards), Navy Unit Commendation, Navy Battle Efficiency Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal (two awards), Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal (with two bronze stars), Humanitarian Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (with three bronze stars), Overseas Service Ribbon (with one bronze star), and the Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait.)

Rotor Review #154 Fall '21


CAPT Richard S. “Robbie” Roberts, USN (Ret.


APT Richard S. “Robbie” Roberts, USN (Ret.) 2017 NHA CAPT Mark Starr Pioneer Award Winner, NHA Lifetime Member #107, Former CO of HU-2 and the Navy’s Oldest Living Helicopter Pilot. He lived to be 107 years old. CAPT Roberts was originally designated as a Naval Aviator in 1939, becoming a Navy Helicopter Pilot on January 6, 1953 at HTU-1, NAS Ellyson Field, Pensacola, FL. He was Navy Helicopter Pilot Designator Number R-1344. A Life of Consequence Richard Sharp Roberts, “Robbie” to his many friends and family, passed away peacefully on 13 August at 107 years of age. He remained positive and optimistic, assured of his place in Heaven. Robbie was known for his quick humor, his zest for life, and his love of country and the U.S. Navy. He was born on April 17, 1914 to David and Ida Mae Roberts and grew up in Medford, Oregon where he was active in the Boy Scouts and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He was preceded in death by his parents, older brother Dale, and two beloved wives, Virginia (Ginny) and Gloria. His family includes Julie Castleberry, Blake and Lucy Warren, Joe and Sandy Warren, Frank and Kathleen Ribik, and David and Emy Roberts. He applied for duty as a Naval Aviator in 1938 after listening to an advertisement on the radio. Captain Roberts served in the U.S. Navy for 26 years as a legendary pilot and leader in peace and war. He earned his Navy Wings of Gold in 1939 and was already an accomplished aircraft commander in the PBY-4 Catalina on pre-war patrols in the Philippines when the Japanese attacked across the Pacific and Pearl Harbor. He fought in every major naval battle in the Pacific, earning nine campaign ribbons and the Bronze Star with “V” for valor in combat. He also flew missions into remote areas of China, supporting the famous Flying Tigers expeditionary force. In 1945 while a flag aide to VADM Montgomery, he served as the JAG Officer for the mysterious “Lost Patrol” Flight 19 Avenger Flight which disappeared at sea on a routine training mission. Following WW II, the Navy began a transition from seaplanes to helicopters. Robbie became an accomplished helicopter pilot when these aircraft were experimental. He commanded the first heavy lift helicopter squadron (HUP-1) and helped develop engineering and safety improvements; much of the helicopter doctrine is still in use today. He personally trained many helicopter pilots that went on to serve in the Korean War. Robbie was awarded the prestigious Mark Starr Pioneer award in 2017 and was recognized in March 2021 as the Oldest Living Naval Helicopter Pilot by the Naval Helicopter Association. His flight logs reflect 4,853 hours in 51 different aircraft. After his Navy career was over, Robbie traveled the world with his second wife, Gloria. He continued to serve the community as a Mason, as a Council President for the U.S. Navy League in Beaufort, SC, and a mentor to many. He relocated to Florida, living in Maitland, Altamonte Springs and Winter Park for many years. Robbie continued active service all his life in the Central Florida Council of the U.S. Navy League and was recently inducted into the National Navy League Scroll of Honor. He was incredibly active, and was very knowledgeable and current on science, politics, and world events. He could be counted on for a strong, well-reasoned opinion. He had an amazingly detailed memory of the procedures and flying characteristics of multiple aircraft and could call these up at any time. Even as his eyesight failed, he continued listening to multiple books on tape and attended luncheons, social events, and the annual Navy Ball. Robbie spread joy and optimism wherever he went and will be sorely missed. Services will be held at a future date at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The ASPCA or to The American Foundation for the Blind. You can view the Navy League tribute on CAPT Roberts' 106 birthday here:


HM2 Bailey J. Tucker, USN

LT Bradley A. Foster, USN

LT Paul R. Fridley, USN

HM1 Sarah F. Burns, USN

AWS1 James P. Buriak, USN


ightballer family and friends, as we come to terms with the recent tragedy we must not forget those most hurt by it: the families of our affected sailors. The HSC-8 Spouses Club has begun fundraising efforts in order to help the Eightballers in need. If you are able, please consider donating to one of the foundations in the link below to help support those Eightballer families who have made the ultimate sacrifice. On behalf of HSC-8 and our Eightballer family, the HSC-8 Spouses Club thanks you for your compassion and your support. To donate and find more information, visit The fundraiser is hosted by the HSC-8 Officers Spouses Club and is not associated with the U.S. Navy.

Rotor Review #154 Fall '21





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