AGANA, Guam (NNS) -- As part of Exercise Valiant Shield '06, a detachment of Sailors from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 2 "Golden Falcons" flew to the Island of Guam, June 18-22, to conduct strike warfare mission training.
The squadron joined their counterparts from the HS-14 "Chargers", Navy Special Warfare Unit (SEAL Team) 1 and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5.
Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 2nd Class (NAC/AW) Kyle Cannon, of HS-14, discovered that working with another HS squadron in addition to SEAL and EOD teams is challenging and rewarding.
"This line of work requires a lot of flexibility," Cannon said.
He said that Sailors from the special operations community are very intent on mission accomplishment, whether the mission involves parachutists dropping out of the helicopter cabin or fast-roping onto rooftops in an urban environment at night.
Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 1st Class (NAC/AW) Cory Merritt, an air cew memeber from HS-2, said that exercises such as Valiant Shield are valuable to a squadron embarked on a ship because they afford both pilots and air crew the opportunity to maintain and improve proficiency in their aircraft's land-based strike warfare mission.
"This week allowed us to work on both aspects of our strike warfare mission, combat search and rescue and NSW (Naval Special Warfare)," said Merritt. Both are missions that HS-2 cannot normally train for while embarked aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), he said.
Both squadrons also flew direct action missions in a low-light environment, deploying special operations troops into a simulated hostile urban setting with the intent of capturing a particular building or personnel within that building.
Merritt emphasized the real-world application of such simulations for SEALs, the air crew, and pilots.
He said that with HS squadrons deploying to Iraq, such training is invaluable and it increases the operational readiness of HS-2 in the event of such a deployment.
The Sailors from HS-14, which operates out of Yokosuka, Japan, also found the training extremely valuable, especially the opportunity to fly with a squadron based in the United States.
Cannon said that working with HS-2, if anything, cleared up any questions or complications.
"It shows the capabilities of two separate squadrons, which typically work in different areas of responsibility, and what they can accomplish together," he said. "We are two squadrons, but we have one goal."
Valiant Shield is a joint exercise designed to demonstrate the United States' commitment to the Pacific Region. To learn more about Valiant Shield, visit the Web site at www.pacom.mil.
For related news, visit the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.