Helicopter Squadron Rescues Civilian Pilot

Story Number: NNS170825-17Release Date: 8/25/2017 11:29:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Anthony J. Rivera, USS Theodore Roosevelt Public Affairs

PACIFIC OCEAN (NNS) -- The Indians of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6, embarked aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), rescued a civilian pilot that ejected from an aircraft over the Pacific Ocean Aug. 22.

Theodore Roosevelt was conducting flight operations as part of a composite training unit exercise (COMPTUEX). The civilian pilot was participating in the exercise in a Hawker Hunter jet simulating adversary forces when he ejected. Training halted, and an HSC 6 helicopter conducting a plane-guard patrol was redirected to the scene.

After recovering the civilian pilot, the crew aboard the helicopter administered first-aid. The helicopter then refueled aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and transported the pilot to Balboa Naval Medical Hospital in San Diego for further evaluation.

"Getting in [communication], finding the location of the survivor and doing it all in under an hour is pretty remarkable," said Cmdr. Josh Ellison, commanding officer of HSC 6.

Ellison was impressed not only with his squadron, but the cohesion of the air wing and the combined efforts to rescue the civilian pilot.

"There was a ton of great teamwork that occurred at a lot of different levels, and it was impressive to see," said Ellison. "I'm very pleased with the way the day went and I'm looking forward to continuing to provide for the strike group in the future."

An embarked helicopter squadron on a carrier is expected to cover a wide range of missions, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, anti-surface warfare, logistics, vertical replenishments as well as search and rescue operations.

"You end up executing at the level that you train," said Ellison. "Every alert that we stand, every flight that we fly we have to be ready to respond in case somebody needs our assistance."

It is unknown why the civilian pilot ejected at this time.
The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group is conducting its final pre-deployment evaluation to ensure safe and effective coordination within the strike group to achieve mission readiness and the ability to effectively execute the Navy's maritime strategy.

Following the successful completion of COMPTUEX, the TRCSG will conduct worldwide operations in its upcoming deployment.

TRCSG is comprised of Carrier Strike Group 9 staff, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 23 staff, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW 17), and the DESRON 23 ships; the guided-missile destroyers USS Halsey (DDG 97), USS Higgins (DDG 76), USS Preble (DDG 88) and USS Sampson (DDG 102), as well as the guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52).

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For more news from USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn71/.

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