MANAMA, Bahrain (NNS) -- The Sailors who make up Navy Reserve Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (Light) (HSL) 60, the squadron embarked aboard USS Philippine Sea (CG 58), play a key role assisting active-duty counterparts in conducting maritime security operations (MSO).
The 28 Sailors of HSL-60, Det. 1, are part of the team ensuring security and stability in the region's waters including the North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman and Gulf of Aden.
"Reserve pilots have all completed at least two tours of active-duty service. Without this experience, the operational commanders might have to shift assets and send some ships to sea without a helicopter squadron," said Lt. Cmdr. Alysa Ambrose, Philippine Sea's operations officer.
Four of the six pilots currently aboard Philippine Sea are Reservists, and HSL-60 is one of only four Reserve squadrons to operate the twin engine Seahawk also used in search and rescue, drug interdiction and special operations.
The squadron and Philippine Sea are working closely with Commander, Task Force 150 in a multi-ship coalition performing MSO.
Philippine Sea deployed in May in support of MSO. The ship is working with regional allies to detect, disrupt, and deny international terrorist organizations the use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material. It is also working closely with allies to protect sea-based infrastructure, and build regional security and long-term stability.
The deployment is the latest implementation of the Navy's new operational construct, the Fleet Response Plan (FRP). FRP is about new ways of operating, training, manning, and maintaining the fleet that results in increased readiness and the ability to provide significant combat power when and where it's needed.
"We have worked closely with other militaries to enhance the MSO activities in this region," said Ambrose.
The helicopter squadron, nicknamed the Jaguars, deployed earlier this year with the guided-missile cruiser. Both the ship and HSL-60 are based in Mayport, Fla.
"This deployment showcases the ability of the Navy Reserve to provide service in support of the active-duty fleet," said Ambrose. "Their extra experience enables a detachment to become fully mission-capable much more quickly and operate more efficiently."
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