Mobile Bay Strengthens Interoperability With Hong Kong

Story Number: NNS060411-07Release Date: 4/11/2006 12:42:00 PM
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By Ensign Matt Johnson, USS Mobile Bay Public Affairs

USS MOBILE BAY, At Sea (NNS) -- Guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53) participated in flight operations with the Hong Kong Governmental Flight Service (HKGFS) April 10 in the Western Pacific Ocean.

The HKGFS consists of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, and its primary mission is to provide emergency airlift and search and rescue in local and coastal waters of Hong Kong.

Three aircraft participated in the event. A fixed-wing control craft acted as a communications relay and provided air control for the search and rescue exercises, a helicopter practiced approaches, Deck Landing Qualifications (DLQ) and refueling and a second helicopter photographed the operations.

"This invaluable training was to practice interoperability between the U.S. Navy and the HKGFS, and allow for their helicopter to practice landing and refueling at sea," said Capt. Thomas Carney, Mobile Bay's commanding officer. He added that the refueling at sea increases the aircraft's range and provides for greater on-station time during extended operations.

The primary HKGFS helicopter made multiple landings and relaunches and took on fuel - a first for a U.S. Naval vessel.

"The Hong Kong Government Flight Service pilots were very professional and appreciative of the opportunity to practice on Mobile Bay's flight deck," said Carney.

Mobile Bay is deployed with the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Carrier Strike Group, currently conducting operations with coalition partners and allies in the Western Pacific during a routine scheduled deployment.

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