NAPLES, Italy (NNS) -- Sailors from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28, the Dragon Whales completed a Phase A inspection this week on an MH-60-S Seahawk. The helo is the squadron's only helicopter permanently assigned to Naples, Italy.
After 150 to 175 hours of flight time, the Dragon Whales must complete Phase A inspection before it can fly its helo again. The inspection involves breaking down and inspecting certain areas of the helo and repairing parts if necessary. Afterwards, the squadron puts the helo back together and it's ready for flight operations.
After a Phase A inspection, there are also B, C, and D phases performed one after the other each time a certain amount of flight time is logged.
"Our team did a great job completing this Phase A inspection," said HSC-28's Leading Petty Officer, Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 1st Class Anthony Foppiano. "The goal was to complete the inspection in five working days. Today (April 6) is the third day and we're already wrapping things up."
According to Aviation Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Jason McConnell, a maintainer assigned to HSC-28, every phase is a challenge, demanding efficiency and attention to detail.
"All phases aren't easy, but in my opinion, compared to the other phases, Phase A is quick and simple and has the least amount of work involved," said McConnell. "We want to hurry up and get the job done, but we also make sure we do it right."
HSC-28 runs four other detachments, but according to Foppiano, the one in Naples, with its small size and area of operations makes it unique.
"This detachment gets to deploy aboard USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), which visits ports other ships are not likely to," said Fappiano. "We have half the personnel of our other helo dets, but this increases our camaraderie and morale."
HSC-28's homeport is in Norfolk, Va., but the squadron rotates and deploys its members to Naples for six months each time.
"This is my second time in Naples and I love it here because we're a small, tight-knit community," said McConell. "I love the environment and everybody gets along so well."
The Dragon Whales main mission while in Naples is to provide logistical support to USS Mount Whitney, ported in Gaeta, Italy, along with search and rescue efforts if needed.
For more news from Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy, visit www.navy.mil/local/nsanaples/.