ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam – Guam-based Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 was recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard for exemplary search and rescue support over a three-year span in a ceremony held on May 23.
Capt. Christopher M. Chase, commander, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam presented a Meritorious Unit Award to HSC-25’s commanding officer, Cmdr. William Eastham.
The award covered the period from August 2013 to November 2016, HSC-25 flew 321 dedicated life-saving missions and performed 51 rescues and 59 emergency medical evacuations. The award specifically highlighted HSC 25’s rescue of a sinking Japanese vessel which struck the reef in Apra Harbor and also several evacuations of lost and injured personnel.
"This award represents the complete and total dedication HSC-25 has to the SAR mission here on Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, said Chase. “The air crews are always ready to respond and have saved numerous lives because of their professionalism. We owe them all a debt of gratitude."
HSC-25 provides a multi-mission expeditionary capability to U.S. 7th Fleet by deploying two rotating detachments to Atsugi year-round, one of which deploys with the Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group.
The unit undergoes an intensive training and upkeep regiment while in Guam but remains committed to the search and rescue mission.
The squadron has been active in support already this year and most recently rescued hikers who were stranded in Cetti Bay, a historic nature preserve on Guam.
"The Island Knight team trains diligently to be ready for any call, either in the defense of our nation or for life-saving missions in the Marianas," said Eastham. "The ability to rapidly respond with our aircraft on scene, at any time of day or night, requires the full effort of a team of professionals and is absolutely vital to saving lives. I could not be more proud of this distinguished squadron and we are honored to be recognized by our invaluable mission partners at United States Coast Guard Sector Guam."
HSC-25 is based in Guam, where aircrews train for upcoming deployments and maintain a 24-hour search-and-rescue and medical evacuation alert posture.