HomeNewsFeatures

Feature Search

20th EBS Aid in Rescue off Coast of Guam

Six passengers aboard a canoe were located in a joint search and rescue mission June 25, 2018, in the Pacific Ocean Southwest of Guam. Crew members flying a B-52H Stratofortress assigned to the 20th Expeditionary Bomber Squadron (EBS), stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base (AFB), La., and deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, successfully located six passengers who had been missing for six days and relayed their location to the U.S. Coast Guard. (courtesy photo)

Six passengers aboard a canoe were located in a joint search and rescue mission June 25, 2018, in the Pacific Ocean Southwest of Guam. Crew members flying a B-52H Stratofortress assigned to the 20th Expeditionary Bomber Squadron (EBS), stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base (AFB), La., and deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam, successfully located six passengers who had been missing for six days and relayed their location to the U.S. Coast Guard. (courtesy photo)

Six passengers aboard a canoe were located in a joint search and rescue mission June 25, 2018, in the Pacific Ocean Southwest of Guam. Crew members flying a B-52H Stratofortress assigned to the 20th Expeditionary Bomber Squadron (EBS), stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base (AFB), La., and deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam successfully located six passengers who had been missing for six days and relayed their location to the U.S. Coast Guard. (courtesy photo)

Six passengers aboard a canoe were located in a joint search and rescue mission June 25, 2018, in the Pacific Ocean Southwest of Guam. Crew members flying a B-52H Stratofortress assigned to the 20th Expeditionary Bomber Squadron (EBS), stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base (AFB), La., and deployed to Andersen AFB, Guam successfully located six passengers who had been missing for six days and relayed their location to the U.S. Coast Guard. (courtesy photo)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam --

The B-52 is world-famous for its long-range capabilities, but during a routine flight near Guam June 25, 2018, crew members with the 20th  Expeditionary Bomb Squadron (EBS), stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base (AFB), La., and deployed to Andersen AFB here, were tasked with a unique situation: to use their aircraft’s versatility in the search and rescue of a lost local vessel with six passengers onboard.

 

It was approximately 11 a.m. and Capt. Sean Simpson, 20th  EBS aircraft commander, and his crew were airborne over Guam. At this time the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) made a call to the 20th EBS at Andersen AFB requesting assistance locating a historic Pacific Island style canoe that has been missing since June 19.

 

The canoe sailors were supposed to make a one-day journey from Piagailoe Atoll with minimal provisions. But after they went missing for six days, their families contacted the U.S. Coast Guard for help.

 

The information was relayed to the crews of the already airborne B-52s. At first, they were surprised.

 

“This was a unique situation for us,” said Simpson. “It’s not every day the B-52 gets called for a search and rescue.”

 

Operating under the knowledge that the vessel could be anywhere within a 275 x 230 nautical mile radius southeast of Guam, the crew knew the mission wouldn’t be easy. Even finding a familiar or large missing vessel is a tricky task, and Simpson and his crew didn’t know what this historically-styled canoe looked like.

 

"We’d never heard of this kind of vessel before,” said Simpson. “We knew this was going to be a challenge.”

 

However, aid came in the form of a popular culture reference. The canoe just so happened to resemble one helmed by a famous Disney princess.

 

“We asked for more details about the vessel, and the dispatcher told us 'it's just like the boat from Moana'.”

 

The reference sailed by Simpson, who’d never seen the film, but it gave the rest of the crew a clear idea of what to look for.

 

For more than three hours, the crews scoured the ocean for the wayward vessel. At approximately 2:45 p.m., the crew in Raider 11 spotted a small wooden canoe with a white sail and six passengers on board . Somehow, in all that swath of ocean, they had found the small wooden ship.

 

“We spotted this vessel from about 19,000 feet,” said 1st Lt. Jordan Allen, 20th EBS crew member. “It’s really a small miracle that we were able to see it because there were quite a bit of clouds.”

 

The B-52 crew members were able to give the Coast Guard the coordinates, who then contacted a nearby civilian ship to voluntarily assist in the recovery.

 

The local islanders were traveling in a vessel important to their culture and heritage. They didn’t want to leave the canoe, but gratefully accepted food, water, and directions back to land. The mission was successful.

 

“We were so excited to be able to help,” said Jordan. “This is a highlight of our tour here. It shows the spirit of teamwork we all have. Not just the aircrew, but the Coast Guard and everyone else who was able to help.”

 

This successful search and rescue mission sits as a capstone on the 20th EBS's deployment, speaking to the spirit of service the squadron has brought to and kept with them in Guam.

 

"I couldn't be more proud of everyone here for their efforts,” said Lt. Col. Jarred Prier, 20th EBS Director of Operations. “Search and rescue isn't something people typically think of when they talk about the B-52, but our training and adaptability really paid off. Being a part of this successful search and rescue operation speaks to the diversity of our skillset and shows our importance here in the Pacific."


 


Social Media

Facebook Twitter
https://www.postguam.com/news/local/baby-turtles-head-for-the-sea/video_dba30e92-8336-11e8-8269-4b8efe2566d0.html One of the perks of living in Guam: seeing adorable baby sea turtles migrate. Check out this bale of the newly hatched creatures at Castro beach.
Social media is a quick and easy way to stay in touch with friends and keep up to date with whats going on. Unfortunately posting the wrong thing to social media can be a quick and easy way to find yourself in hot water. Make sure that what you're posting is allowed and that you aren't violating any regulations or OPSEC standards. For more information on social media use visit our website at: http://www.andersen.af.mil/Units/Wing-Staff-Agencies/Public-Affairs/
In an effort to keep the base population informed of emergency situations occuring on or around the installation, there is the new AtHoc App available for download.
Congratulations to Col. Daniel Roesch for assuming command of the 36th Contingency Response Group, and we would like to say thank you to Col. Carmelo Giovenco for all of his contributions to Andersen. Please feel free to like share and tag. For high resolution photos of the event check out our Flickr albums at the link below! https://www.flickr.com/photos/andersenafb/albums/72157669041030347
Command Chief Master Sergeant of Pacific Air Forces Anthony Johnson visited Andersen Air Force Base, Guam and witnessed a new generation of defenders showcase their skills. Photos from this visit can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/andersenafb/albums/72157698378001974 U.S. Pacific Air Forces #TeamAndersen #CommandoWarrior #DefenderChallenge #SecurityForces, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Joint Region Marianas,
The 2018 Advanced Combat Skills Assessment hosted at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam allowed Security Forces members from throughout the Pacific to put their talents to the test. The teams participated in events such as shooting, combatives, and mental and physical challenges. For more photos of the event visit our flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/andersenafb/albums/72157670479415428 U.S. Pacific Air Forces, U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, United States Air Force, Airman Magazine Yokota Air Base, Misawa Air Base, Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Osan Air Base, Joint Region Marianas, @joJoint Base Elmendorf-Richardson JBER (official), KadenaAirBase, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, U.S. Air Force Security Forces
Congratulations to Lt. Col. Lori Hodge for assuming command of the 36th Force Support Squadron, and we would like to say thank you to Lt. Col. Dawn Standridge for all of her contributions to Andersen. Please feel free to like share and tag. For high resolution photos check out our Flickr albums at the link below! https://www.flickr.com/photos/andersenafb/albums/72157698269347454
Andersen Exchange and Food Court are now open for normal hours of operation
Delayed reporting authorized for Andersen AFB For Immediate Release July 5, 2018 0600 Delayed reporting has been authorized for all non-mission essential Andersen AFB personnel. The adjusted report time is now 10:00 a.m. All mission essential personnel should report at normal times. Please contact your chain of command for more details. (This post will be updated as new information becomes available) Stay safe! AFMS - Andersen - 36th Medical Group, 36th Force Support Squadron, Joint Region Marianas,
***CONDITIONS WILL CONTINUE TO DETERIORATE THIS EVENING ACROSS THE MARIANAS***
(2/2) We alerted @mpdmontgomery and have been working with them on this incident. The base went into lockdown for t… https://t.co/nwRRVGWLTW
(1/2) At approx. 12:30 a.m., Airmen from 42nd Security Forces Squadron responded to suspicious activity near the fo… https://t.co/KZLGaUG2Sh
The upcoming gate schedule during the holidays: Maxwell AFB: Day Street and Kelly Street gates will be closed Nov.… https://t.co/pt2FZrIshK
Team Maxwell, Flu shots are being offered today (November 6) to Active Duty, dependents (to include children), and… https://t.co/lSjfG0yDtp
The City of Montgomery has done a lot of work to improve downtown and the city as a whole. This award is well-deser… https://t.co/yFoBc5VUfY
Some exciting things happening over in the Barnes Center at Gunter, as the First Sergeant Academy revamps curriculu… https://t.co/0Y5pRPfnZH
The Kelly St Gate will be restricted to FEMA and commercial truck traffic only, at 6 p.m. tonight and lasting throu… https://t.co/UoIvqHBCLf
Winds expected throughout the evening across central Alabama. Nothing like they've seen in Florida and the Gulf Coa… https://t.co/Wiw7vAVTBn
Tropical Storm and Hurricane warnings for counties south of Montgomery. Stay safe as #HurricaneMichael comes ashore. https://t.co/ZUfiger1pg
RT @NWSMobile: 750am - Potentially CATASTROPHIC Hurricane #Michael heading toward the Florida Panhandle this morning. This is the GOES-East…
Another @RedCross shelter is open in Alabama, this time in Troy for those with medical needs. #hurricanemicheal https://t.co/K57hlmQX6A
A new @RedCross shelter is open in Alabama for anyone displaced by #HurricaneMichael. https://t.co/uswIePOULo
We're expecting more than 800 first responders to stage out of Maxwell before moving south and support… https://t.co/YQRfek1EUu
A local Evacuee Shelter is open in Montgomery for anyone getting away from #HurricaneMichael. https://t.co/dxPoXWnHt8
Some good information on local county items in advance of #HurricaneMichael https://t.co/bxDI1dSP5u
The Maxwell Fitness Center will be housing teams supporting FEMA efforts in response to #HurricaneMichael. The Maxw… https://t.co/hPqVs3d0tK
@MaxGunFitness center will be housing teams supporting FEMA efforts in Florida and South Alabama. Today at 1500 the… https://t.co/6LXQhZYWes
Maxwell and Gunter are not in the path, but Alabama will experience some impacts. Stay safe and informed as the sto… https://t.co/GIxNpePh5E
I added a video to a @YouTube playlist https://t.co/L6qxWeTonG 2018 GOE LtCol(ret) Bill Schwertfeger (USAF) Introduction Video
I added a video to a @YouTube playlist https://t.co/D12k6pue6C 2018 GOE LtCol(ret) Kelly Latimer (USAF) Introduction Video