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36th MRS and HSC-25 train together for future relief efforts

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Anthony Jennings
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
The 36th Mobility Response Squadron and the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWO FIVE partnered together to conduct a joint field training exercise to foster a better working relationship Oct. 13, at Northwest Field.

"The 36th Mobility Response Squadron and other units under the command of the 36th Contingency Response Group are participating in a joint field training exercise with Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWO FIVE in order to interchange and familiarize ourselves with their tactics, techniques and procedures to be able to interoperate and conduct joint Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief missions in the Pacific Region," said Lt. Col. Ebe Toro, 36th MRS commander.

"Today we hope to gain the type of understanding that will bring our two units closer together and advance our already strong relationship here on Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and Joint Region Marianas," he continued.

The joint training consisted of a series of 9-Line medical evacuations where HSC-25 provided the air support with two Sikorsky MH-60 Seahawk helicopters, while Airmen with the 36th MRS simulated a casualty on the ground. The term 9-Line comes from a form containing nine lines of pertinent information to coordinate with the pilots and provide the information they need to locate the injured victim.

"It's a standard form used throughout the military to relay important information so the helicopter can get to your position, knows where you're at, knows what he's coming for and knows what equipment he has to bring," said Staff Sgt. Sean Cripe, 36th MRS Air Traffic Controller NCO-in-charge. "That way they come prepared to pick up the right amount of people with the right equipment they need to get you out of a hostile environment."

HSC-25, which is the Navy's only forward-deployed MH-60S expeditionary squadron, is part of the Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Pacific. It is also the Navy's only squadron that maintains a 24-hour search and rescue, and MEDEVAC alert posture directly supporting U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam and JRM.

Though MEDEVACS are the "bread and butter" for HSC-25, the training provided them the opportunity to hone and exchange procedures to make finding and evacuating the potential victim more efficient.

"There is a big difference between the guys on the ground and the ones in the sky," said Lt. Jonathan Feins, HSC-25 operations mission coordinator. "The guys on the ground have a big, bright orange flag to help us locate their position, but in the air it looks like a tiny orange dot. The training helped them assess their surroundings then accurately describe it so we could find them."

Sergeant Cripe, who instructed the Airmen on the ground the proper procedures to relay the necessary information to the pilots, stressed the importance of the training and what capabilities it brings to the Andersen AFB mission in the Pacific.

"This training is very important," said Sergeant Cripe. "Part of our mission is to go into hostile situations, depending on what's going on, so we need to be able to get our guys out if they happen to get shot or injured in any other way and pick them up fast."

The exercise proved to be a successful stepping stone to the joint environment envisioned by Air Force leadership.

"It's fantastic they're willing and able to work with the 36th CRG," Colonel Toro said. "Joint is the way of today and the way of the future."