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USS Shiloh Sailors Participate in Helicopter Qualifications

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS090310-17
Release Date: 3/10/2009 6:06:00 PM

By Aviation Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Steven Khor, USS Shiloh Public Affairs

USS SHILOH, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors from the guided missile cruiser USS Shiloh(CG 67) participated in the ship's helicopter qualifications Feb. 24 while deployed in the Western Pacific Ocean.

One of the qualifications the cruiser must attain is the Helicopter In-Flight Refueling or HIFR. Accompanying USS Shiloh for the HIFR is a SH-60 Bravo Seahawk Helicopter from Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron Light 51.

During this evolution, the ship's crew first prepares the refueling hose by drawing out as much of the hose onto the flight deck as possible. Next, the helicopter flies close to the ship and hovers while air crew on board lower the helicopter's rescue hoist to the ship's flight deck. A hook on the hoist connects to the refueling nozzle and lifts the refueling hose up to the aircraft. Once the hose arrives at the aircraft, the nozzle is disconnected from the rescue hoist hook and connected to the helicopter's refueling reservoir. Refueling can commence, as the helicopter continues to hover alongside the moving ship. When the aircraft has finished refueling, aircrew disconnect the refueling nozzle and lower the hose back down the flight deck again safely using the helicopter's rescue hoist. HIFR is especially useful for refueling when a helicopter cannot safely receive fuel on the cruiser's flight deck.

HIFR brings to the pilots the challenge of keeping their aircraft flying in line with a moving ship. Many enjoy performing the evolution explains Lt. James Hong, HSL-51 pilot.

"HIFR is one of the more exciting evolutions during week one workups because it presents a challenge of hovering a helicopter in line with a ship" said Hong.

HSL-51 Warlords and Shiloh are both homeported in Japan and routinely deploy to the Western Pacific for the Navy's 7th Fleet.

For more news from U.S. 7th Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/c7f.



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