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HS 14 Completes SAR Drops at Yokosuka

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071018-11
Release Date: 10/18/2007 6:25:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Bryan Reckard, Fleet Public Affairs Det. Japan

YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- Search and Rescue (SAR) swimmers from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 14 completed semi-annual proficiency training at Fleet Activities Yokosuka Oct. 15.

During the training evolution, SAR swimmers completed four helicopter drops during the day and two night drops. After dropping into the water, swimmers had to rescue a drowning victim and then be lifted back into the aircraft.

According to Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 3rd Class (AW) Joshua Frank, this type of training usually occurs twice a year so that swimmers remain prepared to do their job. Training evolutions like helicopter drops help train the swimmers and helps make rescue procedures second nature.

“I guess when we do this thing over and over we become more proficient and it becomes muscle memory,” said Frank. “So the more we do it, when we actually do have a SAR mission, we don’t really have to think about it.”

According to Aviation Warfare System Operator 2nd Class (AW) Tracey Hoff, the SAR petty officer for HS 14, the level of proficiency a SAR swimmer possesses could mean the difference between life and death for the swimmers and the Sailors they attempt to rescue.

“If we are not proficient in what we do, people’s lives will be at stake. That’s why we need to make sure we’re on top of our game at all times,” said Hoff.

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