- MCB Hawaii / MCAS Kaneohe Bay
'easyriders' Conduct Search & Rescue, Save The Day
KANEOHE BAY OAHU Sailors with the Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 37 conducted a search and rescue exercise off the shores of Marine Corps Base Hawaii on March 15, 2017.
Naval Aircrewman (Tactical Helicopter) 2nd Class Elliott Rogers, said that this training enhances the unit's mission readiness as it is geared towards rescuing the crews of downed aircrafts.
"It's great training," Rogers said. "We have quite a few saves at this command which is pretty rare for the HSM command."
Rogers said that the weather can affect a search and rescue mission, sometimes making it difficult to find survivors.
"The drifts and currents are the key," Rogers said. "I've been on about seven searches and only two ended in rescues."
Lt. Cmdr. Brian Mowry, the safety officer for HSM-37, said HSM-37 conducts many SAR missions and backs up the Coast Guard every weekend, sometimes they even act as the primary SAR asset for MCB Hawaii's area of responsibility.
"With the SAR missions being such a big priority for us, [we try] getting our guys live training," Mowry said. "Being able to jump out [of the helicopter] and do all the training that's required is great for them."
Mowry said qualifications build as experience, time in the aircraft, and rank all increase. He built his skills up to get to where he is now.
"Anytime you can put our guys in a real life situation to perform the maneuvers and procedures that they do in the water will help them," Mowry said. "When it comes to the real time it can, under the pressure, back up their training at any time and know that they're going to do the right thing and the right job."
Lt. Jenny Rudewicz, the assistant operations officer for HSM-37, said they also conduct training flights where the pilots will practice a variety of search patterns.
"There are different search patterns you can use if you're searching for a survivor, person in the water or sailboat," Rudewicz said. "Depending on what you're looking for determines what pattern to use."
"We're always an asset for Marine Corps Base Hawaii to answer that call because we are search and rescue capable aircraft," Mowry said.