1. As the new H&HS Commanding Officer, what are your main priorities?
Continue the legacy of excellence in performance that this squadron has shown throughout its history, and ensuring that the Marines, sailors and their families are ready to support any mission that they are assigned, in CONUS or overseas.
2. Before taking command of H&HS, what were some of your career highlights?
Most of my career was spent with MAG-39 in Camp Pendleton with HMLA-267. I’ve done three MEU deployments, one UDP to Okinawa, a tour as an Air Officer with 2nd Bn, 1st Marines, and spent three years with MAWTS-1 here in 2003-2006. Prior to my return to Yuma this summer, I was an Action Officer at HQMC Aviation for the Cargo UAS Program and the Aviation Command Working Committee.
3. What are the core functions of H&HS and how does it support tenant commands aboard MCAS Yuma?
The mission of H&HS Yuma is to provide for the welfare, administrative support, formal military training, and professional military education of all Marines and Sailors assigned to the command. H&HS provides maneuver space for the Commanding Officer, MCAS Yuma for administrative requirements so his staff can focus on the needs of tenant and transient units that use the Marine Corps’ busiest air station to train for combat operations. Additionally, H&HS mission is to provide Search and Rescue (SAR), and Operational Support Aircraft (OSA) services. The squadron has four HH-1N SAR helicopters and two UC-12F to support MAGTF operations.
4. The Search and Rescue teams, a.k.a. SAR, are also a part of H&HS? Why is SAR important to MCAS Yuma and the local community?
Yes, SAR is also part of H&HS Yuma. SAR has the primary responsibility to conduct Search and Rescue support for military operations within 100nm of MCAS Yuma, excluding non-US territories. SAR also supports local civilian Search and Rescue operations when local air ambulance or rescue personnel do not have the capability to support. SAR provides a unique skill set and expertise that other agencies cannot provide. They have the ability to insert a SAR Medical Technician (SMT) into remote and rugged terrain to provide immediate medical care, and then extract the SMT and patient to a medical facility. No one else within the local community can provide that service.
5. As we move through the summer months, what advice can you offer to Marines, Sailors, civilians and their families aboard MCAS Yuma?
Even though the summer is winding down, the heat is still on. Be smart, be safe, take care and look out for one another while the summer lasts and I hope to see you on the next H&HS float down!