Navy unit trains with D-M

Sailors from Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, Calif. conducted joint training with A-10C Thunderbolt II squadrons and Combat Search and Rescue units here Nov. 3-15, 2014.

Five MH-60S Knighthawks from the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 4 Black Knights flew with the 48th and 55th Rescue Squadrons, as well as the 354th Fighter Squadron.

“The reason we’re out here training is to conduct joint operations with the Air Force, and to get a little bit better understanding of how it is to work with them,” said U.S. Navy Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 2nd Class Mitch Langenfeld, HSC-4.  “If we ever have to work with them in the theater, we’ll have already done so and it won’t be so much of a shock as to what’s different.”

The units trained in two of their primary mission areas: combat search and rescue and close air support.

“Any time we get an opportunity to train with another service, we benefit from learning new ways of executing missions and sharing experiences with other units,” said LCDR Tom Murray, HSC-4 MH-60S Knight Hawk pilot.  “Detaching from our home base provides us an opportunity to work remotely and ensure that we retain the capability to do so in the future.”

The training took place at several military training ranges in Southern Arizona and gave the units a chance to test their skills and strengthen joint operations between the services.

“The quality and proximity of the ranges around D-M make the training even better. Short transits to and from the ranges, coupled with the opportunity to train with local units made D-M an ideal location to conduct this training,” Murray said.

During the eight days of training, the units conducted more than 200 flight hours and 17 integrated events.

“While we often talk about the differences between services, this detachment showed that we are able to easily integrate with another service and conduct complex missions under a variety of conditions,” Murray said.  “The professionals with whom we worked were not only great hosts, but they were also experts at their trade and willingly shared their experiences with us. I hope to be able to again work with these units in the future.”

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