Sunday, January 26, 2020

Navy Seahawk crew in stable condition after going down in Philippine Sea

via Stars and Stripes.
Five naval aviators were in stable condition Sunday, a day after their MH-60 Seahawk helicopter went down in the Philippine Sea, according to the 7th Fleet.

The Seahawk, assigned to the USS Blue Ridge, was conducting routing operations when it crashed at about 5:15 p.m. Saturday, the fleet said in a statement.

Two of the crew members were found during a search-and-rescue mission and brought back to the Blue Ridge by a Navy helicopter, the statement said. The others were recovered by a Japan Air Self-Defense Force UH-60.

The crew members were then taken to Naval Hospital Okinawa for evaluation, according 7th Fleet.

Officials did not say whether the cause of the crash had been determined.

The USS America, the U.S. Air Force, the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Japan Coast Guard also participated in Saturday’s search-and-rescue mission.

Blue Ridge, the 7th Fleet’s flagship, deployed from its Yokosuka homeport last week for the first time since May.

The amphibious command ship serves as an afloat command and control headquarters. It is the oldest deployable ship in the Navy and will mark its 50th year in operation in November.
I'm glad they're alive.  I hope they're gonna all be ok with no lingering injuries.

This does lead to a couple of issues.  The first is the need to have re-invigorated at sea rescue of our forces if they go down.  Luckily we've only seen small numbers of personnel in the water but what happens if we have a couple of MV-22's get tangled up in the air and 40 Marines in the water (excluding aircrew)?

Are we prepared to rescue that many people?  We do helo dunking training but what about providing the Marines in the back of these aircraft the tools to stay alive the one or two hours (optimally) that they might have to be in the water?

The last issue is the Flag Ship thing. 

I get the need for a ship of this type in service especially with the new concepts being pushed by Berger.  But shouldn't we do a BIG TIME UPGRADE of them from stem to stern?

I'm talking about from engines, to electronics, to everything in between...if not a new ship then totally gutting the existing ships to make them viable into the future.

End of rant.  Glad the bubbas are ok and hope the rest of the crew stays safe.

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