Tag Archives: helicopters

Det from Guam Makes Sea Rescue

Continued from my earlier post Welcome to Guam:  2002 (part 8).  My husband spent a lot of our almost 3 years in Guam deployed.  A lot of what he did was not in the news, but here’s one time when it was international news. 

“6/25/03:  SR, Yesterday we became famous.  I am incredibly happy for the det.  This was the biggest at-sea rescue in the history of HC-5 (his squadron at the time).  I have attached the article.  Love, G8r.

Coalition Saves 27 Mariners in Arabian Sea

Bahrain — Twenty-seven crew members of a sinking Egytian-flagged cargo vessel were saved approximately 350 miles off the coast of Oman June 24 by the U.S. and British navies.  The 24-year-old general cargo ship, Green Glory, reportedly struggled with an engine fire at approximately 5 p.m. the evening of June 23.  Heavy seas in the area caused Green Glory to take on water, and a “mayday” call went out at approximately 5:54 p.m.  The Royal Navy’s auxiliary ship, RFA Sir Tristram, was the closest coalition ship to the stricken vessel and provided assistance throughout the night.  Although Green Glory was able to restart its engines in the middle of the night, the vessel was still dead-in-the-water and continued to flounder.  The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, headquartered here, directed USNS Concord (the ship my husband was on at the time), a U.S. supply ship, and a P-3 Orion maritime reconnaissance patrol aircraft to provide additional assistance in the rescue effort.  By 9 a.m. June 24, an MH-60 utility helicopter (the helicopter my husband flies; it’s like an Army Blackhawk) from Concord deployed two rescuers aboard Green Glory to assist in abandon ship efforts, and help deploy their life boats.  Within an hour, the helicopter began to pluck sailors from the Green Glory’s lifeboats and bring them aboard the RFA Sir Tristram, where they were medically evaluated, fed and clothed.  All of Green Glory’s 27 crewmen were airlifted to the RFA Sir Tristram by approximately 2 p.m.  Green Glory’s decks were awash, and the vessel was taking heavy rolls, as the last of the crew members were rescued.”

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Letters from the Middle East to Florida and Guam

Continued from my earlier post Welcome Home:  Guam 2002 (part 5).  More e-mails from my husband to home while deployed.

“5/11/03:  Hello home, On Wednesday I complete my circumnavigation of the Earth.  It is kind of neat to be able to say that, but I think I would rather be home.  Today I received an e-mail from the detailer discussing options for my next tour.  I want to come home to Florida, but some of these options are fantastic.  War College in Paris, Sidney, Toronto, England, or Tokyo.  My DLI scores are such that I can pick where to go.  It is just a matter of whether my timing will work out or not.  After that tour I would have one more before I retire. ~G8r”

“6/10/03:  I enjoyed talking with you from Bahrain.  It wasn’t the greatest port, but I started to enjoy it after a while.  Just like every other place I have traveled, the people are extremely friendly if you know a few words of the language, and the Arabs are just like everybody else.  I researched a little bit about the culture and have studied some of the language and it has paid off.  I started talking to this cab driver there.  He wore a thobe (yes, spelled correctly – long white shirt/dress) and the Arab headgear.  He was just making small talk about where to take us in the cab when I read the prayer card he had hanging from his rear view mirror.  It turns out that I had just reviewed a chapter which discussed that exact prayer and being able to read it in Arabic impressed him.  From there he started to talk about the shiites (he pronounced it ‘Shia’ without the T) and the Sunnis.  He told us about which mosques to go to and who to talk to…who liked Americans and who didn’t.  It was amazing (although we were told not to get into any political or religious discussions with ANYBODY).  He even played some Islamic prayer music for us which was really cool.  We are now back at sea and I am happy to be flying again.  The instructor experience is paying off with some of the younger pilots.  I find that many of the same techniques work when trying to show these guys how to fly VERTREP.  We are trying to set up to fly a mission into one of the local countries where we fly people (locals) into the mountains and drop them off to fix the lights on towers.  If we can make it happen we should get some spectacular flying.  The locals will put us up in a hotel, and when we aren’t working we can check out the town. ~G8r”

My husband (G8r) is a Naval helicopter pilot.  During this cruise, he was in charge of 2 helicopters and a group of officer pilots and enlisted personnel attached to a ship that travelled to the Middle East.   Their helicopter’s mission is to deliver supplies, food, people, etc. (VERTREP = Vertical Replenishment).  When he speaks of “the instructor experience,” he was a helicopter instructor 2 tours before this.  On these cruises, the pilots continue to learn the “”real life” aspects of what they learn in flight training and he, as the Officer In Charge, is their teacher.

One last one…

“6/12/03:  I remember working in Florida during the summer.  Until now, I thought that those termperatures and conditions were amazingly hot and humid.  Don’t get me wrong, they were, but…it is 9:41 a.m. here as we pull into Fujarah, United Arab Emirites.  The temperature is 98 deg. and the humidity is 89%.  I just checked the internet to get this information.  I would send some pictures, but he haze is amazingly thick.  Maybe I will just take a picture of the haze so you can see it.  Unfortunately, we can’t leave the pier here.  What they do is make my guys stand Entry Control Point Duty to make them stay near the pier.  My guys don’t know anything about security duty (it wasn’t their job).  What they have here is called beer on the pier.  You walk off the boat, drink a beer, and get back on the boat.  I think I would rather pour the beer on my head to cool off.  What a great way to see the world.  I think we should resupply in a place where the port is a little more friendly.  I am allowed to discuss the port we are in once we pull in, so this is not considered ‘privileged’ information.  I understand SR and the kids may be on a plane right now going back to the States.  I hope they have a good trip.  I am sure that they are going to enjoy seeing you guys. ~G8r”

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News Flash from Japan

Continued from my earlier post Our First Overseas Adventure:  Japan 2000 (part 10).

“4/8/01  Hello, Home, I always debate as to whether I am going to tell everyone what is going on because things change so much in the Navy; you never know if things will turn out the way you want or expect.  On that note, I am going to tell you what our current situation is and what we are trying to do.  I found out last month that there is an O-4 with orders to replace me in June of this year.  That means that I have an opportunity to leave here 6 months early.  There are advantages and disadvantages to this, and initially I did not want to leave because after June I would get to spend the whole summer with SR and the kids.  I didn’t want to roll straight from here, zip through the Fleet Replacement Squadron (helicopter training) and then right back out to sea.  That would also change when I went to San Diego and make it so that I would be flying H-46’s…bad.  Well, our Air Boss made a suggestion that I couldn’t believe; he said, ‘Well, why don’t you just go to the Wing in San Diego and help them set up the H-60 (the Navy’s Army Blackhawk) program?’ It is too good to be true.  The ship is behind my early release, and I have talked to the detailer (the guy who writes my orders), and he is going to try to make it happen.  Here is the plan:  Detach from Sasebo July 20 and go straight to Florida for 30 days leave en route.  We would spend the summer visiting (SR would also like to see her mom and sisters) as well as going to Pensacola to check out the house.  Following leave we would go to the Wing in San Diego until January 21, 2002.  Then I would learn to fly H-60’s for 5 months and then go to Guam.  We could take 30 days leave on the way to Guam if we wanted to.  We’ll see – you know how things went last time we tried to go to San Diego.  I am trying to check into NAS North Island in Coronado before school starts there so that the kids would get a whole year there before going to Guam.  This is great because it doesn’t change my timeline and I still get to fly 60’s.  This hasn’t happened yet, so I can’t get my hopes up, but this is a nice alternative to staying here and going to sea in the fall.  In other news, things here are great.  I love being back with SR and the kids, and once again have fallen into the coaching role (if only for two weeks).  Yesterday, Jay’s base team played against the Japanese team he used to be on.  It was a very good game even though the Japanese team won 12 to 6.  Jay pitched the last half of the game and allowed only 2 runs.  He is a thinker and threw some amazing trash at those poor kids.  Our first pitcher throws much faster than Jay, but he is 12 and about twice his weight.  He also throws the ball in the same place every time.  Jay, on the other hand, had them swinging at balls that landed ten feet out in front of them and then watched strikes go by.  In one case I told him to look out for one of their batters (their best player hitter who hit a home run off of the first pitcher), so Jay threw him four balls.  He could have ben a little less obvious, but it was funny.  One ball must have gone 20 feet in the air!  Mr DL and Lulu are on the same team… the Angels.  SR loves it and is so proud that her team is doing well (especially since some of the parents are starting to complain about the crummy coaching of the first team they were on).  I think she is doing a great job.  Mr. DL is having a blast, and all he wants to do now is play catch and hit balls off of the tee.  Lulu is having fun too and is getting a little more caught up in the game because the poor girl is outnumbered especially now that SR is coaching.  I am on watch now and it has been a busy night.  It is time to go to sleep, so I will bid you goodnight.  G8r”

“6/25/01  I hope you liked the e-mail from Jay.  We had a fantastic time on that golf course, and he loved the fact that I lost more balls than he did.  We finally received orders and are slated to depart here in early August.  I really enjoyed reading your e-mails about the farm and how the hay season is going.  It makes me miss home, and I can’t wait to get back there.  That doesn’t mean that we aren’t having fun here though.  The Japanese are some of the nicest people I have ever dealt with.  I see where they can be incredibly frustrating when you can’t speak the language, but my Japanese has really improved since I got back.  I love watching the looks on their faces when I start talking to them.  They generally light up and smile although a couple of times they have just laughed because I used the wrong word (just a couple of times).  I saw a comedy routine once where a young Chinese guy steps onto the stage and starts talking with a wicked Tennessee accent.  Sometimes I wonder if that’s how I come across.  Oh well, we are having fun, and I am going to try to schedule a trip to Mount Fuji before we leave.  G8r”

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