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Coast Guard, Navy, USAF and USMC conducts SAR exercise

Coast Guard, Navy, USAF and USMC conducts SAR exercise
The aircrew aboard a MH-60 Jayhawk from Air Station Elizabeth City hover over the Atlantic Ocean during the joint service Search and Rescue Exercise, May 17, 2022, near Ocean City, Maryland.
The Search and Rescue Exercise is an annual event that prepares the Coast Guard, Navy, and Air Force for search and rescue situations that may arise that involve coordination among the services.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Emily Velez.

BALTIMORE — The U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, Air Force, and the Marines conducted a routine search and rescue exercise off the coasts of Delaware and Maryland, Tuesday.

The SAR exercise simulated an aircraft incident, the need to search and rescue crew, and respond to debris in the water.​

The purpose of the exercise was first, to further interoperability and the ability to communicate quickly, coordinate resources, and collaborate to respond to emergencies. Secondly, to test and provide realistic feedback on existing policies, plans, procedures, and agreements with the Coast Guard and partner Department of Defense units within the U.S. Coast Guard 5th District’s area of responsibility.

“Any opportunity to train with our DOD counterparts will always be a valuable one,” said Lt. Andrew Hallock, lead Coast Guard planner and controller for the search and rescue exercise. “In this case, we were able to pool our resources and expertise in this simulated search and rescue case to effect a positive outcome. We learn so much from seeing how each other operates and really get a feel for our partner service’s culture in these situations, but one thing we share universally is a dedication to the preservation of life.”

Coast Guard, Navy, USAF and USMC conducts SAR exercise
The Coast Guard Cutter Rollin Fritch cruises to rendezvous with a Navy MH-60S Knighthawk aircrew, set to perform a simulated rescue of two Air Force First Lieutenants from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base from the deck of the cutter as part of the joint service Search and Rescue Exercise, May 17, 2022, near Ocean City, Maryland.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Emily Velez.

“This annual search and rescue exercise allows us to join our DOD and Coast Guard counterparts in evaluation of our ability to work together and respond to a real-world incident requiring joint service response,” said Lt. Geoffrey Fries, Search and Rescue Officer assigned to the U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 2.​ “In today’s environment, situations like this with increasing levels of complexity, having a partner like the Coast Guard, with such specialized search and rescue knowledge and experience can save lives. The coordination shown between these agencies gives us all confidence in the event of a real-world emergency. I have been thoroughly impressed with the professionalism and competency of the Coast Guard. We look forward to future operations between services.”

Some of the participating units included:

  • Seymour Johnson Air Force Base
  • Naval Air Station Patuxent River
  • 2nd Fleet Battle Watch
  • Marine Aircraft Group 14​
Coast Guard, Navy, USAF and USMC conducts SAR exercise
The aircrew aboard a MH-60 Jayhawk from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City prepare to hoist two Navy pilots from Navy Strike Fighter Atlantic from the Coast Guard 47-foot Motor Life Boat, crewed by members from Station Indian River Inlet during the joint service Search and Rescue Exercise, May 17, 2022, near Ocean City, Maryland.
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Emily Velez.

Some of the participating assets included:​

  • Coast Guard Cutter Rollin Fritch, a 154-foot Fast Response Cutter
  • Coast Guard Cutter Bonito, an 87-foot Coastal Patrol Boat

The previous year’s exercise took place off Cape Lookout, North Carolina coast, testing the satellite notification system, stressing internal and external communications plans, and safely recovering two simulated downed aviators using Coast Guard and Navy aircraft.

-USCG-

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