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Whidbey SAR MH-60S rescue a soldier in Okanagan Mountain range

NAS Whidbey Island SAR MH-60S Knighthawk aircrew rescue a soldier in the Okanagan Mountain range
NAS Whidbey Island SAR MH-60S Knighthawk aircrew rescue a soldier in the Okanagan Mountain range.
Archive image: A MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter assigned to the “Longhorns” of Helicopter Search and Rescue (SAR) Squadron, practices confined area landings during a mountain flying SAR training event.
The Navy currently has six dedicated “Station SAR” units located around the US. Lemoore SAR CA, Fallon SAR NV, Whidbey Island SAR WA, China Lake SAR (VX-31) CA, PAX River SAR MD, and Key West SAR FL.
Their primary mission is to provide search and rescue and first responder support for Fleet flight training operations for the jets in their designated areas of responsibilities. Secondary to that, station SARs also work closely with local agencies to be a first responder to anyone in legitimate danger. Other missions may include RT&D support, HELITACK aerial firefighting, and general utility helicopter operations.
U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Ryan M. Breeden.

NAVAL AIR STATION WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. – A Search and Rescue (SAR) MH-60S Knighthawk team from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island rescue an Army Soldier who was on a training exercise with his unit in the Okanagan Mountain range. Wednesday, June 5, 2024.

The soldier’s unit requested transport to a medical facility after he had trouble breathing and lost consciousness.

The Navy SAR MH-60S Knighthawk aircrew was launched from Ault Field at approximately 9:45 that morning and arrived on scene just before 10:20. A bystander with orange flags guided them to a spot at an elevation of 5300 ft. above sea level where the pilot conducted a one-wheel (partial) landing so the rescue team could depart and check on the patient. The rescue team discovered the man was suffering from shortness of breath, dehydration, nausea and chest pains.

The team immediately prepped the man for extraction. He and the rescue team were hoisted into the rescue helicopter around 10:55 and arrived at St. Joseph’s in Bellingham just afternoon.

NAS Whidbey Island SAR MH-60S Knighthawk aircrew rescue a soldier in Okanagan Mountain range
The rescued soldier’s unit requested transport to a medical facility after he had trouble breathing and lost consciousness. NAS Whidbey Island SAR MH-60S Knighthawk team photo.

Naval Air Station Whidbey Island SAR has conducted 10 missions this calendar year, which includes 3 MEDEVACs, 2 searches and 5 rescues.

U.S. Navy SAR

The Navy SAR unit operates three MH-60S Knighthawk helicopters from NAS Whidbey Island as search and rescue / medical evacuation (SAR / MEDEVAC) platforms for the EA-18G aircraft as well as other squadrons and personnel assigned to the installation.

Pursuant to the National SAR Plan of the United States, the unit may also be used for civil SAR and MEDEVAC needs to the fullest extent practicable on a non-interference basis with primary military duties according to applicable national directives, plans, guidelines and agreements; specifically, the unit may launch in response to tasking by the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (based on a Washington State Memorandum of Understanding) for inland missions, and/or tasking by the United States Coast Guard for all other aeronautical and maritime regions, when other assets are unavailable.

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The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

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