Guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg (CG-64) successfully performed its 2,000th helicopter landing of the year, Dec. 4, while operating in the Gulf of Oman in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
An embarked helicopter assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) Squadron 74 Detachment 2, made the landing on the flight deck of Gettysburg following routine operations at sea.
“This milestone is truly a team effort,” said Lt. John Briley, one of six embarked pilots aboard Gettysburg. “We are all constantly training to ensure the highest level of safety in our support of missions within the strike group.”
Sailors who work on the flight deck train regularly to safely conduct helicopter operations.
“Ensuring the safety of the helicopter and the air crew is something I pride myself in,” said Damage Controlman Second Class Stephen-Lawrence Ellis, one of the ship’s helicopter firefighting team members. “Training is something we do daily so that we can continue operating our helicopters with zero incidents.”
Air crewmen consistently work to maintain, repair and inspect the two helicopters embarked on board USS Gettysburg.
“The work that we do ensures that our pilots and air crew come home safe,” said Aviation Electronics Technician Second Class Patrick Apple.
Helicopters embarked on USS Gettysburg are capable of supporting medical evacuations, search and rescue operations, vertical replenishments, personnel transfers, and air, surface and submarine warfare operations.
USS Gettysburg is currently deployed as part of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
Press Release, December 13, 2013; Image: Wikimedia