News: Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Air Rescue Squadron 71 conducts first flight of new year
Story by Cpl. Vanessa Jimenez
IWAKUNI, Japan - The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Air Rescue Squadron 71 conducted flight training January 8, 2013.
“We conducted the first flight training in the new year today,” said JMSDF Cmdr. Shinji Nakahara, ARS- 71 Chief Officer. “But, US-1A and US-2 were not the only aircraft that flew, all aircraft assigned to JMSDF Iwakuni Base conducted flight training.”
JMSDF launched 10 Iwakuni-based aircraft to conduct training. The ARS-71 US-1A and US-2 aircraft conducted a search-and-rescue training scenario to save a simulated casualty floating in the water.
Aircraft circled above the site to simulate the searching portion of the training. Aircraft then demonstrated a water-landing. Once aircraft landed, divers jumped into the water to rescue the casualty.
“Both US-1A and US-2 performed high-speed water taxiing as the final portion of the training,” said Nakahara. “We taxied on the water, and finished the training with an amphibious landing.”
The US-1A and US-2 are large, short takeoff and landing aircraft designed for search-and-rescue work.
“The aircraft is capable of carrying approximately three tons (6,000 pounds) of supplies or 30 passengers or 11 flat beds,” said Nakahara. “Additionally, medical personnel are able to conduct surgical operations inside the aircraft when necessary.”
Established in July 1976, ARS-71 operates with amphibious flying boats. Their mission is to conduct search and rescue of missing aircraft, vessels and personnel in water. They also supply disaster relief and are capable of patient transport for medical emergencies from remote islands.
According to the JMSDF, their search and rescue aircraft dispatched 27 times in 2012.
US-1A and US-2 remain prepared and ready both on JMSDF Iwakuni Air Base and Atsugi Air Base seven days a week and 24 hours a day. This is so people located on remote islands and on ships have confidence that JMSDF search and rescue teams are ready to assist them.
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