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    Initial Ship Aviation Team Training

    USS Forrest Sherman Underway Operations

    Photo By Seaman Theoplis Stewart II | 210827-N-UP745-1174 ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 27, 2021) Sailors hold a fuel pump during a...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet

    “Flying is awesome, we often refer to the helicopter as God’s chariot,” said Lt. Cmdr. Scott Curtin, an MH-60R Sea Hawk pilot attached to the “Jaguars” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 60. “Executing our mission in the aircraft as a team and seeing how professional everybody is while flying together has always been a point of pride.”
    The Jaguars participated in Initial Ship Aviation Team Training (ISATT) onboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) from Aug. 26 to Aug. 30.
    “ISATT is the first week of training events to ensure that we operate safely around the ship and execute our mission effectively before we go on to more advanced training,” said Curtin. “There’s lots of flying, combined training with the ship, and simulated ship and air coordinated emergency events to make sure that the ship and the aircraft can operate together as a team.”
    HSM-60 and the Forrest Sherman conducted simulated vertical replenishment, helicopter in-flight refueling, and responded to simulated emergencies including fires on the flight deck and in the hangar bay, and a loss of communication with the helicopter while in flight. The 5 day training is put in place to not only benefit the pilots but also the sailors aboard the Forrest Sherman.
    “The integration is important, because everything that we are doing is not only for us as pilots, but also training for the ship to be prepared to operate and support missions while continuing to effectively execute their other missions,” said LCDR Rich Grant, an MH-60R Sea Hawk pilot attached to the Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 60 Jaguars.
    These trainings are a requirement for both the squadron and Forrest Sherman to be prepared for future underways and deployments.
    “Mission preparedness is the key focus of ISATT,” said Curtin. “Both the ship and the air team are getting ready to deploy in the near future, this is all about raising readiness for the integrated team.”
    Consistent training becomes important as new sailors are joining the ship on a regular basis.
    “It’s a comfortability factor,” said Boatswains Mate 1st Class Chad Bedillion, a leading petty officer attached to the Forrest Sherman. “We get comfortable with the squadron’s procedures and they get comfortable with our procedures, so training with the newer Sailors helps us to continue to build off of what we learn now and after ISATT.”
    As the Sailors and squadron become more integrated through training, safety still remains a focus for ISATT.
    “Everything in ISATT is executed in a very dynamic environment with both a moving ship and moving helicopter,” said Grant. “Ensuring that both the air team and ship can work together to execute a mission safely is a priority.”
    The sailors and air detachment aboard the Forrest Sherman play a key role to ensuring the safety of the missions through continued effort towards the maintenance of the helicopters and flight deck support equipment.
    “We’re always working together as a team to make sure the ship and the aircraft are ready to go, but the timeline of ISATT is short, therefore troubleshooting unforeseen maintenance issues can be a challenge given the timeline,” said Curtin. “While the mission may be tough due to the compressed timeline, our Sailors are constantly working to ensure that we are safely and effectively managing the risk in order to execute the mission.”
    Forrest Sherman and HSM-60 detachment 2 completed ISATT while operating in the Virginia Capes and Narragansett Bay Operations Area, making preparations to participate in Exercise FRONTIER SENTINEL. As the ship and air team complete ISATT they are becoming one step closer to being deployment ready.
    “I’ve been pretty impressed with both the ship and our crew here with regards to adapting and reacting to challenges that we have faced,” said Grant. “Everyone is doing a great job in executing the mission safely and continuing to push forward.”
    Forrest Sherman participates in FRONTIER SENTINEL alongside U.S. Coast Guard, and Canadian Allies to enhance their Arctic capabilities.



    Date Taken: 08.30.2021
    Date Posted: 09.09.2021 12:43
    Story ID: 404794
    Location: USNORTHCOM, AT SEA

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