Coast Guard and New York Air Guard Rescue crewmen meet

New York National Guard
Story by Senior Airman Christopher Muncy

Date: 02.05.2015
Posted: 02.23.2015 12:10
News ID: 155162
103rd Rescue Squadron meets with Coast Guardsmen from Air Station Elizabeth City

WESTHAMPTON BEACH, NY - Coast Guardsmen and members of the New York Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing are looking at ways they can train together and learn from each other.

Coast Guard aircrew and rescue divers from the Coast Guard’s Air Station Elizabeth City, in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, discussed inter-service training opportunities with their 106th Rescue Wing counterparts during a Feb. 5 visit to Gabreski Air National Guard Base here.

Arriving at Gabreski in a C-130J, the Coast Guard aircrew and divers toured the base and met with members from the 106th Rescue Wing’s 101st, 102nd and 103rd Rescue Squadrons.

The Coast Guardsmen got a look at the various rescue systems and weapons and defensive systems used by the 106th. The members of the 106th, meanwhile, were able to familiarize themselves with the Coast Guard C-130J, an aircraft the Air Guard unit is due to receive in the future.

"We're pretty fortunate that we can come and see how others operate when they’re dealing with long term patient transport and care, and different ways to recover patients in situations that are a little more advanced than what we see." said Coast Guard Aviation Survival Technician Steve Scheren, a helicopter rescue swimmer.

"It's pretty cool to get in and see how [the 103rd] does things, and how that can apply to us,” he added.

During the conversation, the Coast Guardsmen discussed a recent rescue which required the hoisting of an unconscious, intubated patient from a vessel over two hours away from the nearest hospital. The 103rd specializes in this type of treatment, in which a plastic tube is inserted into the patient’s windpipe to allow them to breath.

The 106th has a history of working with Coast Guard units.

Along with regular joint training in the 1990's, the 106th was involved in joint rescues with the Coast Guard.

On Easter Sunday, 1999, for example, para-rescue jumpers from the 103rD Rescue Squadron, including Senior Master J.J. Baker, a current member of the squadron, jumped out of a Coast Guard HC-130 at 3:30 a.m. to rescue the captain of the Cypriot ship Durik Shield. The captain had suffered from a stroke and needed treatment.

Baker and the other Air Guard members jumped into 15-foot high seas, climbed into their Zodiac inflatable boat, boarded the ship, stabilized the 48-year old sailor and evacuated him to the hospital.

On April 13 that same year, 106th Rescue Wing para-rescue jumped leaped into the ocean once again from a Coast Guard C-130 to save a crewman on board the 700-foot Turkish container ship Goy-Nuk. A crewman had come down with appendicitis and needed treatment.

"It was great having them," Air National Guard Lt. Col. Steven Rush said following the meeting with the Coast Guard members. "We're trying to build a relationship where we can help them and conduct joint training as needed."