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Friday, March 11, 2005

U.S. Navy at Work

A couple of quick snapshots from the Navy News files:

Caption: Persian Gulf (Mar. 5, 2005) - MH-60S Seahawks, assigned to the "Chargers" of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Six (HC-6), transport supplies from the Military Sealift Command (MSC) fast combat support ship USNS Artic (T-AOE 8) during a vertical replenishment with USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) as the guided missile cruiser USS Monterey (CG 61) makes her approach for a replenishment at sea. The Truman Carrier Strike Group is on a regularly scheduled deployment in support of the Global War on Terrorism. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Darin R. Conway

Caption: Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia (Mar. 9, 2005) – Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Ron Berard, assigned to Navy Environmental Preventive Medicine Unit Six (NEPMU-6), takes a water sample at an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Petty Officer Berard is taking water samples to test for disease and impurities in the water. NEPMU-6 is currently operating in Banda Aceh on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, and is conducting daily operations to assess health concerns including water, soil studies, and disease and vector control in displaced personnel camps. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Rebecca J. Moat

Yes, the Navy is still involved in tsunami relief efforts (how quickly things move off our radar!) and in the GWOT. And they keep training for other missions:

Caption: Fort Story, Va. (Mar. 4, 2005) - A member of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit Six (EODMU-6) is hoisted down to perform a Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) exercise from a UH-3H Sea King helicopter, assigned to the “Fleet Angels” of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Two (HC-2). The CSAR training is part of Mine Strike Medical Evacuation training. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Michael Sandberg (RELEASED)
HC-2 is one of the last Navy units flying the H-3 Sea King, which has been around nearly 50 years now. HC-2 also has detachments that provide fleet services, including the famous "Desert Ducks" with their wonderful logo and history:

The Desert Ducks are not only famous for their world class service, they have a somewhat dubious signature trademark. They are notorious for "stamping the flight deck." Upon completion of their mission aboard a vessel, the air crewman will run out of the helo at the last minute with a giant stamping device attached to a three-foot pole and stamp several large yellow duck footprints on the flight deck.
Rumor has it that the "stamping" has been put on hold, though many ships still request it...

Trust me, when mail service is involved, ships should go out of their way to be nice to the Desert Duck crews...

These are not ordinary people. And they have extraordinary jobs.

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