US, Australian navies conduct helicopter deck landings in Philippine Sea

MH-60S Sea Hawks from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 conducted deck landing qualifications with Royal Australian Navy guided-missile frigate HMAS Melbourne (FFG 05), April 16.

HSC-25 aviators from the Guam-based “Island Knights” landed two MH-60Ss aboard Melbourne, improving proficiency and forging closer interoperability.

“This was my first opportunity to fly to a Royal Australian Navy ship, and I am honored that I had the opportunity to lead the flight,” said Lt. Gabe Pogliano, one of the pilots who flew the mission. “I was very impressed by the efficiency and the professionalism of the ship’s crew.”

For both navies, the event strengthened their ability to communicate, maneuver and operate together.

“We are always eager to improve interoperability with our partners,” said Cmdr. Frank Loforti, commanding officer of HSC-25. “Myself, CMC Masrelian and our aircrews came away with an even greater appreciation of the capabilities of the Royal Australian Navy. We look forward to working together again in the future.”

After landing on Melbourne, Loforti met with the frigate’s leadership, discussed the training and exchanged command patches with the crew.

“Military-to-military engagement develops shared understanding, trust and capacity to respond to a full spectrum of real world incidents. This was a great opportunity to mature our interoperability,” said Cmdr. Marcus Buttler, HMAS Melbourne’s commanding officer.

HSC-25 provides a multi-mission rotary wing capability for units in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations and maintains a Guam-based 24-hour search and rescue and medical evacuation capability, directly supporting U.S. Coast Guard and Joint Region Marianas. HSC-25 is the Navy’s only forward-deployed MH-60S expeditionary squadron. US Amphibious Force 7th Fleet Public Affairs