Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Caleb Cooper, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Det. NW
OAK HARBOR, Wash. — Naval Air Station Whidbey Island’s (NASWI) Search and Rescue (SAR) unit performed a biannual joint training exercise with the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron, March 24.
SAR trains with RCAF to better understand their techniques in the likely event that they work together on a mission.
“You have to prepare for things that are going to happen to you in real life rescues,” said SAR swimmer, Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 2nd Class Adam Trump, from Palm Harbor, Fla. “We actually see these scenarios a lot and I’m sure they see them a lot too.”
NASWI SAR enjoys working with other units to capitalize on a variety of learning opportunities available.
“Being from the fleet we generally only work with Navy,” said Lt. Jared Wada, SAR schedules officer and pilot from Tacoma, Wash. “When we get a chance to work with the Army, Air Force, Marines or allied countries like Canada, it’s always interesting and always positive to learn from other people who come from a different background.”
Training with RCAF goes smoothly due to the similarities the two have on approaching their job.
“I love training with those guys,” said Trump. “They’re just as versatile as us, they seem to have as much pride in their job as we do and a lot goes into their training.”
RCAF believes that the importance of working together makes for the best possible response capabilities.
“I think it’s great to be able to work with people like the U.S. and our sister SAR squadron to be able to see the different capabilities they have,” said Canadian Capt. Hilarie Caverly, tactical coordinator. “So if disaster strikes, we understand what they offer and we understand what we can do. That’s going to make everything work so much better.”