NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND, PATUXENT RIVER, Md. (march 18, 2010)—The H-60 Helicopter program team was nominated by Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine for the publications prestigious Laureate Awards Wed. at the Andrew Mellon auditorium in Washington, D.C.
The nomination was for the MH-60 Romeo and MH-60 Sierra team for their instrumental roles in the deployment of the new MH-60R, or Romeo, on board the USS John Stennis Carrier Strike Group in 2009. The Romeo, along with its sister aircraft, the MH-60S, performed for the first time as a team.
To have the H-60 Team honored by Aviation Week is a great privilege, said Capt. Dean Peters, U.S. Navy, H-60 Helicopters program manager. The entire team was completely focused on supporting the first deployments of the MH-60R and the MH-60S in their expanded role within the Carrier Strike Group. Daily coordination with test organizations, supply activities and fleet users resulted in a highly successful first deployment. The Team is now applying its energy in support of the many subsequent future deployments. The men and women who operate and maintain these multi-mission helicopters deserve nothing less.
The H-60 Program Team was one of five nominees in the 2010 Military category.
The Navys helicopter communities completed the first ever joint MH-60R and MH-60S deployment aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in Jul. 2009.
This deployment marked the beginning of MH-60R and MH-60S deployments aboard aircraft carriers and provided the Strike Group Commander with a significant increase in situational awareness and warfighting capability.
This was also the first major deployment for the MH-60R and during the six month cruise the Raptors of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 71 flew over 2,700 hours with 11 aircraft, and completed over 1,500 sorties with 95 percent availability.
The MH-60R proved to be an exceptional submarine hunter and surface warfare weapons platform during exercises in the western Pacific.
During the same deployment, the MH-60S flew nearly 1,600 hours in support of 7th Fleet operations and demonstrated helicopter Link 16 capability in the battle group for the first time.
The "Eightballers" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Eight deployed for the first time with six Armed Helicopters capable of carrying eight Hellfire missiles, four machine guns and an advanced Multi-Spectral Targeting System Forward Looking Infrared system.
HSC-8 completed Helicopter Visit Board Search and Seizure, Surface Warfare, Plane Guard, Search and Rescue and other utility missions in their area of responsibility.