Knighthawks Change Helo Support in the Gulf

Mifsud, Mario
August 2003
U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings;Aug2003, Vol. 129 Issue 8, p76
Conference Proceeding
For a surface combatant operating in the Arabian Gulf, the familiar sight of a UH-3H Sea King inbound to drop off passengers, mail, and cargo (PMC) is certainly welcomed. Operated by the "Desert Ducks" of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Two's Detachment Two, these aircraft are vital to surface combatant readiness. As the helicopter concept of operations plan develops in the coming years, the Sea King will be replaced by the MH-60S Knighthawk, thereby forcing changes in the conduct of the primary PMC support mission. From its operating base on the island nation of Bahrain in the central Arabian Gulf, Detachment Two can support ships operating in the far reaches of the northern Arabian Gulf and those on the northern edge of the southern Arabian Gulf. With the UH-3H's excellent range and internal capacity, flight legs of more than 200 nautical miles over water are routine. Always maintaining fuel for a minimum of ten minutes of loiter, they refuel on their first customer ship and continue to successive ships off-loading PMC and loading retrograde cargo and passengers. Introduction of the MH-60S brings new capabilities and enhancements — and new challenges. Many of these issues affect all battle groups and amphibious forces.


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