Navy Helicopter Squadron Adapts As Mission In Haiti Evolves
By Dialogo February 15, 2010
A detachment from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22, embarked aboard
USS Bataan (LHD 5), spent the early days of Operation Unified Response primarily
conducting search and rescue missions and medical evacuations.
But as conditions in Haiti have changed, so has the mission focus of the
The Navy's workhorse MH-60S "Knighthawk" helicopters and their aircrew still
provide support for medical evacuations, but the MEDEVACs are not arriving with the
same frequency they did during the days immediately following the earthquake, and
HSC-22 is now using the versatility of the Knighthawk to support the Government of
Haiti/United Nations led World Food Program (WFP) food push, a targeted and systemic
food distribution effort using predetermined distribution locations.
Since the WFP push began Jan. 31, food has been provided for more than 1.2
million victims of the earthquake, and HSC-22 has been making a significant
contribution to those efforts.
"HSC-22 has transported thousands of pounds of food and water to an excess of
50 landing zones strategically placed throughout Haiti using the WFP," said Air
Crewman 1st Class Mike Helvey, from HSC-22.
According to HSC-22, the overall statistics for the detachment since arriving
on station with Bataan Jan. 18 include 137 medical evacuations, the distribution of
118,130 pounds of supplies and 85,226 pounds of food and water.