By Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet Public Affairs
ANDERSEN AIR BASE, Guam (April 22, 2019) – The Guam-based “Island Knights” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 provided aerial firefighting for southern Guam, along the northeastern edge of the Naval Magazine, when a brush fire quickly began to spread and threaten local homes of Santa Rita.
U.S. Navy Fire and Joint Regions Marianas notified HSC-25 Sunday evening the fire was out of control and HSC-25’s assistance was required.
The HSC-25 aerial firefighting was led by Aircraft Commander Lt. Nicklaus Gfeller and successfully contained the fire using 4200 gallons of water.
“The maintenance duty section did a fantastic job of quickly modifying the aircraft configuration to support fire bucket operations,” said Gfeller. “The flight crew quickly found our rhythm to effectively drop water on the fire to contain it.”
The incident was the 2nd firefighting request to HSC-25 in 2019 to date.
“Our sailors work diligently day-in and day-out to ensure our aircraft are capable of 24/7 support anywhere in the CNMI.” said HSC-25 Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Frank Loforti. “Yesterday’s aerial firefighting was one of the many examples of how rewarding their hard work can be. I could not be more proud of the Island Knight maintainers and flight crew this Easter evening.”
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.