You Want Me To Jump Out Of What? Where?
Search and Rescue (SAR) swimmers aboard amphibious assault ship
USS Boxer (LHD 4) continually train in preparation for lifesaving
missions. Helicopter Sea Combat (HSC) 21 Squadron, 3rd Detachment
is deployed aboard Boxer in support of maritime security and
counterpiracy operations, where training and preparedness are key
"We conduct search and rescue training and routine operations
daily," said HSC 21 Naval Air Crewman 2nd Class (AW/AC) Jake
Woodley, a SAR swimmer from Berryton, Kan.
"We support Boxer's vertical replenishments, rigid-hull
inflatable boat operations and the current primary mission of
counterpiracy operations." SAR swimmers must complete nearly one
year of training before going to their first squadron.
"My training consisted of four weeks of Naval Aircrew Candidate
School, five weeks Aviation Rescue Swimmer School, sixteen weeks of
Aviation Warfare 'A' School and sixteen weeks of Fleet Replacement
Air Crewman School," said Woodley. Once Sailors complete aircrew
and rescue swimmer school, they enter into what many view as one of
the most dangerous jobs in the fleet.
"Swimming most of my life and enjoying it got me interested in
becoming a SAR swimmer. The best part of my job is jumping out of a
moving aircraft and plunging into the water," said Naval Air
Crewman 2nd Class Ryne Mueller, a SAR swimmer from Clinton, Iowa.
Like every rate and profession in the Navy, SAR swimmers use
tools-of-the-trade to successfully train and execute
"We use wetsuits, fins and masks and two different types of
small firearms for self-defense," said Woodley.
"We fly different rescue equipment that is specific to a
survivor's physical injuries. These include a rescue basket -- to
hoist a survivor to the helicopter from the ocean -- and a variety
of emergency gear."
Boxer is deployed as part of Boxer Amphibious Readiness
Group/13th Marine Expeditionary Unit supporting maritime security
operations (MSO) in the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet Area of Operations.
MSO help develop security in the maritime environment and
compliment the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional
nations. From security arises stability that results in global
economic prosperity. These operations seek to disrupt violent
extremists' use of the maritime environment to transport personnel
and weapons or serve as a venue for attack. [ANN Salutes Mass
Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matthew Jackson]
E-I-C Note: As the PROUD Uncle to one of the
Navy's former SAR swimmers, (back in civilian life at this point),
I was pleased to select this story for today's roster. The bravery
of these kids is phenomenal... and the system that supports them
has no equal. I'm proud of my nephew... and I hope that the nation
is as proud of all these kinds as I am, of one in particular.