A detachment of 68 sailors and four helicopters from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21 are returning to Naval Air Station North Island Thursday following a seven month deployment to Okinawa, Japan, according to Naval Air Forces Public Affairs.
While deployed, the detachment executed “close air support, direct action, personnel recovery, helicopter visit board search and seizure and search and rescue operations in support of various Okinawa-based units spanning the Navy, Air Force, Army and Marines,” the public affairs office reported.
“I am tremendously proud of our detachment. We overcame many new challenges during this deployment and provided outstanding rotary wing support in theatre,” said Lt. Cmdr. Rob Knoerzer, officer in charge of Det. 4.
Other deployment highlights include 336 sorties, 921.1 mishap-free flight hours and 20,358 maintenance actions spanning 73,603.5 man hours, according to the public affairs office.
“I was able to gain experiences and see different things that I may not have gotten from a traditional deployment,” said Aviation Electronics Mate 3rd Class Justin Boone. “I don’t know anyone else who has loaded helicopters onto C-5s and C-17s.”