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Navy Dedicated SAR Squadrons

Ventus

New Member
Been scouring the internet all afternoon but can't seem to find an answer.
There's a Navy guy on TikTok named @ghelojumper that seems like he's in a dedicated Search and Rescue Squadron based somewhere with a lot of mountains. Looks a lot like Alaska. In one of the video comments he said he's AIRR.

My question is, how many of these types of squadrons does the Navy operate? I understand that SAR is a mission that you will inevitably encounter in the fleet as a rotary wing aviator. (Aircraft paint job was White and Orange/Red) But what confused me was that this seemed like a unit explicitly dedicated to Mountain SAR, which I didn't think the Navy did. He does a lot of training like rappelling down to mountain slopes, down into ice crevasses, and other Mountain SAR stuff.

The tail code on the Aircraft was FW, but after looking at several lists of Naval Aviation Tail Codes, I couldn't find FW listed anywhere.

Does anyone know what unit this is? Seems like a dream posting if you ask me.
Maybe that's just me though. I love snow, skiing, mountains etc.
 

DanMa1156

Land of the rising sun. Literally. There's no DST!
pilot
Contributor
You're probably looking at Whidbey SAR. There are a few others - El Centro, Fallon, Pax River, Key West, Leemoore. They are small detachments of helicopters that technically belong to the base and are not independent squadrons. As a pilot, do not plan on getting these, but outside of Key West and Whidbey, none of them are particularly competitive to get, just need to have the right timing and the basic quals as a helo pilot.
 

NavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
Been scouring the internet all afternoon but can't seem to find an answer.
There's a Navy guy on TikTok named @ghelojumper that seems like he's in a dedicated Search and Rescue Squadron based somewhere with a lot of mountains. Looks a lot like Alaska. In one of the video comments he said he's AIRR.

My question is, how many of these types of squadrons does the Navy operate? I understand that SAR is a mission that you will inevitably encounter in the fleet as a rotary wing aviator. (Aircraft paint job was White and Orange/Red) But what confused me was that this seemed like a unit explicitly dedicated to Mountain SAR, which I didn't think the Navy did. He does a lot of training like rappelling down to mountain slopes, down into ice crevasses, and other Mountain SAR stuff.

The tail code on the Aircraft was FW, but after looking at several lists of Naval Aviation Tail Codes, I couldn't find FW listed anywhere.

Does anyone know what unit this is? Seems like a dream posting if you ask me.
Maybe that's just me though. I love snow, skiing, mountains etc.
Like what was mentioned above it sounds like the guys out of Whidbey, they do some amazing rescues, I get to seem them on a somewhat frequent basis flying to the Cascades, and my house is near one of their training routes.
 

Gonzo08

*1. Gangbar Off
None
As others have mentioned, it definitely sounds like Whidbey SAR.

Fun fact: Growler squadrons will sometimes do surprise survival training with the Whidbey SAR squadron. They'll schedule aircrew for a flight, let them brief and dress, then when they go to walk they get told, "Surprise! You're going up into the mountains with the SAR guys".

The intent is to show aircrew how much it sucks to be in the Cascades if you aren't dressed for egress.
 

RedFive

Well-Known Member
pilot
None
Contributor
El Centro
?? That's not a thing. There is/was a Marine Corps Yuma SAR flying Hueys...not sure if they're still around, but they have a bird on a stick outside the main gate.
Does anyone know what unit this is? Seems like a dream posting if you ask me.
I agree with the others... If it's a Navy unit it sounds like Whidbey. Flew with them a couple times, we went up to Mount Baker and other places like that. Found a geocaching site on top of a mountain and left a calling card for stranded hikers. Landed in the snow. Good times.
 

NavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
?? That's not a thing. There is/was a Marine Corps Yuma SAR flying Hueys...not sure if they're still around, but they have a bird on a stick outside the main gate.

I agree with the others... If it's a Navy unit it sounds like Whidbey. Flew with them a couple times, we went up to Mount Baker and other places like that. Found a geocaching site on top of a mountain and left a calling card for stranded hikers. Landed in the snow. Good times.
It is something else to land and feel the aircraft slowly sink into the snow.
 

Fteeter

Well-Known Member
I was familiar with Whidbey SAR , but an IP the other day mentioned to me a similar opportunity for Navy helo pilots in anchorage. Despite my best googling, I haven’t been able to turn anything up, with the exception of what seems to be an ANG squadron. Anybody have any insight?
 

DanMa1156

Land of the rising sun. Literally. There's no DST!
pilot
Contributor
I was familiar with Whidbey SAR , but an IP the other day mentioned to me a similar opportunity for Navy helo pilots in anchorage. Despite my best googling, I haven’t been able to turn anything up, with the exception of what seems to be an ANG squadron. Anybody have any insight?
Maybe exchange pilots with the Coast Guard? I've never heard of it. Would be exceptionally rare if true at all. More common for guys to resign and join the Coast Guard, but even that has been clamped down a bunch by PERS in recent years.
 
?? That's not a thing. There is/was a Marine Corps Yuma SAR flying Hueys...not sure if they're still around, but they have a bird on a stick outside the main gate.

I agree with the others... If it's a Navy unit it sounds like Whidbey. Flew with them a couple times, we went up to Mount Baker and other places like that. Found a geocaching site on top of a mountain and left a calling card for stranded hikers. Landed in the snow. Good times.
Yuma SAR deactivated a couple weeks ago.
 
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