By Commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet Public Affairs
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam (April 24, 2019) – The Guam-based “Island Knights” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 provided aerial firefighting for southern Guam, along the northeastern edge of Naval Magazine, when a brush fire quickly began to spread and threaten local homes of Santa Rita April 21.
U.S. Navy Fire and Joint Regions Marianas notified HSC-25 that evening that 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 4,200 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 second 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 Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands,” 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.