ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam (July 8, 2020) – The Guam-based “Island Knights” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 responded to a search and rescue (SAR) request for a stranded hiker on July 8.
The hiker was reported missing in the morning near the Pagat Caves of Guam’s eastern shore. Guam Fire and Rescue launched a ground search and located the hiker who was unable to hike out of the area around noon.
U.S. Coast Guard Sector Guam contacted HSC-25 and requested air support at 2:05 pm. The rescue helicopter, piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Adam Wagler and Lt. Pierre Ramos, was on scene less than one hour later.
Once overhead, Chief Naval Aircrewmen (Helicopter) Brandon Stotts lowered Naval Aircrewmen (Helicopter) 2nd Class Andrew Hansen and Hospital Corpsman Kyle Barrington to the hiker 70 feet below through the trees. The rescue helicopter delivered the hiker to U.S. Naval Hospital Guam approximately 4 pm.
“Getting the aircraft good to go, and launched within an hour from the call says something about the way we do business,” said Aircraft Commander Lt. Cmdr. Wagler. “Our maintenance department had that bird ready to go with no delays. Our fast response time allowed us to arrive to the hiker’s location, get him out of the jungle and to the hospital. This couldn’t have been done without the team we have.”
HSC-25 provides 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 trains regularly for situations much like the one here,” said Cmdr. Christopher Carreon, commanding officer of HSC-25. “Putting our training to work, providing lifesaving aid to those in need is amazing to see. Every member of the Island Knight family should be proud of the hard work we are doing to be ready to execute our mission. The team here at HSC-25 works diligently around the clock to conduct training flights, support other local units, and provide life-saving aid for the Northern Mariana Islands.”
The incident was the 15th Search and Rescue operation conducted by HSC-25 in the last year and marks 19 lives saved.