DVIDS – News – US Navy, Indian Navy Hold Ceremony To Commemorate India’s First MH-60R


By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sara Eshleman

SAN DIEGO, Calif .– The U.S. and Indian Navies celebrated a historic milestone when two MH-60R Seahawk helicopters were inducted into the Indian Naval Fleet in a ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island on 16 July.

The ceremony is part of an ongoing initiative that also includes comprehensive training for Indian aircrew and maintenance technicians on the operation and maintenance of the MH-60R. This bilateral initiative serves to strengthen the lasting friendship between the United States and India and enhance our combined anti-submarine and submarine capability.

Indian Ambassador to the United States Taranjit Singh Sandhu spoke at the ceremony and said, “The induction of these all-weather multi-purpose helicopters is an important milestone in our bilateral defense relationship.

During the ceremony, Vice Admiral Ravneet Singh, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Indian Navy, and Vice Admiral Kenneth Whitesell, Commander of the Naval Air Force, signed the US-India commemorative plaque MH- 60R, which all Indian Navy personnel will also sign upon completion of the MH-60R training program.

“For the Indian Navy this is truly a proud moment,” said Vice Admiral Singh. “The induction of the MH-60 helicopter into the Indian Navy is a symbol of the ever-growing global strategic partnership of our two countries and strengthens the common ideologies of our great nations.”

The main mission of the MH-60R is surface and submarine warfare. The helicopter is also capable of performing search and rescue operations, vertical refueling, personnel transport and medical evacuation operations.

“The MH-60R is a state-of-the-art multi-mission aircraft that will significantly enhance our navy-navy cooperation and enhance our combined anti-submarine and submarine capabilities on the high seas,” said Vice-Admiral Whitesell. “As was the case with the US Navy, these planes and their operators will immediately bolster their armed forces to deter, counter and defend against any threat to the rule-based international order that we mutually recognize as being of critically important to global security. “

Over the next several years, the US Navy will help prepare Indian Navy Airmen, Sensor Operators and Maintenance Technicians to operate and maintain the MH-60R. Members of the Indian Navy arrived in the United States last month to begin training on the MH-60R; maintenance personnel are currently studying maintenance requirements and procedures at NAS North Island, while the first Indian Navy MH-60R pilots and sensor operators have completed the Naval Aviation Survival Training Program at NAS Pensacola and began training aircrew with the “Seahawks” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 41.

Date taken: 07/20/2021
Date posted: 07/202021 15:47
Story ID: 401320
Location: SAN DIEGO, California, United States

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