Navy pilots prepare for hurricane season at Maxwell

MH-60 R Seahawk aircraft on the flightline

Two MH-60 R Seahawk helicopters on the flightline, May 8, 2018, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. The aircraft belong to the Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron Four Zero, stationed at the Naval Station Mayport, Jacksonville, Florida and were here as a part of an exercise preparing for the upcoming hurricane season. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alexa Culbert)

naval aircrewman prepares a rescue basket

Navy Petty Officer First Class Benjamin Latham, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron Four Zero naval aircrewman, prepares a rescue basket to demonstrate the hoisting capabilities of the MH-60 R Seahawk helicopter, May 8, 2018, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Last year the squadron sent nearly 40 aircraft to Maxwell to avoid Hurricane Irma. Naval pilots and their aircrew traveled to Maxwell in preparation for this year’s upcoming hurricane season. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alexa Culbert)

Navy pilots prepare for hurricane season at Maxwell

Navy Officer 1st Class Benjamin Latham, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron Four Zero naval aircrewman, demonstrates the hoisting capabilities of the MH-60 R Seahawk, May 8, 2018, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. The HMS – 40 is located at the Naval Station Mayport, Jacksonville, Florida and their mission is to train the Fleet Replacement Pilots and Aircrew for this aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Alexa Culbert)

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. --

 Navy pilots and aircrew from the Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron Four Zero, stationed at the Naval Station Mayport, Jacksonville, Florida, flew two MH-60 R Seahawk aircraft here, on Monday, to collaborate with 42nd Air Base Wing Base Operations in preparation for the hurricane season. 

Last year, when hurricane Irma hit the Florida coast, the squadron evacuated nearly 40 of their aircraft to Maxwell. From here they deployed relief efforts to those affected by both Hurricane Irma and Harvey.

This year, they visited Maxwell ahead of time to make sure a game plan is in place if needed.

 “It’s such a large amount of aircraft that we’re moving from Jacksonville to Montgomery, and we just want to make sure we do it right and do it safely …” said Lt. Matt Philbin, HMS – 40 assistant operations officer.

Philbin added that in case of an emergency, they need to ensure their aircraft are here and ready to go if needed for search and rescue operations.

 “The cooperation is substantial,” Philbin said. “There’s a lot of moving pieces which takes place months ahead of time for these aircraft to get here, and there’s the dedication and preparation between the two services that really make it a seamless operation if needed.”