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.”