USS Decatur MEDEVAC exemplifies importance of US, ROK partnership
A Republic of Korea navy UH-60 Black Hawk takes off from the flight deck of the guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur. The ROKN helped in an emergency medical evacuation of a U.S. Sailor. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Gerald Dudley Reynolds)
WATERS EAST OF THE KOREAN PENINSULA — Guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur was assisted by the Republic of Korean navy (ROKN) in an emergency medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) to help a Sailor in need of medical attention Sept. 11.
At approximately 11 a.m., Decatur notified Commander, Destroyer Squadron 15 that a Sailor aboard required a MEDEVAC.
Decatur, more than 100 miles from shore, did not have an embarked helicopter aboard, nor were they in close range to available U.S. air assets. Commander, Naval Forces Korea was then requested to assist in coordination with the ROKN.
Within hours of the initial report, the ROKN's 631 Squadron launched a UH-60 Black Hawk from Pohang to transport the Sailor. While Decatur made the best speed to close within helicopter range of the mainland, the medical team aboard Decatur provided continuous care for the Sailor.
As the UH-60 flew toward Decatur, a ROK Air Force HH-60 from 233 Squadron out of Chongju departed with a medical team to meet the Sailor on the island of Ullueng-do. The team then transported the Sailor to the mainland, where the Sailor is currently being treated by medical personnel at Ajou University Hospital.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with our Sailor as they receive the care they need," said Navy Cmdr. Garrett Miller, commanding officer of Decatur. "The ROKN air crew did a fantastic job working with our team, and I would like to personally thank them for the outstanding support of Decatur and safely transporting our Sailor. The successful execution of this medical evacuation highlights the importance of our Navy's interoperability with our allies."
Decatur is a multi-mission ship, Homeported in San Diego. Decatur is currently underway in the Indo-Asia-Pacific Region as part of a U.S. 3rd Fleet Pacific Surface Action Group. Under the operational control of U.S. 3rd Fleet, the PAC SAG conducts routine patrols, maritime security operations, and theater cooperation activities to enhance regional security and stability.
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