US Coast Guard C-27J Spartan proves crucial in saving a wounded sailor

US Coast Guard C-27J Spartan.

A recent rescue mission by the US Coast Guard highlighted the effectiveness of the C-27J Spartan multirole aircraft in Search and Rescue (SAR) missions.

On February 19, the Coast Guard launched a C-27J surveillance aircraft and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter to assist a passenger on a commercial cargo ship who suffered injuries from a 16-foot fall.

The Spartan supported the helicopter crew to more quickly locate the boat, which was far from the coast and in the middle of the fog.

"The offshore environment always tries to throw surprises-especially with the fog bank not predicted to be to the surface," said Lt. Kristin Euchler, the MH-65 Dolphin co-pilot for this rescue. "Luckily with all the prior coordination, we were able to shoot the approach through the clouds with a solid radar hit of the large vessel. The coordination between District 11, the vessel and the C-27 overhead was crucial in finding the vessel. The teamwork from all watchstanders and the vessel allowed for accurate fuel planning and success of the rescue window for the patient."

In missions like this, the rescue swimmer descends from the helicopter into the boat with a stretcher to retrieve the victim, so it is essential that the aircraft retains enough fuel to carry out this operation and reach the nearest hospital. Should it also carry out an intense SAR activity, it would end its autonomy before being able to save the injured person. In this case, a long-range aircraft such as the C-27J offers essential support to extensively patrol the area and provide the helicopter crew with the exact location of the target.

"The aircraft’s range, endurance, speed and payload make it a valuable asset in addressing the Coast Guard’s maritime flight-hour gap," Coast Guard says.

The long range combined with the special onboard systems make the Spartan great for the role it is called upon to fill. The US Coast Guard's C-27J boasts a special mission system, called Minotaur, consisting of surface search radar, electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) search sensors, a C4ISR suite (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance), and bubble observer windows that make the aircraft capable of discovering, classifying and identifying maritime targets.

The US Coast Guard employs the aircraft to perform drug and migrant interdiction, disaster response, and search and rescue missions.


Written by Matteo Sanzani
Source, Images: US Coast Guard

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