The transition to the MH-60R/S is near completion. How have they changed strike group
SHOEMAKER: MH-60R and MH-60S Seahawk helicopters are a potent combination that complements the persistence and lethality of the CSG by providing capabilities ideally suited to “Hunter/Killer” teams in a counter
Fast Attack Craft/Fast Inland Attack Craft role, leveraging MH-60R sensors and MH-60S weapon systems to
rapidly neutralize an array of surface and subsurface
threats. These two variants share 85 percent commonality to facilitate maintenance and logistics support.
The MH-60R is the only organic airborne anti-submarine warfare asset within CSGs and on independently deploying warships, and is critical to ensuring maritime dominance. The MH-60R provides surface and subsurface warfare support with an advanced
suite of sensors, advanced periscope detection capabilities, data links and weapons. The MH-60S provides
surface warfare and mine countermeasures, as well as
special operations forces support and logistics support
to the CSG and Amphibious Ready Group.
What is your assessment of the first combined
MH-60R/MQ-8B Fire Scout Western Pacific
(Westpac) deployment on the littoral combat
SHOEMAKER: With each returning detachment from
Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 35 we learn more
about integration of the MQ-8B Fire Scout with our ships
and aircraft. The MH-60R Seahawk, the MQ-8B Fire
Scout and the littoral combat ship work well together, and
complement each other to accomplish various missions.
The Fire Scout serves as an intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance (ISR) and communications relay platform
for the LCS, enabling the extension of the ship’s sensors
and the relay of vital information back to the ship. In the
near future, we’ll witness Helicopter Sea Combat
squadrons deploying with Fire Scout aboard LCS.
The P-8A has several deployments completed
by now. What is your assessment of the P- 8 as
a P- 3 replacement in Westpac?
SHOEMAKER: The Navy’s maritime patrol and reconnaissance squadrons are continuing to transition from
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 16 SEAPOWER / OCTOBER 2015
Shoemaker is welcomed by CAPT Timothy Kuehhas, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington,
on the ship’s flight deck May 29. George Washington conducted a hull-swap with USS Ronald Reagan in August after
serving seven years as the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier in Yokosuka, Japan.