WATERS EAST OF THE KOREAN PENINSULA (Sept. 12, 2016) – The guided-missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73) 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 (CDS) 15 that a Sailor on board required MEDEVAC.
Decatur, over a hundred 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 ROKN.
Within hours of the initial report, the Republic of Korea Navy’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 Cmdr. Garrett Miller, commanding officer of Decatur. “The ROKN aircrew 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 with anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare surface combatants capabilities; designed to operate independently or with a surface action group or strike group.
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 (PAC SAG) with the guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance (DDG 111) and USS Momsen (DDG 92), under the operations of Destroyer Squadron (CDS) 31.
The U.S. Navy maintains a presence in the region to help preserve peace and security and to further their partnerships with friends and allies. This forward presence contributes to freedom of navigation and lawful use of the sea, as well as furthers operational training and enables an exchange of culture, skills, and tactical knowledge.
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.
U.S. 3rd Fleet leads naval forces in the Pacific and provides the realistic, relevant training necessary for an effective global Navy. Third Fleet works constantly with U.S. 7th Fleet. The forces of both Fleets complement one another across the spectrum of military operations in the Pacific.