The Pacific Northwest is a beautiful place, but with that beauty comes some of the most dangerous terrain and harsh weather in the United States. NAS Whidbey Island Search And Rescue, often known by their callsign “Firewood,” with their three MH-60S Seahawks, crews and maintainers, are ready to take on nature’s challenges at a moments notice in order to save lives.

Not only does NAS Whidbey Island SAR have to be ready to launch within a half an hour or less to pluck any of the base’s aircrews from peril if one of their resident EA-18G Growler, P-3 Orion, C-40 Clipper aircraft were to go down, but they are also on-call to support civilian rescues and state emergencies. These include rescues in mountain, water, forest, urban and desert terrain.

The job is pretty damn hardcore and extremely awesome. And from my own personal experiences meeting crews from other shore-based Navy SAR units (NAS Fallon, NAWS China Lake etc), these guys and gals are truly their own breed with great senses of humor.

Thanks for putting your butts on the line to save ours.

Read all about the NAS Whidbey Island SAR team here.

Contact the author