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Special operations

| Thursday, July 1, 2004

Elite U.S. Navy Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) from the Stennis Special Boat Team Twenty-Two (SBT-22), and Navy Search and Rescue (SAR) teams of Helicopter Support Squadron Sixty will conduct capabilities demonstrations during the Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta.

The Naval Special Warfare Command is the Navy's special operations force and the naval component to U.S. Special Operations Command.

Chief Petty Officer Tom Jones, public affairs officer for the Naval Special Warfare Group Four, Norfolk, Va., says the crew will demonstrate what the Navy calls a "hot extract," where the special operations boat team goes into a hostile environment at full speed, shooting guns in a rescue mission.

Members of the group previously served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Jones adds, and were instrumental during the Vietnam War, conducting operations in the rivers of Vietnam and Cambodia.

Safety is a priority during the regatta demonstrations, says JO1(SW) Joshua Hudson, public affairs officer for the Navy Recruiting District in Pittsburgh. He says that two boats will be performing throughout the weekend with live "blank" fire and high-speed maneuver operations.

Helicopter Combat Support Squadron SIX will demonstrate precision low level flying of the MH-60S Nighthawk -- a variant of the Blackhawk helicopter -- while doing low-level SAR drops into the Ohio River and aerial recoveries, he says.

"We're very excited to welcome the Navy's Nighthawk helicopter and the SAR rescue team to the regatta for the first time to show the public their incredible skills," says Diane Greco, spokeswoman for U.S. Events and Marketing, producer of the regatta.

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