During yesterday’s session, the first day of the PASSEX Exercise “Gringo-Gaucho II” took place between the Argentine and United States Navies (US Navy). One of the highlights of the day was the Sea King helicopter landings of the Naval Aviation Command on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73).

Yesterday, with the entry of the USS George Washington (CVN 73) aircraft carrier into Argentine jurisdictional waters, along with its escort group consisting of the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG-78) and the Henry J. Kaiser-class USNS John Lenthall (T-AO-189) Logistic Support Ship, the PASSEX Exercise “Gringo-Gaucho II” officially began. They were received by the MEKO 360 ARA La Argentina destroyer, which escorted them to the rendezvous point with the rest of the units of the Fleet.

Regarding the participating units of the exercise, the Argentine Navy deployed the following vessels:

  1. Maritime Patrol Division: ARA “Almirante Cordero,” ARA “Piedrabuena,” and ARA “Storni”.
  2. Corvette Division: MEKO 140 ARA “Espora” and ARA “Rosales”.
  3. Destroyer Division: MEKO 360 ARA “La Argentina” and ARA “Sarandi”.

The Naval Aviation Command deployed nearly all operational assets belonging to the First Naval Helicopter Squadron (EAH1) and Sea Kings of the Second Naval Helicopter Squadron (EAH2), consisting of one Fennec aircraft and two Sea Kings, along with a Beechcraft B-200 from the Maritime Surveillance Squadron.

One of the highlights of the combined activities was the Sea King landings on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier by two Sea Kings from EAH2, transporting a significant number of officials headed by the Minister of Defense of the Republic, Luis Petri, accompanied by the Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Brigadier General Xavier Isaac, and the Chief of the General Staff of the Navy, Rear Admiral Allievi; using the UH-3H 2-H-241 and one of the newly incorporated Sea Kings with registration 2-H-245.

The opportunity allowed naval aviators to operate and land on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier like the USS George Washington again, and operate alongside some of the most modern and capable assets of the United States Navy. This is evidenced by the training flights conducted in a B-200 aircraft from the Maritime Surveillance Squadron alongside one of the E-2C Hawkeye airborne early warning and control aircraft embarked on the ship.

*Photographs: United States Navy.

You may also like: Gallery – This is how the Argentine Navy prepared to operate alongside the aircraft carrier USS George Washington


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