Search and Rescue
NAS Lemoore Search and Rescue is a one of a kind rescue unit. With a team consisting of 4 MH-60S helicopters, 10 pilots, 10 Rescue aircrewmen and 4 SAR Medical Technicians (SMT’s) we are a premier Navy Search and Rescue unit.
Our pilots and aircrew are highly trained in both overwater and mountain rescue including helicopter rappel, hoist and high altitude mountain landings. We can conduct day or night operations and have night vision goggle capability.
Our primary mission is to be the first responder for the aircraft and personnel stationed at NAS Lemoore. Secondary to that, we also work closely with local agencies in order to be a responder to anyone in legitimate danger. SAR typically maintains either a 15, 30, or 60-minute alert posture in order to fulfill our mission.
For SAR Emergencies:
NAS Lemoore SAR Duty Officer
For Training, Scheduling or Public Affairs Questions:
ATTN: OPS/SAR Officer/N32
BLDG 300 Reeves Blvd
Hangar 4 Mod 3
Lemoore, CA 93246
Received orders to Lemoore SAR? Welcome to the team! You are joining a unique unit. Because of our alert status requirements, there are suggested guidelines for where you should live. Lemoore, Hanford, and limited areas of Visalia and Fresno allow you to fulfil those requirements. Base housing is also available. Additional credentials are required for you to gain access to the squadron - Pass and ID at the front gate can help. For information on our operations, duty standing schedules, and training please contact the unit at (559)-998-0980.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Who do we support?
o NAS Lemoore Tenant Commands
o US Coast Guard
o USAF Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC)
o Local Sheriff Departments
o State & National Park Rangers
o Local Volunteer Organizations
o Anyone in Legitimate Danger (With C.O. Approval)
What information do you need from our agency to launch a mission?
We need to know as much information as you can provide including, if available, what agency is requesting assistance, the type of emergency, the situation, location/altitude, terrain, weather in the area, destination to take the victims, whether the emergency is life-threatening or not, and any other pertinent information. Patient information, if available, should also indicate if the patient has been treated or not, if he/she is stable, ambulatory or not, and severity of injuries sustained. The person answering the phone will get your number and call back after getting authorization to launch the helicopter at which time the alert will be sounded.
Of note, California Operation Emergency Services (Cal OES) coordinates all rescue requests in California and will require notification and authorization prior to launch. For local agencies – you can call us and get a real time alert status at any time.
What GPS Lat/Long format is best?
Our aircraft computers input for Lat/Long is in the format:
dd mm.mm N / ddd mm.mm W (d=degrees, m=minutes, N=north, W=west)
From time of request how long until crew gets the aircraft into the air?
It depends on our alert status. We stand a 30 minute alert 0700-2359 Monday-Friday and 1000-1800 Saturday and Sunday. We stand a 60 or 120 minute alert outside those times. The earlier you call us the quicker we can respond. Monday –Friday we are generally prepositioned in a different location until 1900 fulfilling our primary mission so alert times and authorization may vary.
How fast can you get to the scene?
Assuming we have a good GPS point to fly to, a good rule of thumb is to measure the straight-line distance from NASL to the scene in Nautical Miles, then divide that distance by 2 and that should be the number of minutes until we can get there from the time we launch (so don't forget to add 15 or 30 minutes as applicable for the alert). For example, we can get to a site 60 nm away in less than 30 minutes. This rule of thumb is based on 120 knots (138 mph). Usually we can fly faster than that, but headwinds can slow us down and tailwinds can speed us up.
How long can you remain on scene before having to refuel?
This is a complex question. Our normal fuel load allows us to fly for 3½ hours. Depending on how much fuel was expended getting to the location and where the nearest airfield is that we can refuel, our loiter time can vary significantly. We will give you a good estimate once we get on scene as to how much time we will be on scene and update you as time progresses.
What is your callsign?
We have four aircraft with callsigns LASSO 00, 01, 02, or 03. Even if you forget, we will answer to "navy helicopter" or "rescue helicopter" as well.
What requirement do you need for a landing zone day or night?
Overwater: We can fly day or night in weather as low as 500' ceiling with 1 mile visibility. We always have a swimmer and hoist capability. We cannot land in the water or water taxi.
Overland: During the day we can land in some pretty tight LZ's (as small as 80'x90') - something we practice regularly. Obviously larger areas are best. We can land on sloped terrain up to 6 degrees nose-down, 9 degrees nose-up, and 12 degrees cross slope. If landing is not an option, we can recover via our hoist with 200' of cable, capable of hoisting up to 600 lbs either in a hover or dynamic hoisting. We also have the ability to rappel our crewmen, including our SAR medical technicians (SMTs - the same level of care as a paramedic), up to 250' to package the patient in a litter or hoisting harness, and short-haul / long line (transport by a rope hung from the helicopter) the patient to a suitable site for loading into the aircraft.
Are you available for night operations?
We are Night Vision Goggle capable, but our approval requirements are more stringent for night missions. After reviewing current and forecasted weather, our Commanding Officer must approve all night operations into mountainous terrain. Night rescues are inherently more dangerous than daytime rescues. The earlier we get the call, the better chance we have of rescuing before dark.
We can land at most hospitals including Regional Medical Center, day or night.
What is your preferred VHF radio frequency for air to ground communications?
We have a very capable radio suite with this aircraft and can talk on just about every aviation and marine frequency in the VHF/UHF bands, so as long as you let us know what frequency we can reach you, we should be able to talk to you. We try to keep it simple by using State SAR common freq – 156.075 MHz (California State-wide SAR Frequency - Police Band).
Each aircraft has 2 UHF/VHF Radios
Radio frequencies covered (excluding offsets):
30.000-87.975 MHz (FM)
118.000-135.975 MHz (AM)
136.000-155.975 MHz (AM/FM)
156.000-173.975 MHz (FM)
225.000-399.975 MHz (AM/FM)
Receive only 108.000-117.975 MHz (AM)
Of note – we are NOT sidetone capable.
How many patients can you transport?
A maximum of 8 seated passengers or 3 Litters + medical gear. Please be aware that our lifting capability is significantly decreased at higher altitudes and temperatures. We can provide a realistic useful load when called.
What medical capabilities do you provide?
Medical Capabilities of our SAR Medical Technicians (SMT's):
Advanced Life Support (ALS)
Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)
Equipment-Defibrillator and AED, O2/Portable Respirator, Ked
(Flight Surgeon as situation dictates)