By U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs
The “Ghostriders” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28, Det. 1, participated in a nighttime aerial gunnery exercise with Albanian allied forces in Bizë, Albania, April 27, 2020.
HSC-28, Det. 1, stationed at Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy, flew from Naples across the Adriatic Sea to Bizë to facilitate public relations between the two nations and militaries.
The trip served to re-qualify members of HSC-28, Det. 1, in the M240 and GAU-21 machine guns. Naval aircrewmen must maintain operational proficiency by shooting 400 rounds of .50-caliber from the GAU-21 and 400 rounds of 7.62mm from the M240 every 90 days.
“Cooperation with the Albanian military provides unique opportunities for our aircrew,” said Lt. Cmdr. Matthew “Metro” Capaldo, officer-in-charge of HSC-28, Det. 1. “This training really underscores how we’ve been able to work with our NATO allies to maintain readiness despite the pandemic. We hope that this is just the beginning of further engagement between our detachment and the Albanian military.”
Utilizing the overland range of our allies in Albania not only facilitates a chance for service-to-service foreign relations, but provides a rare opportunity for
live-fire tactical maneuvering practice in an overland, mountainous environment.
The trip, which encompassed over 300 miles from Naples to Bizë included a refueling stop at Tirana International Airport in Albania.
U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.