As a result of the need to improve transport helicopter aircrew’s debriefing abilities, new helmet cameras will be acquired. “Debriefing with a camera is much more effective. You can clearly see and hear everything going on in the cargo hold”

Vered Talala | Translation: Ohad Zeltzer Zubida

During operation “Protective Edge”, the IAF’s transport helicopters performed dozens of operational sorties in the Gaza theatre and in the peak of the operation they executed complex extractions of wounded combatants from the heart of the conflict in the strip. In light of the results of the debriefing of the operation’s extraction sorties, today, airborne mechanics, who are responsible for operating the cargo hold, take off for every mission and training exercise with a camera on their helmet. This innovative installation is a result of the understanding that there is great potential in the integration of the footage when debriefing.

“The debriefing camera help us understand if the mission in the cargo hold is performed properly”, explained Master Srgt. Adir, an airborne mechanic in the “Leaders of the Night” Squadron, which operates the “Yas’ur” (CH-53) Helicopter. “Most of our missions in the cargo hold include team work with other elements, from the pilots, with whom we work closely, to a third party like SAR Unit 669 operators or infantry forces. Working with many elements creates a very dynamic element and we are required to execute our mission efficiently”.

New Debriefing Camera for Transport Helicopters

Photography: Mor Tzidon

Transport helicopters perform many different missions, from the evacuation of injured civilians, through the extraction of infantry forces from enemy territory and to PSAR (Pilot Search and Rescue). Airborne mechanics are a critical part of the chain in each of these missions and no helicopter takes off without an airborne mechanic in the cargo hold. “Until the integration of the cameras we would debrief our work with an aircrew debriefing system with which we could only hear what occurred in the flight and not see what happened in the cargo hold”.

New Debriefing Camera for Transport Helicopters

Photography: Mor Tzidon

Effective Debriefing
The “Nocturnal Birds” and “Leaders of the Night” squadrons that operate the “Yas’ur” (CH-53) Transport Helicopters from Tel-Nof AFB received a number of new camera kits. Now, after completing each sortie, the mechanics unload the footage from their cameras and when they debrief, watch it with the rest of the crew. “The challenge in debriefing the cargo hold in the transport helicopter division is instilling the change made as a result of the watching the video footage”, shared Master Srgt. Adir. “Thanks to these debriefs, we understood that there are better ways to do many things and after watching, we could point at things we needed to improve”.

“Debriefing with the cameras is much more effective. You can clearly hear and see everything happening in the cargo hold”, testified Master Srgt. Adir. “Another advantage is that the aircrew members who sit in the cockpit and do not see what happens behind them in real time, are exposed to our activity and receive a more complete image of our missions”.

New Debriefing Camera for Transport Helicopters

Photography: Mor Tzidon

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