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S. Korea to conduct chopper landing drills for better disaster responses

Sikorsky's MH-60R Seahawk chopper (US Navy's website)
Sikorsky's MH-60R Seahawk chopper (US Navy's website)
The Navy, the Coast Guard and police were to stage joint helicopter landing drills on an amphibious assault ship Friday in an effort to enhance their disaster relief capabilities, officials said.

The training will take place in waters near the southern island of Geoje, involving the 14,500-ton Dokdo ship and two helicopters from the Coast Guard and the police, according to the Navy.

The event is in part to help the chopper pilots earn qualifications for deck landing necessary to operate on landing ships in case of an emergency. Friday's government-military joint drill is the third of its kind, the Navy said.

Later in the day, the Navy will also join the Army and the Air Force for a joint landing drill, which is to involve 10 choppers and dozens of pilots, it added.

"The training will serve as a chance for the government to boost capabilities of dealing with disasters," the Navy said in a release.

As the country's first large-scale amphibious assault ship, the Dokdo is equipped with a deck that can manage five choppers at one time. The multipurpose ship is capable of undertaking a variety of missions, including disaster relief. (Yonhap)