Military and First Responders Conducting Major Training Operations in Charleston This Week


The South Carolina Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (SC-HART) is about to conduct their largest ever series of training exercise and drills around the Charleston area this week.

Residents may notice an increased presence of fire service, law enforcement, and military personnel, as well as military helicopters and rescue boats. These activities are part of the training exercise, and there is no cause for alarm.

The exercise will focus on water search and rescue operations in and around the Stono River and Charleston Harbor. The training involves multiple federal, state, and local agencies, with the St. John’s Fire District serving as the primary host.

SC-HART is a collaborative effort that includes South Carolina-Task Force 1 (SC-TF1) under the direction of the S.C. LLR Office of the State Fire Marshal, the SC Emergency Management Division, and the 59th Aviation Troop Command (59th ATC) of the South Carolina Army National Guard. Helicopter units from Joint National Guard Base McEntire in Eastover and Donaldson Center in Greenville will participate. SC-HART features trained rescuers from SC-TF1 and skilled pilots and crew members from the Army National Guard, utilizing UH-60 Black Hawk and LUH 72 Lakota helicopters for rescue operations.