Guam – The Navy’s Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 welcomed home Det. 1 and 6 at Andersen Air Force Base just in time for the holidays.
Family and friends greeted 33 personnel from Det. 1 following their nine-and a-half month deployment Dec. 13 and 35 personnel from Det. 6. after a seven month deployment Dec. 17.
The detachment left Guam March 3 and embarked on USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), where they spent six weeks flying logistics and search-and-rescue support for USS Essex (LHD 2) – Bonhomme Richard hull swap.
[ Aviation Structural Mechanic 2nd Class Joshua Peters, of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 Det. 1 embraces his family upon returning from deployment on Andersen Air Force Base Dec. 13. ]
During this time, Bonhomme Richard replaced Essex as the command ship for the U.S. Navy’s forward-deployed Expeditionary Strike Group 7. Det. 1 was an invaluable resource in this logistical challenge, flying 146 hours and moving 418 tons of supplies and equipment during the transition. After completing the hull swap, Det. 1 temporarily relocated to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan where they boarded USNS Amelia Earhart (T-AKE 6) to conduct vertical replenishment operations in support of Task Force 73 (CTF-73) and USS George Washington (CVN 73) Carrier Strike Group.
While onboard Earhart, the detachment moved 3 million pounds of ordnance and cargo during 37 missions totaling 322 flight hours. In September, the detachment returned to Guam for a short time to support the joint exercise Valiant Shield.
They then transitioned to the South China Sea where they continued to support the George Washington Carrier Strike Group and also conducted an urgent, lifesaving medical evacuation mission to Manila. In late October, the detachment returned to Japan with the Earhart to support the carrier strike group in Yokosuka, Japan.
Working with Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 14, Det. 1 offloaded the carrier’s entire store of ordnance in the three days prior to the ship’s holiday stand-down period.
The detachment supported the Bonhomme Richard and the George Washington strike group by moving more than nine million pounds (4500 tons) of cargo and ammunition during 16 major vertical replenishment evolutions. Det. 6 Det. 6 deploys as an Armed Helicopter Detachment in year-round support of USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).
The detachment’s role is to maintain mission-ready MH-60S aircraft in support of the ARG and the MEU for various missions, including search and rescue, vertical replenishment, anti-surface warfare and logistical support. Operating out of Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni, Japan as well as Kadena Air Force Base (AFB), Okinawa, the detachment continuously trained with external units. This