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Hs-2

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Hs-2

Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12
200px
HSC-12 Golden Falcons insignia
Active March 7, 1952 - present
Country  United States of America
Branch United States Navy
Type Helicopter Squadron
Size 212 Personnel
Part of CVW-5
Garrison/HQ NAF Atsugi
Nickname "Golden Falcons"
Commanders
Current
commander
Commander Jeffrey Holzer

Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12 (HSC-12) Golden Falcons is a United States Navy helicopter squadron based at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, in Japan. The Golden Falcons are attached to Carrier Air Wing Five with the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN-73).[1]

In early 2009, HS-2 Golden Falcons transitioned to MH-60S and re-designated as HSC-12.[2]

Command History

Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Two was established on March 7, 1952 as the first Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) helicopter squadron on the West Coast, flying the HRS-2. Initially used in small detachments, the first deployment as an entire squadron was made in 1957 when the world famous "Golden Falcons," flying the HSS-1, embarked aboard the aircraft carrier USS Philippine Sea (CVA-47). At this time, the squadron was manned by 258 enlisted and 39 officers to fly and maintain 17 aircraft. Since that time, the squadron has deployed on nine other carriers and currently with Carrier Air Wing Two (CVW-2) aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) with 190 enlisted, 22 officers and seven Sikorsky H-60 helicopters.

1960s

In addition to being the first HS squadron on the West Coast, the squadron boasts a long list of first and unique achievements which attest to the professional caliber and dedication of its officers and men. HS-2 was the first ASW helicopter squadron to make a deployment with the Sikorsky SH-3A Sea King, the Navy’s first turbine powered all-weather ASW helicopter. HS-2 was also the first H-3 squadron to operationally employ Helicopter In-flight Refueling (HIFR’s) at night. In November 1965, an HS-2 SH-3A performed the longest operational flight at the time. The aircraft remained airborne for eleven hours and eighteen minutes on a search and rescue mission in the Gulf of Tonkin with the help of four HIFR’s three of which were at night.


Other technical innovations by Golden Falcons include the pioneering of submarine detection capabilities with the introduction of the SH-3D in 1967 as a multi-sensor ASW platform. In addition to the Bendix AQS-13B sonar, Magnetic Anomaly Detector (MAD) and Multi-Channel Jezebel Relay (MCJR) active sonobuoy systems were added to the aircraft, the latter providing the carrier with sonobuoy monitoring capability. In 1980 the squadron became the first West Coast unit to deploy with new tactical navigation (TACNAV) equipped SH-3D/H helicopters.

HS-2 performed the first night rescue in North Vietnam in 1965. In 1966 HS-2 participated in the Apollo Saturn 202 spaceshot recovery program, and was responsible for ten overland and five coastal rescues of pilots in North Vietnam during 1967. The "Golden Falcons" provided relief support to snowbound Indians in Arizona over the Christmas holidays of 1967, airlifting fifteen tons of food supplies, flying 292 "Mercy Missions" and performing 37 medical evacuations. The squadron also lost Edward Robert Dorsey and Johnnie Lee Frazier.[3]

1970s

In 1970, HS-2 was the first helicopter squadron to travel across the United States for deployment on a ship from the other coast. In that year, the squadron participated in operations with U.S. Forces responding to the Jordanian Crisis. HS-2 was directed to prepare to go into Amman, Jordan and also provide Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) for the Battle Group. It was during the same year that the American flag was painted on the helicopters. The flag was painted on the aircraft overnight so the helicopter could be distinguished from the Israeli H-3’s, which might also be operating in the combat zone. To commemorate the event, the Chief of Naval Operations authorized the American flag to become a permanent part of HS-2’s paint scheme. As a result of its superior performance during that period, the squadron was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation.

Following the cease-fire agreement in 1972, HS-2 became the first U.S. Naval air unit to fly into North Vietnam, providing transportation to and from Haiphong for the negotiating team. In 1974 the squadron provided relief assistance to the cyclone devastated island of Mauritius.

The 1976 deployment aboard USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was the first Western Pacific deployment for the Navy’s modern CV concept. Along with the S-3A Viking and an on board Tactical Support Center (TSC), HS-2 contributed to the refinement and success of modern day ASW tactics. In the fall of 1979, HS-2 was chosen to participate in amphibious operations with a multi-nation task force. The squadron deployed aboard USS New Orleans (LPH-11) and again proved the value of helicopter ASW. HS-2 earned the Humanitarian Service Medal in 1980 for its participation in the rescue of three groups of Vietnamese refugees. In 1984, HS-2 provided the first damage assessments following the collision of a Soviet Victor submarine with USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63).

1990s

HS-2 led the way in modern Carrier Airborne Anti-Submarine Warfare by transitioning to the SH-60F "Seahawk," the newest and most capable rotary wing ASW weapon system in today’s Navy. HS-2 was also the first active duty HS squadron to fully incorporate the Combat Search and Rescue mission, having received two new HH-60H aircraft in November 1990. Additionally, HS-2 was the first HS squadron to deploy with the FLIR/Hellfire weapons system.[4]

2000s

HS-2 is currently attached to the USS Abraham Lincoln where it provides support to both the airwing and fleet ships. During 2005 the command provided relief support to the citizens of Indonesia devastated by a tsunami due to an earthquake off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia on December 26th 2004. Flying the SH-60F and HH-60H, there were 231 medevacs of displaced refugees, 475,000lbs of disaster relief cargo delivered, and 1010.9hrs flown in a 31 day period. 10,000 lives were saved in the first ten days.

On the 6th of August 2009, the Golden Falcons transitioned to the MH-60S helicopter and re-designated as HSC-12.[5]

References

External links

  • HSC-12 homepage

See also

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