Marine Medium Tilt-Rotor Squadron VMM-166
Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron-264 [HMM-264]
the United States Marine Corps (USMC) unit VMM-264, the Black Knights. VMM-264 is a Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron based at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in Jacksonville, NC.
The Black Knight legacy began as Marine Helicopter Transportation Squadron Light 264 on 30 June 1959. In February 1962 it was redesignated Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 264. Since its inception, the Black Knights have been leaders in the development of innovative tactics and at the forefront in the defense of our country. Early history included humanitarian assistance in British Honduras after hurricane Hattie, participation in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and the first ever nighttime assault under actual combat conditions into an unsecured landing zone in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
In 1968 the aging UH-34 was retired and the new Boeing-Vertol CH-46 was received. This aircraft proved to be the workhorse of the squadron during operations in the Vietnam War. Through the 1970's to the present the Black Knights have made numerous cruises from the warm waters of the Caribbean to the icy waters of the North Atlantic and to the beaches of the Mediterranean. The squadron has participated in memorable operations at places such as Lebanon, Honduras, Colombia, Turkey, Puerto Rico, Yugoslavia, Haiti, Bosnia-Hertzgovina and Liberia.
During the mid-2000 deployment, the Aviation Combat Element (ACE) for the 26th MEU(SOC) is Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 264 (HMM-264 Reinforced). This unit includes 12 CH-46E Sea Knight medium lift helicopters, four CH-53E Super Stallion heavy lift helicopters, four AH-1W Super Cobra gunships, two UH-1N utility helicopters and six AV-8B Harrier attack jets.
After returning from the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Knights began steps to become the first non-training squadron in the world to employ the use of the Marine Corps' new MV-22 Osprey, which replaced the Corps' fleet of CH-46Es and Ch-53Ds. As of March 10, 2000, if everything runs on schedule, it would be just over three years until the squadron deploys with the new aircraft, with the pilot transition process, scheduled to begin in March 2001, overseen by VMMT-204. VMMT-204, worked with HMM-264, which was renamed Marine Medium Tilt Rotor Squadron (VMM) 264, until the pilots and crewmen were combat qualified.
Before VMM-266 departed Afghanistan in April 2011, the squadron and VMM-264, another New River, N.C.-based MV-22B squadron, conducted an aircraft exchange allowing four of VMM-264's Ospreys to return back to the U.S. for maintenance. In return VMM-264 inherited four newer Ospreys from VMM-266 to continue to conduct operations in Afghanistan.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|