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Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Five [HC-5]
Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWO FIVE [HSC-25]
"Island Knights"

Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWO-FIVE (HSC-25) was initially established as Helicopter Combat Support Squadron FIVE (HC-5) at NAS Agana, Guam on 03 FEB 1984. As the "Providers", HC-5 flew the H-46D "Sea Knight," moving to Andersen AFB in 1996 after NAS Agana was closed. Redesignated as the "Island Knights" on 21 APR 2005, HSC-25 provides logistic support for the U.S. Pacific Fleet in the Navy's newest helicopter, the MH-60S "Knighthawk". The squadron employs approximately eighty officers and four hundred enlisted personnel to fly and maintain the fleet of 14 MH-60S.

Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Five's primary mission is vertical replenishment, which is an exceptionally rapid, safe, and versatile means of resupplying combatant ships at sea. HC-5 also provides detachments for Combat Logistics Force (CLF) ships of the Seventh Fleet, and a permanent search and rescue detachment onboard USS Essex (LHD 2). Additionally, the "Providers" of HC-5 maintain 24-hour SAR duty for the Mariana Islands; they conduct paradrops, fastroping, spie rig, and insertion operations for special forces units; conduct drug surveillance missions for local authorities; VIP flight; as well as drone and torpedo recovery. In 1994, HC-5 expanded its mission capability adding heliborne firefighting to its list of missions. The 450 gallon capacity firebuckets, which are carried externally, allow the "Sea Knight" helicopters to fight fires from the air.

Helicopter Combat Support Squadron FIVE flies the H-46 "Sea Knight" helicopter, one of the largest helicopters in the U.S. Navy inventory.

Helicopter Combat Support Squadron FIVE was established at NAS Agana, Guam on 3 February 1984. Nicknamed the "Providers", HC-5 provides a forward deployed H-46 logistic support capability for the United States Pacific Fleet. In all, the squadron averages seventy-nine officers and four hundred and four enlisted personnel to fly and maintain fourteen Boeing "Sea Knight" H-46D aircraft. The aircraft provides an all-weather flight capability and is equipped with a coupled doppler system allowing night/low visibility over-water rescues.

Major HC Squadron Deployments, 1998
Squadron Dates Ship
HC-5 Det 1 01 Jan 98 30 Apr 98 Spica (TAFS 9)
HC-5 Det 5 07 Jan 98 31 Jun 98 Kilauea (AE 26)
HC-5 Det 3 19 Jun 98 21 Dec 98 Niagara Falls (TAFS 3)
HC-5 Det 6 *** Belleau Wood (LHA 3)

HC-5 is the first and only forward-deployed vertical replenishment (VERTREP) squadron in the Navy and is tasked with supporting Seventh Fleet units in the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, North Arabian Sea, and Persian Gulf. To provide this support, HC-5 embarks two-aircraft detachments aboard USNS SAN JOSE (T-AFS 7), USNS NIAGARA FALLS (T-AFS 3), USNS KILAUEA (T-AE 26), USNS SPICA (T-AFS 9), and for the first time on USNS FLINT (T-AE 32) in July 1999. In addition, HC-5 was tasked in 1992 to begin providing a permanent Search and Rescue (SAR) detachment aboard the USS BELLEAU WOOD (LHA 3). In the spring of 1996 HC-5 deployed their first night vision device capable amphibious SAR detachment to USS BELLEAU WOOD (LHA 3). Beginning in the fall of 2000 HC-5 moved its SAR detachment to Essex (LHD 2)

HC-5 is a tenant command on board Andersen Air Force Base, Guam and has rapidly incorporated itself into "Team Andersen". In addition to VERTREP, HC-5 provides 24 hour a day search and rescue/Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) services for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. HC-5 also conducts airborne firefighting utilizing externally carried buckets, Vertical Onboard Delivery (VOD), drone and torpedo recovery, special operations airborne support, and fleet logistics support for all military activities in the Guam area, including the Maritime Propositioned Ships (MPS) operating in the local area. No other Helicopter Combat Support Squadron in the Navy combines all these missions.

Since February 1984, squadron detachments had serviced over 1,525 units by the end of the decade, supplying them with over 190,000 tons of material and transferring more than 88,500 people. Squadron and detachment aircraft have operated as "angels of mercy" on numerous occasions, providing emergency medical evacuation for 299 persons and rescuing 253. HC-5 routinely participates in Operations TRI-CRAB, Southern Watch, United Shield, Cobra Gold, Vigilant Sentinel, and Tandem Thrust.

Helicopter Combat Support (HC) Squadron 5, Det. 6 completed the Navy's first deployment of the new MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter aboard an amphibious ship Jan. 30 on USS Essex (LHA 2). HC-5 Det. 6 got underway with Essex and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) (Special Operations Capable) Jan. 16, 2003 for the biannual Training in an Urban Environment Exercise (TRUEX). As one of the Navy's only forward deployed search and rescue helicopter squadrons, HC-5 Det. 6 provides the Essex Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and embarked MEU with airborne search and rescue capability. They are the first search and rescue squadron to be outfitted with the Knighthawk. "We're forward deployed out of Guam," said Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 1st Class Tommie Jenkins. "At any one time, we may have six detachments on six different ships. What better way to run tests on an aircraft than to put it out to sea?" The squadron has 14 aircraft in all. A pair deploys with each of the six detachments, and two remain shore based in Guam. Detachment 6 is permanently forward-deployed to Japan, aboard Essex. Prior to this deployment, HC-5's primary aircraft was the HH-46 helicopter, which is being phased out of the Navy. HC-5 traded out their last remaining HH-46s for MH-60Ss in December. They now spend less time on maintenance and repairs, Jenkins said. "This gives us a more mission ready aircraft, with less down time," said Jenkins. "Eventually, they'll replace all the 46s in the fleet." While the HH-46 had more room for cargo and passengers, the new capabilities of the MH-60S make up for the loss, according to the crews. More powerful engines give the Knighthawk significantly more lift power than the HH-46, said Aviation Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Joshua Haggard, HC-5 Det. 6 search and rescue swimmer. The added lift will greatly enhance the detachment's secondary mission of vertical replenishment, he said.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:56:26 ZULU