Helicopter Combat Support Special Squadron (HCS-5) Firehawks
Helicopter Combat Support Special Squadron Five has the mission of conducting flight and ground training to maintain maximum readiness for immediate employment conduction Combat Search and Rescue and Naval Special Warfare operations and support of United States Forces for crisis response, mobilization, and Fleet contributory support. They conduct airborne operations in support of air strike operations; conduct Combat Search and Rescue operations in a combat environment and Search and Rescue operations in a non-combat environment; conduct Navy Special Warfare operations in support of other strike operations; conduct general surveillance; coordinate and conduct multi-unit Search and Rescue operations; and conduct Fleet training for Carrier Air Wings and Reserve Carrier Air Wings for Combat Search and Rescue and non-combat Search and Rescue.
The "Firehawks" of Helicopter Combat Support Special Squadron 5 deployed to Iraq in March 2003, the first time th unit had mobilized and deployed since Operations Desert Storm/Desert Shield. HCS-5 was the first naval air squadron deployed to Iraq, and the Firehawks still remain in theater. HCS-5 is one of two squadrons in the Navy dedicated to Naval Special Warfare support, and combat search and rescue. The unit deployed with 75 individuals. The unit supported US Central Command, Special Operations Command Central and Joint Special Operations Air Component. The majority of their flights in the Iraqi theater have been supporting special operations ground forces missions, both in urban and rural areas. The Firehawks have also participated in military operations in urban terrain, and helped with medical and casualty evacuations. Altogether, they have flown more than 390 sorties and logged more than 850 flight hours.
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