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Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron ONE [HELASRON HS-1]

The 46-year history of the Navy's helicopter fleet replacement squadron cames to a close when the "Seahorses" of HS-1 conducted their last flight 28 May 1997 at NAS Jacksonville. Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron 1 conducted training for pilots and aircrew as directed by COMNAVAIRLANT and higher authority on SH-3/H-60F helicopters. HELANTISUBRON 1 had its headquarters located at NAS Jacksonville. HS-1 trained maintenance personnel, replacement pilots, and provided the fleet with updated combat strike rescue techniques. The squadron flew in excess of 8,000 hours per year, qualifying 75 pilots, 80 aircrewmen, and 300 search and rescue swimmers annually.

From the 1950's wooden planks of Lake Champlain to the 1990's steel decks of ships in "DESERT STORM," HS-1 refined the art of antisubmarine warfare while expanding its training mission to new and challenging areas in support of the U.S. Navy's maritime supremacy, sea denial, and forward presence missions. For more than four decades, the "Seahorses" have upheld their reputation as the Navy's premier helicopter squadron.

With more than two decades at NAS Jacksonville, HS-1's training mission continued to evolve. As the Chief of Naval Operation's (CNO) model manager, HS-1 provided standardization, Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) currency/proficiency requirements and maintained the curriculum standard for the fleet. On Jan. 1, 1991, HS-1 assumed the additional responsibilities as CNO's Search and Rescue Model Manager and Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet Evaluation Unit. As SAR Model Manager, HS-1 provided Navy-wide SAR standardization and training for the aviation, surface and sub-surface communities.

HS-1's mission in this area included providing the fleet with the most up-to-date equipment and techniques to enhance the successful completion of all Navy Search and Rescue evolutions. HS-1 also served as the U.S. Atlantic Fleet school house for CNET's high risk Surface Rescue Swimmer Training and Helicopter Rappel Training.

In 1989, the squadron began a new chapter of its history as HS-1 assumed the added mission of training select aircrews in Combat Search and Rescue procedures. The increasing vulnerability of daylight Combat SAR operations indicated the need for a viable night Combat SAR ability. In August of that year, HS-1 responded by designating two Night Vision Device (NVD) instructors. Soon afterward, HS-1 began teaching a CNO approved NVD Combat SAR curriculum for carrier-based HS squadrons that qualified over 100 aviators and aircrewman per year in this highly demanding curriculum.

The squadron's ASW training took a quantum leap forward with the addition of an SH-60F training syllabus. Boasting Bendix's 1500 foot, variable depth sonar, the SH-60F will take the HS community well into the next century.

HS-1 averaged an excess of 8,000 flight hours per year, qualifying approximately 75 pilots, 80 aircrewmen and 300 Search and Rescue Swimmers annually. Additionally, the squadron's Aviation Maintenance Training Unit trained over 400 maintenance personnel annually. Training at HS-1 was international in flavor, with many foreign military pilots, aircrew and maintenance technicians that received the world's finest aviation training.

Throughout its 46 year history, HS-1 claimed accolades for professionalism and superior achievement. HS-1 was awarded the coveted Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Safety Award in 1962, 1963, 1964, and again in 1984. In 1972, HS-1 received the Meritorious Unit Commendation for its flood relief efforts in New York and Pennsylvania. The "Seahorses" earned further recognition in 1990 and 1991 with two consecutive Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (COMNAVAIRLANT) nominations for the prestigious Department of Defense "Phoenix Award" - recognizing the single best maintenance department in the Atlantic Fleet. September 1992 saw the squadron again achieving unprecedented success while conducting operations in support of Joint Task Force Andrew providing relief to South Florida in the After math of one of the nation's most destructive hurricanes. For their effort, the "Seahorses" were awarded the Humanitarian Service Medal. The squadron was further honored in April 1994 when they earned the Meritorious Unit Commendation for sustained superior performance from March 1992 to December 1993. Yet another significant milestone was achieved in 1996, when HS-1 completed 13 years without a Class "A" flight mishap, surpassing 90,000 accident free hours.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 01:56:35 ZULU