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Marine Medium Tilt-Rotor Squadron VMM-166
Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron-166 (Reinforced) [HMM-166]
"Sea Elks"

Activated 13 September 1985 at Tustin, California as Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 166 and assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Forces, Pacific.

Participated in support of operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Southwest Asia,

Participated in operation Support Hope, Rwanda and Zaire from July to August 1994

Participated in Operation Restore Hope, Somalia in September 1994

Participated in operations Vigilant Warrior, Southwest Asia in October 1994

Relocated during 1995 to El Toro, California

Participated in operation Southern Watch, Southwest Asia from December 1996 to January 1997

Relocated during 1999 to MCAS, Miramar, California

In 2004, HMM-166 deployed as the aviation combat element of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. During this deployment they participated in the Battle of Najaf (2004).

On November 5, 2007 the squadron deployed to the Western Pacific as the aviation combat element of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. From December 4 to 6, as part of the 11th MEU, HMM-166 flew 29 humanitarian assistance missions over Bangladesh to transport more than 54,165 pounds of food and supplies and 1875 gallons of water to the people most affected by Tropical Cyclone Sidr

On 5 May 2009 a SuperCobra belonging to the squadron crashed at 1154 hrs PST into the Cleveland National Forest, California. The crash resulted in the fatalities of the aircraft's two pilots, Jessica Conkling, 27, and Aaron Cox, 26. The SuperCobra had departed Naval Air Facility El Centro 3040 minutes earlier for Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. The cause of the crash was an improperly secured transmission cover which came off in flight and struck the tail rotor.

In September 2009, HMM-166(REIN) again deployed as the aviation combat element of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. They participated in exercises in East Timor, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Djibouti. They returned from the deployment in April 2010.

Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 166 celebrated 44 years of history and embraced its future 23 June 2010 as the squadron transitioned from the CH-46E Sea Knight to the MV-22 Osprey. VMM-166, formerly Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 166, held its change of command and redesignation ceremony here June 23, where Lt. Col. Christopher W. Morton relinquished command to Lt. Col. Michael A. Boorstein. We knew that the CH-46 would eventually be replaced, and the time has come for a better platform to carry us into the future, said Morton, the executive officer of Marine Aviation Group 16 here. The ceremony began with a performance by the band and was followed by the change of command. The colors were then transferred and HMM-166 was deactivated and redesignated as VMM-166.

Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 166 (Reinforced) and Marines with Echo, Fox and Golf Companies, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment (Reinforced) conducted predeployment training aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, 18 August 2015. Marines with VMM-166 (Rein) and Marines with 2/1 (Rein) performed on-off drills with two MV-22B Ospreys and a Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel mission as part of their monthly predeployment training.




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