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HC-5 Returns Home

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS050615-09
Release Date: 6/15/2005 1:11:00 PM

By Journalist 1st Class Frederick C. Busch, Navy and Marine Corps Reserve Center Minneapolis Public Affairs

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam (NNS) -- Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 5 returned home to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, April 18 after a seven-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and humanitarian service in Indonesia.

Family members and the rest of the squadron greeted the detachment's 30 officers and enlisted Sailors with a reception in the squadron's hangar. All the returning Navy members said the mission, which began Sept. 14, was challenging but rewarding, particularly after the humanitarian service performed for tsunami survivors in Sumatra and other parts of Indonesia.

"The days were long, but not as long for us as they were for the 22 Sailors that maintained our helicopters,” said Lt. Jason Budde, who piloted one of the SH-60 Seahawk helicopters. “They kept them flying. We just flew them.”

"I feel very good about what we did," said Budde. "People were very appreciative of the food, clean water, medicine, and clothing and transportation of the sick and injured we provided in Indonesia. They sprinted to our aircraft when we landed and stockpiled as much as they could get from us. The Navy made a tremendous difference to them."

Aviation Electrician's Mate 3rd Class Edward Doheny, who maintained the helicopters, said he enjoyed the deployment but was glad to be home.

"The days were long and hard, but it was a good experience,” Doheny said.

The detachment, which had short liberty visits in the United Arab Emirates and Singapore, enjoyed a couple days off before the HC-5 re-designation ceremony April 21. The squadron became HSC-25 and will be expected to take on more of a combat-related role.

During its deployment, HC-5's Det. 6 logged more than 880 flight hours and supported the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet ships, including USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67), USS Mobile Bay (CG 53), USS Vicksburg (CG 69), USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and USS Underwood (FFG 36), and cruised with USS Harper's Ferry (LSD 49) and USS Juneau (LPD 10).

Missions included mail, package and cargo runs in Kuwait, passenger transfers to Bahrain, search and rescue operations, and Iraqi oil platform defense in the Persian Gulf.

Tsunami relief efforts included transporting 151,876 pounds of internal cargo, 112,000 pounds of external cargo, 773 passengers and 226.5 flight hours.


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