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HSL-49 Det. 3 Returns Home From Deployment

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070315-12
Release Date: 3/15/2007 7:40:00 PM

From Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 49 Public Affairs

NAS NORTH ISLAND, Calif. (NNS) -- The "Dons" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 49 Det. 3, returned home to Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI) on March 13, following a six-month deployment.

Embarked with Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 5 aboard USS Howard (DDG 83), the two-helicopter detachment performed maritime security operations (MSO) in the Persian Gulf in direct support of the global war on terrorism.

MSO sets the conditions for regional security and stability in the maritime environment and complements the counter-terrorism and security efforts of regional nations. In addition, MSO denies international terrorist organizations the use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other materials.

Det. 3 aided Howard and ESG 5 in oil platform defense south of Iraq by maintaining perimeter security around the Khawr Al Amaya and Al Basrah oil terminals. The oil exports from these two terminals account for 85 percent of Iraq’s economic revenues. In this capacity, the detachment provided surface surveillance and coordination to warfare commanders in the region and air support to visit, board, search and seizure teams from Howard and other coalition and Iraqi forces.

“This deployment has proven to be a valuable learning experience for both flight crew and maintainers alike," said pilot Lt. j.g. Jeffery J. Lassard. "The variety of operations and missions undertaken have challenged the detachment personnel and provided a solid experience base for future deployments. I am glad to have taken part.”

In addition to the defense operations around Iraq, Det. 3 carried out search and rescue missions, medical evacuations and logistics support flights. Det. 3's Sailors also on-loaded and off-loaded mail, distinguished visitors and vital parts to the ship and her crew.

Prior to arriving on station in the Persian Gulf, they participated in several joint naval exercises including an undersea warfare exercise with the Boxer Expeditionary Strike Group and forces stationed in-and-around the Hawaiian Islands. They also participated in Malabar 2006, a multinational exercise involving the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard, as well as the Indian and Canadian navies.

These exercises increased combat readiness and interoperability while enhancing the cooperative security relationship between foreign allies and the United States.

Det. 3, safely executed 649 flight hours during their six-month deployment. Of those, 400 were operational hours with the majority taking place in the Gulf.

During the course of their deployment, Det. 3 made several port visits including Pearl Harbor; Darwin, Australia; Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India; Manama, Bahrain; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Guam.

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