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Active Duty Wing Takes Control of HSC-85

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070326-17
Release Date: 3/26/2007 5:33:00 PM

By Mass Communications Specialist 1st Class Brian Brannon, Naval Reserve Fleet Public Affairs Center San Diego

CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- Command of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 85 (HSC-85) shifted from Helicopter Reserve Wing (HELWINGRES) to Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CHSCWP) on March 25 at Naval Air Station North Island, opening a new chapter in the history of the "High Rollers."

The transfer marked a further step in the active/Reserve integration of the squadron, moving it from an operational support role to direct fulfillment of the Navy's mission.

"It's a better utilization of all the assets," said HSC-85 Commanding Officer Cmdr. James Cluxton. "It gives the active commodore the opportunity to directly task us and it augments the force strength."

Capt. James Iannone, commodore of Helicopter Wing Reserve, said combining Reserve and active components continues to serve as a force multiplier in the global war on terrorism.

"When you blend the active component and the Reserve component, you get the best of both worlds," he said. "You get the youth and vitality of the active component along with the experience and dedication of the Reserve component. Together, you complete the mission requirements of the United States Navy."

Command Master Chief (AW/NAC) Michael Curry said the commitment of Reservists assigned to the squadron is demonstrated by an operational schedule that keeps the squadron flying wherever and whenever it is needed.

"When you talk about 53 percent of the squadron are selected Reservists, yes they come to the fight, and they do more than their two days a month," he said.

Formerly a helicopter combat support squadron, the High Rollers were redesignated a helicopter sea combat squadron in February 2006. In September, the squadron began its transition to the MH-60 Seahawk from the H-3 Sea King. The transition is scheduled for completion by summer, when the squadron receives its last Seahawk.

"Now we take the next step and fold the Reserve component into the operational type wing," said Capt. Jamie Hopkins, commodore of CHSCWP. "We are currently planning to use a squadron detachment in support of the upcoming air ambulance mission, and quite frankly, we would have a difficult time meeting that mission if it were not for the support of the Reserve component."

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