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HSL-49 Det. 6 Returns to North Island

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080603-12
Release Date: 6/3/2008 12:37:00 PM

From Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light Public Affairs

NAVAL AIR STATION NORTH ISLAND, Calif (NNS) -- The "Highlifers" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 49 Det. 6 returned to Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI) May 30, after completing a six-month deployment aboard the guided-missile frigate USS Crommelin (FFG 37).

Det. 6, which consists of 13 maintenance personnel, two aircrewmen, five pilots, and one SH-60B "Seahawk" helicopter, completed more than 480 flight hours in support of Counter-Narco Terrorism (CNT) Operations with the U.S. Coast Guard in the U.S. Southern Command area of focus. CNT Operations are joint operations conducted in support of U.S. and partner nation drug control policy.

The squadron, assisted by a Coast Guard sniper, became the first to employ a Barret .50 caliber sniper rifle in actual operations when they interdicted a high-speed "go-fast" vessel during deterrence operations.

During the deployment, Det. 6 and the Crommelin crew visited numerous ports in Latin America, including Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Panama City, Panama; Cartagena, Columbia and Trujillo, Peru.

The mission of HSL-49 is to provide combat ready SH-60B helicopter detachments, each consisting of one or two aircraft, to operate on board and supplement a surface ship's ability to execute its mission. Detachments normally operate from Oliver Hazard-Perry class frigates, Spruance-class destroyers, Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and Ticonderoga-class cruisers.

The crew's successful demonstration of Counter-Narco Terrorism Operations reinforces the Navy's Maritime Strategy by displaying deterrence and sea control in areas where the U.S. and its allies are expanding maritime security on, above and under the ocean.

For more news from Commander, Naval Air Forces, visit www.navy.mil/local/airpac/.

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