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Historic HS-4 Transitions to HSC-4

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120329-20

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Shawnte Bryan, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The "Black Knights" of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 4 became Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 4, during a transition ceremony at Naval Base Coronado, March 29.

The primary mission of the legendary "Black Knights" has always been anti-submarine warfare. However, with the transition from the SH-60F Sea Hawk helicopter to MH-60S Knighthawk, the squadron adds search and rescue, combat search and rescue, special operations support and logistics as secondary missions.

"With this ceremony the legendary 'Black Knights' will embark on a new path, and with any decision of the future there will be uncertainties, but one thing that is clear is that the future is bright," said retired Capt. Michael Fuqua, a former commanding officer of HS-4.

Since the announcement of the transition in October 2011, HSC-4 has been training with the Fleet Replacement Squadron of HSC-3 to ensure a solid transition.

"We are learning the new airframe by going to HSC-3 to train with their instructor pilots," said Cmdr. Tamara K. Graham, commanding officer of HSC-4. "And our maintainers go over [to HSC-3] to execute maintenance under the instruction of already trained maintenance professionals."

After months of training, hard work and the official transition, the men and women of the legendary "Black Knights" can now call themselves "plank owners."

"When you work for a command that is called a legend in history, maintaining that representation is going to be challenging, especially being the first to be called HSC-4," said Aviation Machinist Mate 1st Class Miguel Caro, "but we are all up for the task."

HS-4's most famous helicopter was the SH-3D Sea King "Helicopter 66" which was used to pick up astronauts from Apollo 8, 10, 11, 12 and 13. Recently, HS-4 deployed and supported Operation Tomodachi to aid tsunami victims in Japan, as well as Operations New Dawn in Iraq and Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan.

"HS-4, at least in my eyes, is the best and greatest squadron that ever was and ever will be, and is truly legendary," said Fuqua.

Graham said by the end of May, HSC-4 expects to be fully transitioned and equipped with seven new MH-60S Knighthawk helicopters.

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