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HS-10 Warhawks Reflect on History at Disestablishment Ceremony

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120713-05

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Byron C. Linder, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West San Diego

CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- Sailors, former unit members, and family attended a disestablishment ceremony for Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 10 at Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI) July 12.

The ceremony commemorated HS-10's past missions and officially ended the fleet replacement squadron's (FRS) 52 years of service training naval aviators, flight officers, air crew and maintenance personnel.

Commissioned June 30, 1960 at Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach as the "Taskmasters", the squadron trained more than 2,000 pilots, 2,000 air crew, and 6,450 maintenance personnel in the operation, tactics, and maintenance of SH-3 "Sea King" helicopters.

"It was a different time then. The Taskmasters faced down the threat of the Cold War and continued to support and defend the fleet through the first Gulf War," said guest speaker Capt. Paul Esposito, commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing U.S. Atlantic Fleet. "Thanks to this command and those who served in it, HS squadrons would become the backbone of the fleet, the envy of the world, and the dream of many a young naval aviator."

In December 1976, the squadron established a new home at NASNI. In 1989, the SH-3's search and rescue (SAR) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) roles began being replaced with the newer SH-60F "Seahawk" platform. With the final SH-3 class' graduation in June 1989, HS-10 had attained 70,000 mishap-free flight hours.

HS-10 made history in October 1989 by becoming the first SH-60F FRS. In 1990, the "Taskmasters" name was replaced with "Warhawks" to emphasize the focus on the Navy's new helicopter platform. Since then, HS-10 personnel have trained 1,715 pilots, 1,267 aircrew and 5,060 maintenance personnel on the SH-60F and HH-60H platforms, and achieved 100,000 Class "A" mishap-free flight hours.

"This isn't really the end. It's a transition. What makes our Navy great is our desire to be the best. In order to do this, we have to evolve. Sometimes that evolution comes at the expense of what we know. This is a new chapter in our quest to be the best," Esposito said. "Thanks to everyone who's been part of HS-10, there are thousands of Sailors around the world on the job keeping us safe."

Following Esposito's remarks, Capt. Shoshana Chatfield, commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing U.S. Pacific Fleet presented Cmdr. William J. Murphy, HS-10's commanding officer, with a Meritorious Unit Commendation and a Sikorsky "Excellence in Maintenance" award for the squadron. Murphy closed the ceremony by noting through all the changes in platforms, names and missions, one thing remained constant.

"What has not changed is the caliber of our people, our most vital and precious asset. People make history, and HS-10's family history runs deep. We face many challenges, and we must keep in mind the people, personalities and relationships make us successful and give us that intangible edge in combat," Murphy said. "The future is dynamic and full of uncertainty, but one thing remains clear - strong cross-community leadership and a unified family will carry the day for rotary wing naval aviation."

HS-10's aircraft and personnel will become part of the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 3 "Merlins", an MH-60S "Knighthawk" FRS based at NASNI.


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