HSC-25 Det 1, Det 6 return from deployment
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 Detachment 1 and Detachment 6 returned here Nov. 9 after completing a seven-month and a nine-month deployment, respectively.
HSC-25, the U.S. Navy's only forward deployed MH-60S Seahawk expeditionary squadron, is tasked to support search and rescue and vertical replenishment operations in combined and joint missions all over the Pacific region.
Det. 1 completed their deployment on board the USNS Amelia Earheart and USNS Charles Drew, where they supported the USS George Washington Strike Group, Command Task Force 70 and Destroyer Squadron 15. Det. 1 moved a total of 6.4 million pounds of cargo and 121 passengers during fiscal year 2013.
"Detachment 1 came home with the most qualifications I have ever seen in my career," said U.S. Navy Cmdr. Gregory Leland, HSC-25 commanding officer. "These detachments were some of the most successful detachments I have ever seen."
Both detachments supported operations throughout the Pacific. Along with supporting Australian naval vessels during combined Exercise Talisman Saber 2013, both detachments supported Operation Damayan -- a U.S. humanitarian aid and disaster relief effort to support the Philippines in the wake of the devastating effects of Typhoon Haiyan.
"While on the Charles Drew, we helped out in Tacloban by providing food stores, water and fuel," said U.S. Navy Lt. James Aguirre, HSC-25 Det. 1 MH-60S pilot. "We were the first ship on scene, and as soon as we got there, we started moving gallons of water to shore. The following days, we ran water to outlying areas where people had signs on the top of their houses. We ran supplies all over the place and helped as best we could."
During the unit's nine-month deployment aboard USS Bonhomme Richard, Det. 6 supported the U.S. Navy 7th Fleet in the Western Pacific area of responsibility. Det. six flew more than 1,300 hours, moved 2.5 million pounds of cargo and transferred 959 passengers. In addition, the detachment also conducted six medical evacuations and four searches resulting in one rescue.
"We had a lot of challenges on det; one of them being away from the family," said U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Thomas Ridgway, HSC-25 Det 6 aircraft electronics technician. "We got bounced all over the place and had the opportunity to do a lot of great things, but it's amazing to be back with my family, so I'm looking forward to spending time with them."
With the return of Det. 6, the next rotation of aircrews deployed Dec. 2 to continue the mission of providing logistical support, SAR capabilities and humanitarian assistance in the Pacific.
"I want to thank the detachment that we sent off to relieve the team from the Bonhomme Richard," Leland said. "I also want to thank the spouse groups, the family readiness folks and ombudsmen who help us keep the balance in the families back home while the detachments are fighting a good fight.
"We look forward to continuing the successful trend in the near future," he continued. "I'm extremely grateful to be part of such an organization."