NORFOLK, Va. –
The “Sea Knights” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 22 conducted their final flight on Wednesday, Feb. 15, almost 16 years after their first flight in 2006.
As one of the squadrons located on the “seawall” of Naval Station Norfolk, HSC-22 operated the MH-60S helicopter, the Navy’s multi-mission, rotary-wing helicopter, as well as the MQ-8B/C “Fire Scout,” an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance in the maritime environment.
Cmdr. Aaron “Dempsey” Berger is the last of 14 commanding officers who have led the squadron to work toward their core mission areas.
“When this squadron was established we were handed a challenge of living up to the standards set by other squadrons,” Berger said. “I believe we’ve risen above and set new standards for other squadrons to meet. I’ve challenged every Sailor as they depart for other commands to take their ‘get to yes’ mentality, work ethic and organizational standards onward so we, as a Naval Aviation Enterprise, can continue to support the National Defense Strategy.”
HSC-22 was the first East Coast HSC squadron to pioneer the integration of rotary UAVs into the existing MH-60S mission sets. For over five years, HSC-22 operated three separate aircraft models in the squadron with many members being qualified to operate or perform maintenance on all three platforms.
Designated as one of three East Coast expeditionary squadrons, HSC-22 has deployed detachments of personnel and aircraft on nearly every class of ship the U.S. Navy currently operates worldwide.
One of the squadron’s core mission areas in recent years was working with the U.S. Coast Guard under the Joint Interagency Task Force South. This unique opportunity enabled the squadron to exercise the manned-unmanned teaming concept to facilitate the interdiction of illicit trafficking.
Berger closed by acknowledging that even though they have performed their final flight, the “Sea Knights” have proudly lived up to their motto of “Praeses, Armis, Gero:” “Protect, Fight, Support.”
Written by Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic Public Affairs.