HSC-5 Returns from Deployment

HSC-5 Returns from Deployment

26-Apr-2023 Source: US Navy

The “Nightdippers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5 returned to its home base at Naval Station Norfolk, April 23, 2023, following an eight-month deployment with Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10, George H.W. Bush CSG, to the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations.

Following completion of a four week composite training unit exercise, HSC-5 deployed Aug. 10, 2022, with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, embarked aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), with additional logistics personnel embarked aboard the Supply-class fast combat support ship USNS Arctic (T-AOE 8).

HSC-5 completed inland training exercises in Bize, Albania, including mountain flying, a challenging and dangerous proposition for helicopters due to the thin air and high engine power requirements, low-level tactical flying, off-airport landing, and multi-unit coordinated exercises featuring an explosive ordnance disposal unit and fixed-wing squadrons, Jan. 15-17.

HSC-5 completed combined training with Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 12 and Spanish allies from the Spanish Navy carrier ESPS Juan Carlos I (LHD-61) in Albania, during the NATO-led vigilance activity Neptune Strike 23.1.

Throughout deployment, HSC-5 executed 856 sorties totaling 2,660 flight hours. Additionally, HSC-5 executed eight time-critical medical evacuations providing Sailors throughout CSG-10 with high-level medical care, and supported 158 vertical replenishment flights, delivering over 4.7 million pounds of cargo to support sustained carrier operations.

“The courage and tenacity embodied by every ‘Nightdipper’ throughout these many months reflects the fighting spirit of the Helicopter Sea Combat community,” said Cmdr. Erik “Gus” Gustafson, commanding officer of HSC-5. “We take immense pride in our flexibility, solving operational problems for the strike group, and delivering combat power to the fleet. I could not be more proud to serve alongside such an inspiring team of great Americans who personify our ethos to ‘Rescue! Protect! Deliver!’”

George H.W. Bush is the flagship of CSG-10, George H.W. Bush CSG. CSG-10 is comprised of George H.W. Bush, CVW-7, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26, the Information Warfare Commander, and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55).

The ships of DESRON-26 completing deployment with CSG-10 are the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Nitze (DDG 94), USS Truxtun (DDG 103), and USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119).

The squadrons of CVW-7 embarked aboard the George H.W. Bush are the “Sidewinders” of VFA-86, the “Jolly Rogers” of VFA-103, the “Knighthawks” of VFA-136, the “Pukin Dogs” of VFA-143, the “Bluetails” of Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 121, the “Patriots” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140, the “Nightdippers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5, and the “Grandmasters” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 46.

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