By Wendy Leland



Super Hornet Basing Decided

The Department of the Navy issued a record of decision for basing 10 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet squadrons and one fleet replacement squadron (FRS) on the East Coast. Eight fleet squadrons and one FRS comprising 120 aircraft will be based at NAS Oceana, Va.; two fleet squadrons comprising 24 aircraft will be located at MCAS Cherry Point, N.C.; and an outlying field will be constructed in Washington County, N.C.



San Antonio Christened

The Navy’s newest amphibious ship, San Antonio (LPD 17), above right, was christened on 19 July at Northrop Grumman facilities in New Orleans, La. She is the first ship to feature the Advanced Enclosed Mast/Sensor system that replaces conventional masts and protects radar and communications antennas from weather. San Antonio is designed to play a critical role in future expeditionary strike groups, with the ability to carry advanced amphibious assault vehicles, landing craft air cushion and aircraft such as the tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey.


For the Record

Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) received her flight deck certification on 14 August.

The ASQ-228 Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared pod completed operational evaluation, achieving certification as operationally effective and suitable.



On 22 July, an F/A-18C Hornet of VMFA-232 crashed at Twentynine Palms, Calif., killing the pilot.

An AV-8B Harrier II of VMA-513 suffered Class A damage after departing the runway during landing rollout at Bagram, Afghanistan, on 23 July.

On 27 July, an EA-6B Prowler of VAQ-135 crashed following takeoff from Nimitz (CVN 68) in the Arabian Gulf. The aircrew members ejected safely and were recovered.

An S-3B Viking of VS-24 was destroyed and two aircrew members suffered first-aid injuries following a crash in Georgia on 31 July.

An E-2C Hawkeye assigned to Defense Plant Representative Office St. Augustine, Fla., suffered Class A damage when it departed the runway during landing rollout on 14 August.

On 24 August, an S-3B Viking suffered Class A damage during a takeoff mishap at Tinker AFB, Okla.

An F/A-18C Hornet of VFA-25 suffered Class A damage when, following a stuck throttle in flight, the pilot ejected as the aircraft departed the runway at NAS Lemoore, Calif., on 5 September.

On 6 September, an EA-6B of VAQ-141 suffered Class A damage when it departed controlled flight after flying through jet wash on the runway threshhold at NS Norfolk, Va.

During carrier qualifications aboard George Washington (CVN 73) in the Virginia Capes on 11 September, an arresting wire broke during landing. The pilot of the F/A-18C Hornet of VFA-106 ejected safely and was recovered. The aircraft was lost, and several crew members on the deck were injured.



First ESG Underway

Below, Peleliu (LHA 5) transits the channel into Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on 29 August. There, the San Diego, Calif.-based Peleliu, Germantown (LSD 42), Ogden (LPD 5), Jarrett (FFG 33) and Decatur (DDG 73) joined up with the Pearl Harbor-based Port Royal (CG 73) and Greeneville (SSN 772) to form Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) 1. The ships’ subsequent departure from Hawaii marked the first deployment of an ESG. The expeditionary strike group concept combines the capabilities of an amphibious ready group and a Marine expeditionary unit with strike escort ships, providing commanders with expanded warfare capabilities both at sea and on land.



Helicopter Command Redesignations Planned

As the Navy continues transitioning to the H-60 as its sole helicopter platform, CNO’s Director, Air Warfare has approved new squadron designations to reflect the new organization. Current HC and HS squadrons will be redesignated HSC for Helicopter Sea Combat, and HSL squadrons will be redesignated HSM for Helicopter Maritime Strike. Below is a list of current and future wings and squadrons and the estimated date of transition. Squadrons seeking guidance for submitting insignia to reflect their changing designations should reference


Wing Redesignations

In March 2005, the designation of helicopter wings are scheduled to change as follows:


Commander Helicopter Tactical Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMHELTACWINGPAC) becomes Commander Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMHELSEACOMBATWINGPAC).


Commander Helicopter Tactical Wing, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (COMHELTACWINGLANT) becomes Commander Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (COMHELSEACOMBATWINGLANT).


Commander Helicopter Antisubmarine Wing (Light), U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMHSLWINGPAC) becomes Commander Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMHELMARSTRIKEWINGPAC).


Commander Helicopter Antisubmarine Wing (Light), U.S. Atlantic Fleet (COMHSLWINGLANT) becomes Commander Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing, U.S. Atlantic Fleet (COMHELMARSTRIKEWINGLANT).


Squadron Redesignations

Old      New     Date   

HC-2   HSC-2             Jan 2006

HC-3   HSC-3             Mar 2005

HC-5   HSC-25           Mar 2005

HC-6   HSC-26           Mar 2005

HC-8   HSC-28           Mar 2005

HC-11 HSC-21           Mar 2005

New Squadron HSC-22           Jan 2007

New Squadron HSC-23           Jan 2007

HS-2    HSC-12           Apr 2009

HS-3    HSC-9             Feb 2010

HS-4    HSC-4             Feb 2007

HS-5    HSC-5             Feb 2009

HS-6    HSC-6             Apr 2010

HS-7    HSC-7             Jan 2008

HS-8    HSC-8             Mar 2008

HS-11  HSC-11           Feb 2011

HS-14  HSC-14           Apr 2011

HS-15  HSC-15           Feb 2012


HSL-37           HSM-37          Jan 2014

HSL-40           HSM-40          Jan 2010

HSL-41           HSM-41          Mar 2005

HSL-42           HSM-42          Mar 2014

New Squadron HSM-70          Jan 2008

New Squadron HSM-71          Apr 2009

New Squadron HSM-72          Feb 2009

HSL-43           HSM-73          Feb 2007

HSL-44           HSM-74          Feb 2010

HSL-45           HSM-75          Mar 2008

HSL-46           HSM-76          Feb 2011

HSL-47           HSM-77          Apr 2010

New Squadron HSM-78          Feb 2012

New Squadron HSM-79          Apr 2011

HSL-48           HSM-48          Feb 2015

HSL-49           HSM-49          Apr 2014

HSL-51           HSM-51          Mar 2013