HSM-51 Warlords welcome HSC-25 Detachment Six to NAF Atsugi
Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 51 Warlords are proud to welcome Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 Detachment 6, known as the “Island Knights.” The squadron moved from their previous location at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Iwakuni to NAF Atsugi, on Oct.1. NAF Atsugi was chosen as the logical alternative versus the squadron’s home base at Anderson Air Force Base in Guam.
The relocation was necessary while MCAS Iwakuni undergoes airfield construction and effected space limitation.
Det. 6 provides logistic, search and rescue, and armed helicopter support for the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), as well as several supply ships operating throughout 7th Fleet.
The Warlords and Island Knights have a standing working relationship. Last summer the Island Knights welcomed HSM-51, Det. 2 to Guam for temporary shore basing in support of Exercise Pandarra Fog and numerous U.S. Marine Corps joint-training flights.
The Island Knights provided valuable training, maintenance support and hospitality to the Warlords and were instrumental in the successful execution of their ground-breaking exercises. Det. 6 is expected to initially maintain two MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopters (with a third expected to arrive later in the year), have a footprint of approximately 30 sailors, and will be sharing hangar space with the Warlords over the next two years.
In addition to increasing the helicopter presence in the Kanto region, another priceless benefit of sharing the local airspace will be the increased opportunities for integrated training and the wealth of corporate knowledge a highly specialized squadron like the Island Knights will provide.
Missions such as Search and Rescue, Maritime Interdiction Operations, Strike Coordination and Reconnaissance Tactical Formation Flying, and Confined Area Landings are all missions that are universal across naval helicopter squadrons, and all will be able to benefit from the mutual training opportunities.
Having the Island Knights onboard NAF Atsugi will also provide a rare opportunity for the Naval Helicopter Association’s Region (NHA) SIX to have representation from nearly all of their squadron members on one single base.
NHA Region SIX members include HSM-37 based in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, HSC-25in Guam, and HSM-51, HSM-77, and HSC-12 at NAF Atsugi.
The Warlords are excited to welcome another team of helicopter professionals to the Atsugi aviation community, and look forward to flying with the Island Knights well into the future.