Wednesday, November 25, 2009

HSC-25 Detachment 1 Returns from Deployment

An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from the Island Nights of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 flies near the guided-missile destroyer USS Mustin (DDG 89) during a vertical replenishment with the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). HSC-25 is deployed aboard the Military Sealift Command dry cargo ship USNS Alan B. Shepard (T-AKE 3). George Washington, the Navy's only permanently forward-deployed aircraft carrier, is underway supporting security and stability in the western Pacific Ocean. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman William P. Gatlin/Released)

By Oyaol Ngirairikl, Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs

SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 welcomed home Detachment 1 from a 13-month deployment Nov. 24.

Det. 1 was embarked on USNS Shasta (T-AE 33), USNS Flint (T-AE 32) and USNS Alan B. Shepard (T-AKE 3). The 32 Sailors provided vertical replenishment support, moving more than two tons of cargo and transferring passengers.

Cmdr. Ben Reynolds, HSC-25 executive officer, commended the Sailors for successfully completing their mission.

"You did logistics support and humanitarian assistance —so much of what we do in our community you all did in this microcosm of Det. 1 and you did it very well," Reynolds said.

Following the aftermath of Super Typhoon Choi-Wan, Det. 1 embarked aboard Shepard provided humanitarian support to residents of Alamagan and Agrihan Sept. 17. The islands, part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), are approximately 146 nautical miles north of Saipan.

Along with the Military Sealift Command dry cargo-ammunition ship, Det. 1 was tasked with transiting to the area to assist the residents who required basic survival needs following the effects of heavy rain and winds in excess of 150 mph brought on by the super typhoon.

"We flew to Agrihan and Alamagan and we provided food supplies to 25 families and assisted a family of six with a 5-day-old baby that we rescued," said Lt. Cmdr. Mark Dennison, officer-in-charge of the detachment.

Dennison credited Det. 1's success to the Sailors' level of professionalism and pride in their work.

"I joined the Navy in 1992, and I can easily say this has been the best year in my Navy career because of these folks," Dennison said. "Their dedication, hard work and positive attitude were the cornerstones of this Det. They made it successful and made it fun."

Dennison also thanked HSC-25 spouses for their strength and support.

"We couldn't have done it without you," he said. "I know it was hard for everybody, but because of your support we got through it and finished it safe and with a positive attitude."

HSC 25 is the Navy's only forward deployed vertical replenishment squadron providing deployed ships a rapid, safe and versatile means of re-supplying diminishing stores. In addition, HSC 25 provides 24-hour search and rescue and medical evacuation services for Guam and the Northern Mariana islands.