SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron (HS) 8 became the first HS squadron to transition to a Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) Sept. 28 at Naval Air Station North Island.
Despite the name change (HSC-8), new aircraft (MH-60S), and new missiion, at least one thing remained unchanged, the squadron’s nickname, “Eightballers.”
“It’s going to change the mission entirely because you’re going from anti-submarine warfare to search and rescue (SAR), to VERTREP [vertical replenishment] and SAR type events,” said Aviation Structural Mechanic 2nd Class (AW) Michele Reynolds, HSC-8 helicopter mechanic.
Due to the new aircraft that replaced the SH-60F in the transition, new training has been implemented to maintain and service the new MH-60S.
“We are sending our AZs [Aviation Maintenance Administrationman] and AEs [Aviation Electrician’s Mate] to a full two-month training course to learn how to work on the aircraft,” said HSC-8 Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Lawrence S. Vincent.
This transition to HSC-8 is another benchmark for the Eightballers past endeavors, which date back to June 1, 1956.
Guest speaker Rear Adm. Gerard M. Mauer, commandant, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, said he had a history with HS-8. Mauer said that in 1975, when he took his first flight in a U.S. Navy aircraft, it was with HS-8. That flight made such an impact with him that it led him to joining the naval aviation field.
The transition of mission, name and aircraft are big changes for the squadron, but the men and women who make up the Eightballers have accepted each change and are incorporating them into its long and proud history.
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