SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The "Wolfpack" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75 celebrated its 25th anniversary Oct. 3 in a ceremony at the squadron headquarters on Naval Air Station North Island.
Wolfpack, established Oct. 3, 1986 as Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 45, was the second Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) Mk III squadron in the Navy.
"Celebrating 25 years is exciting," said Cmdr. Chris Westphal, HSM 75's commanding officer. "HSL 45/HSM 75 is a very proud squadron. We have been doing things exceptionally well for a long time, and being part of that long legacy of naval aviation excellence is a privilege."
For HSM 75, 2011 has been a year of transitions. In February, Wolfpack formally transitioned from HSL 45 to HSM 75, changing from the SH-60B to the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter.
They also transitioned from an expeditionary detachment deployment model to a carrier air wing (CVW) operating model, and in August the squadron underwent an immediate superior in command (ISIC) change from Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet (HSC WING PAC) to CVW 11.
With all the changes happening within HSM 75, the squadron took the time to commemorate a quarter century of service.
"Celebrating our 25 years as a squadron signifies the traditions that the Navy is built on," said Command Master Chief Jeff Kozlik. "It's a tremendous milestone. Twenty-five years is a big deal, and it shows the younger Sailors there are men who have gone before who have sacrificed and put in a lot of hard work to make this a successful squadron we are today."
During the ceremony, the original HSL 45 commanding officer, retired Capt. Sandy Clark, spoke to the crew and pilots about the significance of 25 years.
"I am very proud of the legacy of this squadron has left over the years, and I am proud of all the accomplishments," Clark said. "I am encouraged by what I see in the community and in this squadron. I am very confident that in 25 years some other lucky guy will be standing here talking about this squadron."
Wolfpack is scheduled to embark aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) as part of CVW 11 next year.
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