HC-5: 20 Years In The Making

Story Number: NNS040301-02Release Date: 3/1/2004 8:49:00 AM
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By Coleen R. San Nicolas-Perez, U.S. Naval Forces Marianas Public Affairs

SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- February marks Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 5's 20th birthday on island. Through the years, the command has been able to face challenges head on and successfully fulfill orders.

In the past two decades, the squadron has evolved from a command created in direct response to the Cold War, to participating in search and rescues missions in the region, and replenishing ships during Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.

One of the most recognized accomplishments was the successful implementation of the Navy's newest helicopter, the MH-60S Knighthawk.

"We managed this transition without growth in personnel whatsoever, and we've done it safely," explained Lt. Cmdr. Walter Morgan, an aircraft commander and assistant administration officer.

HC-5's secret to success is simple - Sailors who want to get the job done, not only for the betterment of the nation, but also for each other. Aviation Electrician's Mate (AW/NAC) 1st Class Michael Barbier, Det. 6 crew chief, said HC-5 is one of the best duty stations in the world.

"We work closely together, especially when we go out to sea," he said. "As long as everyone sits together, we can take care of things."

"HC-5 is all about Sailors," said Cmdr. Robert Laubengayer, HC-5 commanding officer. "It's great Sailors doing great things."

Sailors are also prepared to deploy at a moment's notice. Detachments, in a group of 30 personnel and two helicopters, leave for several months at a time, circling the world to support the Navy's various missions.

Trust and a sense of camaraderie are important to HC-5's Sailors. Many of them expressed strong loyalty to each other's welfare and safety.

"They work hard, and I can always count of them," said Aircrew Survival Equipmentman (NAC) 2nd Class Nelson Trevallion, a rescue swimmer and crew chief. "Every day I come here, and I know everyone is doing their job right so that I can go home to my wife."

For related news, visit the U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/guam.

An MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter from the
Official U.S. Navy file photo of an MH-60S Knighthawk helicopter from the Providers of HC-5 transferring equipment from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) to USS Nimitz (CVN 68) during a vertical replenishment.
April 8, 2003
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