NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron FIVE (HS-5) transitioned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron FIVE (HSC-5) during a ceremony Jan. 24 at Naval Station Norfolk.
The new platform, which includes the MH-60R "Seahawk" and MH-60S "Knighthawk", will replace the SH-60F and HH-60H.
The transition itself placed new challenges and definite changes for the squadron in training and in atmosphere."The big glaring change is the airframe. It is just leaps and bounds ahead in terms of technology and capability," said Cmdr. Aaron R. Kelley, commanding officer of HSC-5.
The HSC-5 "Nightdippers" returned from deployment in July 2013 and began the transition to the new platform of MH-60S by sending pilots and aircrew through schools in San Diego, as well as training with another squadron, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWO (HSC-2), in Norfolk, said Lt. Chris Hoffmann, public affairs officer for HSC-5.
In preparation for the transition to HSC, HS-5 sent aviation ordnancemen, aviation electrician's mates, and aviation electronics technicians to San Diego for four months of training while some pilots and members of the aircrew, specifically maintainers, remained in Norfolk to train with HSC-2.
HSC-2 "Fleet Angels" assisted HS-5 with training and requalifying all maintainers with the new technology and format of the MH-60S and MH-60R helicopters. HSC-2 will also assist HS-5 by continuing to cover the anti-submarine warfare mission that HSC-5 is losing.
"We've renewed our focus on our Combat Search and Rescue, Naval Special Warfare Support, and Anti-Surface Warfare missions, and that's not to exclude logistics," said Kelley.
However, with all the new challenges and changes that HSC-5 faces, the squadron remains enthusiastic with the transition and continues to push forward.
"Everybody is really excited to get back to flying and get up to operating speed again," said Hoffmann. "Hopefully, we will be able to go out to help everybody on the front lines again."
HSC-5 will continue to remain the world famous "Nightdippers" although the anti-submarine warfare mission has been dropped. The "Nightdippers" are not just famous for the legacy that is continually delivered but also the attitude that remains within the squadron.
"We do our job professionally, reliably, and enthusiastically and I think it is that enthusiasm that filters from the deck plates all the way up," said Kelley. "It's contagious and folks remember the 'Nightdippers'."
For more news from Navy Public Affairs Support Element, East, visit www.navy.mil/local/pacennorfolk/.