U.S. Navy’s Guam-based Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 25 Det. 6 returned home after a seven-month deployment in the western Pacific and South China Sea.
The detachment departed Guam May 25, and supported Commander Amphibious Force 7th Fleet from naval air facility Atsugi and aboard amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD) 6.
In July, HSC-25 conducted split detachment operations by sending a group of pilots, air crewmen, and maintainers to Mutsu Bay, Japan, to participate in the biannual joint mine countermeasures exercise (2JA) with several U.S. Navy assets and partners from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF).
During the exercise, they joined Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 14 for mine-hunting operations, as well as helicopter-borne mine neutralization with members of Explosive Ordinance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 5 and JMSDF EOD.
Following exercise 2JA, Det. 6 supported Marine Wing Support Squadron 171 (MWSS-171) at the combined arms training center camp Fuji. The Marines conducted readiness exercises in establishment of forward arming and refueling point (FARP) for extended helicopter operations. Det. 6 provided helicopters for hands-on training, security drills, and close air support demonstrations.
The detachment later joined Bonhomme Richard when Expeditionary Strike Group 7 set out on their fall 2016 patrol, as the group’s only search and rescue asset. HSC-25 supported the Bonhomme Richard’s flight deck certification, the air combat element’s embarkation, and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit certification exercise (CERTEX).
After the ESG left the Japan area of responsibility, they set sail for Guam, where they joined Valiant Shield – a biannual blue-water U.S. field training exercise. Following the exercise, Det. 6 supported the ESG and MEU during PHIBLEX 2016, a joint U.S. and Philippine amphibious landing exercise.