US Navy, April 22, 2016 - NORFOLK by PO2 Wyatt Huggett - Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 14, conducted a five-helicopter formation flight Apr. 20, at Naval Station Norfolk.
The five MH-53E Sea Dragons, assigned to HM-14, took off to conduct the first five aircraft flight formation since 2006.
They flew along Naval Station Norfolk’s waterfront followed by two more formation passes along the Chambers field runway.
“The five aircraft that are flying today represent thousands of man-hours that has gone into restoring them,” said Cmdr. Derek S. Brady, commanding officer of HM-14. “I couldn’t be more proud of the effort the sailors have put in to make this flight possible. This is a great accomplishment for our command and the U.S. Navy.”
The Vanguard has been devoted to the maintenance and restoration of the Sea Dragons.
“It is a great feeling to know the hard work and dedication everyone has put into these helicopters is paying off by having all five helicopters flying at once,” said Aviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class Timothy R. Kurtz, assigned to HM-14.
HM-14 pilots explained that every aircraft added into the flight creates for a more challenging formation.
“A five aircraft formation flight is a great training opportunity for all personnel involved,” said Lt. Sean Johnson, pilot assigned to HM-14. “This training prepares us for future deployments and tasking we might receive.”
HM-14, whose motto is “World Famous” Vanguard, maintains a worldwide 72-hour Airborne Mine Countermeasures (AMCM) rapid deployment posture, a two aircraft forward-deployed AMCM and vertical onboard delivery capability in the 7th Fleet area of responsibility.