HSM-70 Spartans return from nine-month deployment
US Navy HSM-70 Squadron attached to Carrier Air Wing 8 George H W Bush Strike Group return to NAS Jacksonville after a nine-month combat deployment to the Arabian Gulf, Mediterranean and Black Sea
US Navy, November 12, 2014 - By Lt. j.g. Nick Ballard - The “Spartans” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 70, are returning home to NAS Jacksonville after a nine-month combat deployment to the Arabian Gulf, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Mediterranean Sea, and Black Sea.
The squadron, attached to Carrier Air Wing 8, deployed as an integral part of the George H. W. Bush Carrier Strike Group.
The squadron, consisting of 281 officers and Sailors, and operating 11 MH-60R Seahawk helicopters, is led by Commanding Officer Cmdr. Matt Schnappauf.
HSM-70’s mission is to operate MH-60R Seahawk helicopters from the aircraft carrier and to provide detachments for air-capable carrier strike group surface combatants. The primary missions of the MH-60R include anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW). The helicopter can operate from aviation ships, air-capable combatants, and a variety of other naval ships.
HSM-70 personnel deployed on the aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush (CVN 77) and guided missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103) – both home ported at NS Norfolk, Va. – and also operated with guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) and guided missile destroyer USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), both surface combatants home ported at NS Mayport, Fla.
HSM-70 departed its home base at NAS Jacksonville on Feb. 14, initially operating with the carrier strike group in the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea.
The strike group then transited to the Gulf of Oman, where HSM-70 conducted maritime security missions in support of combat operations in Afghanistan.
When the situation in Iraq deteriorated, the George H. W. Bush CSG transited to the Arabian Gulf to conduct operations against forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The Spartans flew more than 6,700 total hours, with 6,000 hours in direct support of carrier defense and maritime security operations.
Throughout deployment, the squadron also participated in multiple Partnership, Strength and Presence (PSP) exercises with coalition partners. HSM-70 personnel flawlessly conducted overseas liberty as a mission, honorably serving as United States ambassadors during visits to Greece, Turkey, Crete, Cyprus, Spain, France, Slovenia, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Oman.
The Spartans’ helicopters are slated to arrive at NAS Jacksonville Hangar 1122 on the St. Johns River seawall Nov. 14 at a time to be determined.
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