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    Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron NINE (HSC 9) Returns from



    Courtesy Story

    USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78)           

    (NORFOLK) – The “Tridents” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron NINE (HSC 9) returned to their homeport of Norfolk, VA on January 16, 2024, following a more than eight-month deployment with Carrier Strike Group 12 (CSG12) to the U.S. 6th Fleet area of responsibility.
    After a year-long workup cycle that included Helicopter Advanced Readiness Program (HARP) in Key West, FL, Air Wing Fallon, in Fallon, Nevada, and a four-week Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX), the Tridents deployed on May 2, 2023 with Carrier Air Wing 8 (CVW 8), onboard USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) for the carrier’s maiden combat deployment.
    HSC-9 worked alongside 11 NATO allied nations during several interoperability exercises, including Silent Wolverine in the Atlantic Ocean, Air Defender in the Norwegian Sea, Neptune Strike in the Adriatic Sea, and Sage Wolverine in the Ionian Sea, executing Special Operations Forces (SOF) Support, Anti-Surface Warfare, and Personnel Recovery. During these exercises, the Tridents operated with the Albanian Army, Greek Coast Guard, Norwegian Marine jegerkommandoen, Norwegian Coastal Ranger Battalion, Dutch Air Force, Montenegrin Army, and took part in cross-deck operations with French and Turkish Naval Vessels. Additionally, the Tridents executed two land-based detachments to Souda Bay, Crete, working with Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Platoon 6-2-2 in support of a U.S. Marine Corps Force Reconnaissance exercise and with the Hellenic 1st Paratrooper Battalion, advancing Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations (EABO) tactics, techniques, and procedures.
    HSC-9 proudly demonstrated their ability to accomplish any mission while deploying under a new construct with only five aircraft, vice a previous eight. While underway, HSC 9 provided CSG 12 with continuous Personnel Recovery and Combat Logistics Support, flying over 2,200 flight hours, executing 46 days of Vertical Replenishment evolutions, moving over 500 personnel, and executing six tactical evacuations. Throughout the deployment, the Tridents maintained readiness through the expenditure of 77,377 crew served weapon rounds, 6,078 rounds of 20MM, and 176 rockets. Over 41,959 maintenance hours were dedicated to supporting all operational commitments with an impressive 99% sortie completion rate, showcasing the hard work of the high-performing Trident maintenance team.
    During deployment the Sailors of HSC 9 earned 63 advancements to Petty Officer, eight advancements to Chief Petty Officer, one meritorious advancement, and 16 reenlistments. The Tridents will continue to train, innovate, and uphold the highest standards of naval aviation.
    “Thanks to every member's willingness to persevere against uncertainty and competing pressures, while upholding the ideals of equality, cooperation, and community, whenever called upon, we were ready. From providing persistent search and rescue capability, to enhancing interoperability with NATO allies, all should be immensely proud of what we accomplished and how we accomplished it: together. With our hearts nearing home and the loved ones who supported us on this historic journey, we look forward to celebrating our triumphs at sea and sharing in the moments we missed away from home,” said Cmdr. Robert Anderson, Commanding Officer, HSC 9. “Our return should be a time of great celebration and an opportunity to recharge and reset, knowing that through a continued commitment to one another, HSC 9 will remain tried and true into the future. Our focus on shared ideas, impassioned development, and emboldened voices will keep us strong against any obstacle or adversary!”
    CSG-12 is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied, and partner interests.

    The Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group is comprised of its flagship and namesake, the Ford-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78), Carrier Air Wing Eight (CVW 8), Destroyer Squadron Two (DESRON 2), the USS Normandy (CG 60), USS Ramage (DDG 61), USS McFaul (DDG 74), and the USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116).
    The squadrons of CVW-8 embarked aboard Gerald R. Ford are the “Tridents” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9, the “Spartans” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 70, the “Bear Aces” of Airborne Command and Control Squadron (VAW) 124, the “Ragin’ Bulls” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 37, the “Blacklions” of VFA 213, the “Golden Warriors” of VFA 87, the “Tomcatters” of VFA 31, the “Gray Wolves” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 142, and the “Rawhides” of Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 40.

    Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.



    Date Taken: 01.16.2024
    Date Posted: 01.16.2024 23:34
    Story ID: 461896
    Location: ATLANTIC OCEAN

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