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Command History
Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 79
HSM-79 ROTA Menu

 Command History 

Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 79 derives its heritage and namesake from two different squadrons: Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 9 and Operation Sea Control Squadron (VS) 38.

The Sea Griffins of HS-9 were an anti-submarine warfare helicopter squadron that operated from 1956 until 1993.  The Sea Griffins flew the HSS-1 Seabat helicopter and later the SH-3A Sea King helicopter and completed dozens of deployments aboard multiple aircraft carriers, including participating in the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm.
The Red Griffins of VS-38 flew the TBM-3S Avenger aircraft, S2F-1 Tracker aircraft, and S-3B Viking aircraft, conducting anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare missions aboard numerous aircraft carriers.  From 1950 to 2004, the squadron distinguished itself during the Korean War, Vietnam War, and Operation Southern Watch.
One of the Navy’s newest helicopter squadrons, HSM-79 established operations at Naval Air Station North Island in June 2016.  The squadron completed its inaugural deployment aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) with Carrier Air Wing 7 in 2019.  Departing from Norfolk, Virginia, and returning home to San Diego, the Griffins and USS Abraham Lincoln made an around the world deployment.  This cruise was extended four times due to heightened tensions with Iran, and at 295 days, it is the longest carrier deployment since the Vietnam War.  Upon return to San Diego in January 2020, the Griffins transitioned from a carrier-based squadron into an expeditionary squadron, and relocated from San Diego to Rota, Spain.
As of July 1st 2022, HSM-79 is established as the only Forward Deployed Naval Forces - Europe (FDNF-E) aviation squadron in the Navy, and the first in Rota since 2005.  Since relocating, the Griffins have completed multiple deployments aboard USS Roosevelt (DDG 80), USS Bulkeley (DDG 84), and USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) as well as provided aid during Operation Allies Refuge. The squadron currently maintains and deploys ten MH-60R Seahawk helicopter to support FDNF-E destroyers with Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet tasking.
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