An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

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

 Command History 

Boasting 245 personnel and nine MH-60R Seahawk helicopters, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 79 is the Navy’s Sixth Fleet forward deployed expeditionary helicopter squadron.  The HSM-79 “Griffins” take their heritage and namesake from two different squadrons, Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron (HS) 9 and 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 and later the SH-3A Sea King 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, S2F-1 Tracker, and S-3B Viking, 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.
The Navy’s newest helicopter squadron, HSM-79 stood up at NAS North Island in June 2016.  The squadron completed its inaugural deployment aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) with Carrier Air Wing Seven in 2019. The “Griffins” and Abraham Lincoln made an around-the-world deployment that departed from Norfolk, Virginia, and returned home to San Diego, California.  This cruise was extended four times due to heightened tensions with Iran, and at 296 days it is the longest carrier deployment since the Vietnam War.  Upon return to San Diego in January 2020, the “Griffins” began a transitional period: transforming from a carrier-based squadron into one that deploys aboard destroyers while relocating from San Diego to Rota, Spain. 
During transition, the “Griffins” have completed three deployments aboard USS Roosevelt (DDG 80) and USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117) as well as provided aid during Operation Allies Refuge.  As of July 1, the “Griffins” are an established Forward Deployed Naval Forces- Europe aviation squadron, the first in Rota since 2005.  The squadron currently maintains and deploys the MH-60R Seahawk helicopter to support FDNF-E destroyers with Commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet tasking.

   |  |  Navy FOIA  |  DoD Accessibility/Section 508  |  No Fear Act  |  Open Government  |  Plain Writing Act  |  Veterans Crisis Line  |  VA Vet Center  |  DoD Safe Helpline  |  Navy SAPR  |  NCIS Tips  |  Site Map  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Webmaster | Information quality | Public Use notice | Useful Links
Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic  |  1562 Mitscher Ave., Suite 300  |   Norfolk, Virginia 23551-2427  |   Contact AIRLANT 
Official U.S. Navy Website