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Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic

Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 15 Gets Battle “E” Award

by From Commander, Naval Air Force Public Affairs
26 October 2020  The “Blackhawks” of Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 15 were presented the prestigious Battle Efficiency, or Battle “E” award for the second consecutive year in a ceremony at the squadron’s hangar aboard Norfolk Naval Station, Oct. 26.

Rear Adm. John F. Meier, Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic presented the award to the Blackhawks’ Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Andrea Ragusa, a native of Bryson City, North Carolina.

“I appreciate the work that you are doing,” said Meier, who congratulated the unit for also receiving the Safety “S” award. “I am really, really impressed with this squadron. Thanks for your hard work, your dedication and passion as well as your service to our nation. Thank you all.”

Competition for the Battle “E” is extremely competitive and is awarded annually to the aviation squadron who achieves the highest standards of performance readiness. The annual award also recognizes the squadron’s unit training and operational achievements. They are the best of an extremely competitive field of highly capable and deserving squadrons.

“Every single Blackhawk is a vital member of this team and without each and every one of them, HM-15 would not maintain this success,” said Ragusa, who added that the Blackhawks continuously exhibited quality and tenacity in their pursuit of combat readiness and battle effectiveness as they successfully tackled each new challenge. “Their ability to consistently adapt and overcome to the changes in the world today is truly remarkable. I remain impressed by their relentless hard work and dedication to this command and I am extremely proud and honored to be able to serve by their side.”

HM-15 received the award for calendar year 2019 and is the largest helicopter squadron in the Navy with nearly 730 active duty, Full Time Support (FTS), and reserve personnel. The squadron operates and maintains 12 MH-53E Sea Dragon helicopters and seven Airborne Mine Countermeasures (AMCM) weapon systems. Their mission is to maintain a worldwide 72-hour AMCM rapid deployment posture and a four aircraft forward deployed AMCM and Vertical Onboard Delivery (VOD) capability in the Arabian Gulf.
 
 
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