Established at Mayport, Florida on April 7, 1988 as HSL-46, the squadron transitioned to the MH-60R and was redesignated HSM-46 on March 1, 2012. They are currently attached to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 10.
HSM-46’s mission is to provide fully trained, combat ready personnel and aircraft, capable of embarking CVN and operating independently from appropriately configured cruiser, destroyer, and littoral combat ships (LCS). Squadron detachments will operate offensively over water in littoral regions and at sea in a high-density multi-threat environment from air capable and aviation surface combatants certified for MH-60R operations.
The squadron maintains and operates the MH-60R helicopter. When deployed, the helicopter’s mission systems are integrated into the world’s most technologically advanced ships, thereby greatly extending the combat horizon. The combined systems provide for earlier warning of surface contacts and longer range prosecution of subsurface contacts. The MH-60R primary missions include Surface Warfare (SUW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Electronic Warfare (EW), Command and Control (CC), and Non-Combat Operations (NCO). Secondary missions include: Amphibious Warfare (AMW; e.g. Naval Surface Fire Support), Air Warfare (AW; e.g. LSF), Health Services (HS; e.g. MEDEVAC), Fleet Support - Operations (FS-O; e.g. SAR), Intelligence Operations (INT; e.g. ISR), Logistics (LOG; e.g. VERTREP), and Naval Special Warfare (NSW).
Often compared to a game of chess, the SUW and ASW missions are pursuits in subtlety and finesse that require consummate strategic planning and tactical vision. “GRANDMASTER” is a title bestowed on those who have achieved international standing in chess through tactical expertise and demonstrated competence. The professionals of HSM-46 are dedicated to those same ideals and possess the same commitment to excellence, hence the squadron’s insignia and nickname. The versatile knight chess piece, with its ability to execute moves in multiple dimensions, is symbolic of the tactical versatility of the MH-60R helicopter and aircrew. The eight-point star on the knight's shield represents the eight points of the compass and embodies HSM-46's ability to successfully execute missions anywhere in the world. The determination evident on the knight's face is representative of the determination, enthusiasm, and motivation of every GRANDMASTER squadron member and accurately depicts our warrior spirit.