US Navy forms first un­manned helo squadron


He­li­copter Mar­itime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35 be­came the first com­pos­ite ex­pe­di­tionary he­li­copter squadron to in­clude both the world’s most tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced he­li­copter; the MH-60R Sea­hawk and the MQ-8B Fire Scout ver­ti­cal take-off and land­ing tac­ti­cal un­manned aerial ve­hi­cle (VTUAV); dur­ing an es­tab­lish­ment cer­e­mony re­cently on Naval Air Sta­tion, North Is­land.

As the Navy’s first op­er­a­tional squadron with both manned and un­manned air­craft, HSM 35 her­alds a new era for Naval Avi­a­tion. The squadron, des­ig­nated the “Ma­gi­cians,” adopted the call sign of He­li­copter Anti-Sub­ma­rine Squadron Light 35, which was de­com­mis­sioned on NAS North Is­land in 1992, af­ter 19 years of ser­vice.

“The reestab­lish­ment of this squadron is ex­cep­tional as it points to­wards the fu­ture for our Naval Avi­a­tion forces,” said Com­man­der, Naval Air Forces, Vice Ad­mi­ral David H. Buss. “The ac­tions to­day rep­re­sent a clear line di­vid­ing what Naval Avi­a­tion once was and what it will be.”

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