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Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 84’s members home after more than 12 years on forward deployment

Posted at 5:53 PM, Oct 16, 2015

Norfolk, Va. - After 12 years and seven months, the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 84 is home.

The group was on forward deployment, which means they had to be ready to go at any time, until now.

"We've never ever, with very few exceptions, never had everybody home at one time," says Commander Leon Garber, Naval Reserve Aviator. "That meant the squadron was always re-training and keeping the mission going."

The squadron held a ceremony on Friday at Naval Station Norfolk to celebrate current and retired members, known as "Red Wolves," and look back at their many accomplishments.

HSC-4 deployed in March 2003 to Cyprus, and then Central Iraq. In 2006, they were re-designated as HSC-84.

For almost 10 years, they had a constant presence at the front line in the global war on terror and provided support to special operations.

"To earn the trust and respect from the special operations community is truly phenomenal for a Navy general purpose squadron to be able to do that," says Rear Admiral Mark Leavitt, Naval Air Force Reserve.

HSC-84 consists of not only pilots and aircrew, but members handling administration and travel, to intel and maintenance.

"I'm an AD3 so I work on the helicopter engines, rotors, drive shafts, fuel cells," says Brittany Evans.

However, now that they are officially home, it's unclear what is next for HSC-84 members.

"As far as the actual fit and fill, how were going to integrate them and things like that, that's still to be determined at this time," says Rear Admiral Leavitt.

Navy officials say they are continuing to work on an appropriate transition plan to retain these capabilities.

For Red Wolves like Commander Garber, it's a bittersweet transition.

"If everything we learned can get transferred to the fleet, the whole Navy wins, not just one squadron or two squadrons . The real goal now is to bring everyone home, reset, and start getting that expertise pushed out."