Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12 is scheduled to return Thursday to Naval Air Station North Island following an eight-month deployment aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, the Navy announced Wednesday.
The squadron nicknamed the “Golden Falcons” will return after a three-day cross-country flight. The aircraft carrier docked at its new home at Norfolk earlier in the week.
Like all NAS North Island helicopter squadrons, HSC-12 trains at Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach.
“We had the highest sortie completion rate in the entire air wing, a credit to the hard work and dedication of the finest squadron in the Navy,” said Cmdr. Christopher Bailey, the squadron’s commanding officer.
“Most importantly, we took care of each other—everyone is coming home safely to their loved ones. In my eyes, that makes this a successful deployment.”
The Golden Falcons, the oldest helicopter squadron in the Navy, flew 1,100 sorties covering 3,900 flight hours, of which 2,500 came in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, according to the Navy.
Many of those missions involved standing off aircraft carriers during takeoffs and landings, in case an ocean rescue was needed, and delivering supplies to ships in the fleet.
The squadron departed Coronado on Dec. 12, 2011, and marked its 60th anniversary in March.
—City News Service