Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 (HSC-25) "Island Knights" is a United States Navy helicopter squadron based at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The "Island Knights" are the Navy's only forward deployed Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron. HSC-25 flies the MH-60S "Knighthawk" helicopter, manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in Stratford, Connecticut.
Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Two Five (HSC-25) was initially established as Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Five (HC-5) at Naval Air Station Agana, Guam on 3 February 1984. As the “Providers”, HC-5 flew the CH-46D “Sea Knight,” moving to Andersen AFB in 1995 following the BRAC-directed closure of NAS Agana. Redesignated as the “Island Knights” on 21 APR 2005, HSC-25 provides logistic support for the U.S. Pacific Fleet in the Navy’s newest helicopter, the MH-60S “Knighthawk”. The squadron employs approximately eighty officers and four hundred enlisted personnel to fly and maintain the fleet of 14 MH-60S.
HSC-25 is the first and only forward-deployed vertical replenishment (VERTREP) squadron in the Navy and is tasked with supporting Seventh Fleet units in the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, North Arabian Sea, and Persian Gulf. To provide this support, HSC-25 embarks two-aircraft detachments aboard Military Sealift Command vessels which provide transportation of equipment, fuel, supplies and ammunition to sustain U.S. forces worldwide. In addition, the squadron was tasked in 1992 to provide a permanent Search and Rescue (SAR) detachment aboard the USS Belleau Wood (LHA-3). In the spring of 1996, HSC-25 deployed their first night vision device capable amphibious SAR detachment to USS Belleau Wood (LHA-3). In the fall of 2000, the SAR detachment was permanently moved from the USS Belleau Wood to the USS Essex (LHD-2). In the winter of 2011, the SAR detachment was again permanently moved from the USS Essex (LHD 2) to the USS Bonhome Richard (LHD 6) whose homeport is Sasebo, Japan.
In the Fall of 2005, HSC-25 was again the first HSC Squadron to assume a new mission, providing essential Air Ambulance services for Coalition Forces, and Compotent Command (CFLCC) in Camp Buering, Kuwait.
The only Navy squadron on board Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, HSC-25 rapidly incorporated itself into “Team Andersen”. In addition to VERTREP, HSC-25 provides 24-hour (overland/over-water) SAR/Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) services for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Averaging over 30 rescues and 70 MEDEVACs per year, HSC-25 also conducts airborne firefighting utilizing externally carried buckets, Vertical Onboard Delivery (VOD), drone and torpedo recovery, special operations airborne support, and fleet logistics support for all military activities in the Guam area, including the Maritime Prepositioned Ships (MPS) operating in the local area.
Since February 1984, HSC-25 has moved millions of tons of supplies and ammunition, as well as thousands of personnel, providing much of the logistic power to the 7th and 5th Fleets. The aircraft of HSC-25 have operated as “angels of mercy” on numerous occasions, accomplishing emergency MEDEVAC and rescue missions and participating in Operations TRI-CRAB, Southern Watch, United Shield, Cobra Gold, Vigilant Sentinel, Tandem Thrust and most recently Unified Assistance, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom.
HSC-25 was established as Helicopter Combat Support Squadron Five (HC-5) on 3 February 1984 and was re-designated Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Twenty Five on 21 April 2005. As HC-5 the squadron earned a reputation for exceptional service and support to the Fifth and Seventh Fleets and to the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands. The HSC-25 insignia was developed to acknowledge the legacy of the squadron when it was known as HC-5 and attempt to embrace the future of the squadron as it became HSC-25.
The trident held by the eagle symbolizes the emphasis being placed on the combat capabilities of the helicopter in the maritime environment as well as pays homage to the squadrons naval heritage. The loads hanging from the trident represent the past, present, and future missions of VERTREP. The five stars remain as a legacy to HC-5, and the globe is arranged to represent the squadron's Area of Operation and its service to the Pacific Fleet. The black background represents the expanding night capabilities of the squadrons pilots and aircraft.
A part of Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet (HSCWINGPAC), Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Two Five (HSC-25) is the Navy’s only forward deployed vertical replenishment squadron; providing deployed ships a rapid, safe and versatile means of re-supplying diminishing stores. Vertical replenishment at sea can occur without altering ship’s course or tactical position and precludes the necessity for connected replenishment, which is less desirable due to the increased manpower required to successfully complete the mission. HSC-25, also known as the “Island Knights”, is a tenant command on board Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, and has incorporated itself into “Team Andersen.” In addition to VERTREP, HSC-25 provides 24-hour Search and Rescue (SAR) and Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC) services for Guam and the Northern Marianas Islands. In 2002, the HSC-25 Island Knights launched on 63 SAR missions resulting in the recovery of 7 individuals and 18 MEDEVACS. HSC-25 additionally supports heliborne firefighting for the local area, Vertical Onboard Delivery and fleet logistics support for deployed units in the Guam area.
The "Island Knights" fly the MH-60S helicopter, manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in Stratford, Connecticut.