HMM-162 stepped off for the New Year, it shifted into high gear in
preparation For deployment to the Mediterranean in support of
Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 3/2, ground component of the 32d Marine
Amphibious Unit (MAU). On
25 February 1971, HMM-162 supported student officers from The Basic
School, Quantico, Virginia in an amphibious training exercise while
deployed on board the tank landing ship USS
Graham County (LST-1176).
| HMM-162 held a change of command ceremony on 26 February
Colonel John W. Alber became the new commanding officer, relieving
Lieutenant Colonel James A. Roberts.
23 to 27 March, HMM-162 joined the 32 MAU on the USS
Guam for PHIBLEX 1-71. During the following month, on 17 April, it mounted out on
the same ship as part of LANDFORMED 1-71.
1971 began with a practice helicopter assault at Timbakion, Crete
followed by the execution of Operation DAWN PATROL 1-71 at Saros Bay, Turkey.
During PHIBLEX 12-71, beginning 19 May 1971, the
squadron carried 3,361 passengers and 272,375 pounds of cargo in 817
1-72 commenced on 9 July at Navplion, Greece.
HMM-162 transported BLT 3/2 ashore inn 166 sorties, carrying
756 passengers and 91,000 pounds of cargo.
On 20 September 1971, the squadron provided helicopter
transportation for 50 VIPs from the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization Defense College to the attack carrier USS
Saratoga (CVA-60) for a briefing and air power demonstration.
returned to the United States on 9 October and unloaded squadron
personnel and equipment at New River.
On 21 October, 229 Basic School officers were transported
ashore from the USS Austin (LPD-4), as part of their amphibious training exercise.
A detachment of two aircraft was deployed to MCAS Beaufort,
South Carolina during AV-8 (Harrier) carrier operations from 20-28
January. Two aircraft
arrived at Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico on 19 February and began
operations in support of FIREX 1-72.
through the efforts of First Lieutenant Vladimir Oksevski, assembled
and flew 16 blood donor volunteers to Nyack, New York as part of the
medical assistance rendered during a school bus-train accident in
13 July 1972, HMM-162 launched one aircraft to Fort Stewart, Georgia
for a liaison visit in preparation for Operation
SOLID PUNCH. A
heavy flight- training schedule included mountain area training at
Camp Mosby near Atlanta, Georgia.
Also, during this period HMM-162 accumulated over 30,000
accident-free hours. In
August, the squadron participated in Operation
MABLEX, carrying 763 passengers and 6,500 pounds of gear.
October 1972, squadron flight activities were brought to a sudden
halt when one of the unit's aircraft crashed near Bogue Field,
destroying the aircraft and killing all four crewmen. All CH-46 aircraft were grounded until required airframe
modifications could be completed.
month of November began slowly as the squadron finished the required
blade changes to all aircraft. However, as the middle of the month arrived, flight
activities were again in full swing, demonstrated by squadron
participation in Operation
during this period HMM-162 became a composite squadron adding four
CH-53's, four AH-1J's and two UH-1N's helicopters to the squadron
inventory. By the end
of the month, the squadron possessed all the aircraft, personnel and
equipment necessary to function as a composite squadron for the
upcoming MED 1-73 cruise.
December 1972, HMM-162 began final preparations for the upcoming
January 1973 deployment. However,
near the end of the month the squadron received word that the cruise
had been cancelled and plans were changed accordingly.
the period from 6-9 March, HMM-162 participated in the test and
evaluation of the CH-46F for mine clearing operations at Tyndall Air
Force Base, Florida. On
2 April 1973, HMM-162 as a composite squadron deployed 12 CH-46s, 8
CH-53s, 6 AH-1Js, and 2 UH-1N aircraft to Bogue Field in support of EXOTIC
Colonel John W. Alber relinquished command of HMM-162 to Major Ralph
B. Orey in a change of command ceremony held on 13 April 1973.
11 May 1973, two aircraft returned from Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico
where they had supported LANFORCARIB 2-73.
The detachment logged over 175 hours transporting 1,545
troops. Nearly 57,000
pounds of cargo were handled in support of BLT 3/8.
12 May 1973, four aircraft returned from deployment to Camp Mosby,
Georgia where they participated in mountain operations.
They supported the U.S. Army rangers through insertions,
extractions, parachute-drops and evasive maneuvers.
In 154 sorties, more than 250 passengers and 1000 pounds of
cargo were carried.
30 April 1974, HMM-162 deployed with the 34th MAU to the
Mediterranean for 6 months. During
this deployment HMM-162 participated in Operation NIMBUS STAR/MOON
and the evacuation of U.S. Nationals from the island of Cyprus.
6 January 1976, the unit again left for the Mediterranean as part of
the 34th MAU. Aboard the USS Guadalcanal,
the squadron monitored the unrest in Europe and maintained a
continuous high state of readiness throughout the cruise.
the period from 1-18 February 1978, HMM-162 deployed to the Naval
Station Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico in support of the 38th
MAU for READEX 1-78. This
exercise demonstrated the squadron's ability to provide rapid
helicopter support in the Caribbean area in absence of naval
May 1978, HMM-162 deployed aboard the USS
INCHON in support of exercise
the period 23 August to 31 October 1978, the squadron deployed on a
North Atlantic cruise aboard the USS
Guadalcanal assigned to the 4th Marine Amphibious
Brigade (MAB) in support of NATO Exercises
NORTHERN WEDDING and BOLD GUARD.
December 1978 marked the day on which HMM-162 received its eighteen
"E" model CH-46 helicopters, making it the first tactical
squadron with this newest of the 46's.