Official Squadron History 1991-2001


            In August, the "Golden Eagles" deployed aboard the USS Inchon a part of LF6F 3-90.  Their first stop was Monrovia, Liberia where a detachment from the squadron would conduct contingency operations for nearly five months while the main body conducted operations such as Spanish Phiblex 1-90, Display Determination and filled the strategic reserve role for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.  Between August 1990 and January 1991, the "Golden Eagles" evacuated 226 American Citizens and 2,400 third-    
country nationals from war-torn Liberia during the Noncombatant Evacuation Operation, Operation Sharp Edge.
           After a successful seven months in the Mediterranean, the squadron returned in March to begin workups for LF6F 2-91, embarking aboard the USS Wasp, the first and only LHD class ship in the fleet. 

            In July 1991, HMM-162 participated in support of Operation Provide Comfort, a relief effort for the Kurdish Rebels in northern Iraq. 

During the next five years, the squadron deployed four times to the Mediterranean as the Air Combat Element for various MEUs.  The cumulative results from these deployments were over 12,000 flight hours, over 90,000 passengers and more than 9,000,000 pounds of cargo flown.  HMM-162 continued to distinguish itself with uncompromising safety standards. 

HMM-162 participated in support of Operation Restore Hope, a humanitarian relief operation in Somalia in November 1993. 

In January 1994, the "Golden Eagles" participated in support of Operations Provide Promise and Deny Flight  in Bosnia-Herzegovina.   

  On January 1996, HMM-162 deployed as the Air Combat Element for the 22nd MEU (SOC).  While deployed, the "Golden Eagles" were called upon to perform Operation Assured and Quick Response in Monrovia, Liberia and the Central African Republic.  From 11 April to 27 June 1996, the "Golden Eagles" flew 2232.4 hours, lifting 10,907 passengers and 3,084,122 lbs. of cargo to neighboring Freetown, Sierra Leone in support of the Non-combatant Evacuation Operation.  At 0345 on 7 June
1996, the "Golden Eagles" conducted a medevac on Night Vision Goggles into the U.S. Embassy.  The patient was the acting U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, Mr. John Fuhrer.  The squadron also provided supporting flights for Operation Deny Flight while in the Adriatic theater of operations.  The unit returned to MCAS New River in July of 1996 and remained composite until August.   
            From 2 July to 7 December 1998, HMM-162 deployed as the Air Combat Element for the 22nd MEU (SOC) in the Mediterranean for LF6F 3-98.  While deployed, the squadron participated in Operation Autumn Shelter, a contingency operation for the evacuation of American citizens from the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The "Golden Eagles" were then called upon to participate in Operation Balkan Calm, Kosovo in the event evacuation of a multi-national peace observer team was required.  While on station in the Adriatic, HMM-162 flew in support of Operation Silver Knight, Albania, Operation Deliberate Forge, Bosnia-Herzegovina and a reinforcement mission to the United States Embassy in Tirana, Albania.  From 15 September to 19 November 1998, HMM-162 flew
2285.5 hours lifting 5,827 passengers and 781,440 lbs. of cargo in support of the mission.  The squadron also participated in Exercises Matador 98, Sigonella, Sicily, Cooperative Best Effort, a multi-national Partnership for Peace exercise in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Atlas Hinge 98, Tunisia, Dynamic Mix 98, Sardinia, Rescue Eagle 1998, Romania, and Sea Breeze 98, a Partnership for Peace exercise in the former Soviet nation of the Ukraine.  On 7 December, the squadron returned back to New River.   

           On 26 July 1999, the squadron deployed with eight CH-46E's in support of CAXs 9,10-99 and WTI 1-00.  Of note, the squadron successfully flew the aircraft across the United States, supported all training exercises required, and then safely recovered the aircraft back at New River without a single lost sortie.  On 15 September, Hurricane Floyd struck Jacksonville, North Carolina, leaving incredible devastation to Eastern North Carolina.  Despite having one half of the squadron's aircraft deployed to MCAS Yuma, Arizona, the "Golden Eagles" immediately went into action.  Over a two week period, the squadron flew in support of relief operations in Eastern North Carolina, flying 15 passengers, and 36,500 pounds of relief supplies, water and blankets to the disaster areas. 

            The "Golden Eagles" deployed to the Mediterranean Sea as the Air Combat Element of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable).  On 28 November 2000, HMM-162 boarded the USS Nassau(LHA-4) and embarked upon this historic cruise.  This deployment marks the end of a long and distinguished chapter in the glorious history of the squadron.  This cruise will end the first 50 years of the squadron's history.

            To date, the squadron has continued to live up to its motto by repeatedly proving that "Nobody Does It Better!"  During its five decades of distinguished operation, HMM-162 has earned the following awards, each one represented by a streamer on the squadron's colors:  Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Unit Commendation with One Bronze Star, Meritorious Unit Commendation with Two Bronze Stars, National Defense Service Streamer with Two Bronze Stars, Korean Service Award, Marine Corps Expeditionary Award with Two Bronze Stars, Armed Forces Expeditionary Award 

with One Bronze Star, Vietnam Service Streamer with Two Bronze Stars, Southwest Asia Service Streamer with One Bronze Star, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm.           

 

 

Semper Fidelis!