Golden Eagles to
celebrate Golden Anniversary
Submitted by: 22nd
Story Identification Number:
Story by 22nd MEU(SOC) Public Affairs
USS NASSAU(Jan. 14, 2001) -- When
Battalion Landing Team 1/8 of the 24th Marine Amphibious
Unit went ashore in Beirut, Lebanon in May 1983 as part of
the Multinational Peacekeeping Force, Marine Medium
Helicopter Squadron (HMM)-162 (Reinforced) flew them in.
When America needed its citizens evacuated from war-torn
Liberia in 1996, HMM-162 was there. Today, when BLT 1/8
needs helicopter support, they, once again, turn to their
old friends and 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit team-mates,
HMM-162 (REIN) for a lift.
Aboard the USS Nassau (LHA-4), HMM-162 serves as the Air
Combat Element (ACE) for the 22nd MEU, Special Operations
Capable (SOC), and is currently deployed to the
Mediterranean Sea. While all of the units that comprise the
22nd MEU have proud histories, HMM-162 (REIN) is approaching
an important milestone in its own history. The "Golden
Eagles" will turn 50 on 30 June 2001, following their
return home from deployment.
"This will be a truly historic moment for our squadron,
" says Capt. Brett Hart, CH-46E pilot and Squadron
Historical Officer. "A lot has happened in the 50 years
since our squadron was first commissioned. We have
participated in nearly every major conflict since the Korean
"From the very beginning, our squadron has been a part
of the evolution of helicopter tactics, many of which are
still used today. Introduction of helicopters in the Marine
Corps has enhanced our ability to fight, as Marines. It was
our veterans who developed and practiced the helicopter
assault in places like Korea, Vietnam, and Beiruit,"
According to the official HMM-162 history, the squadron was
originally commissioned on 30 June 1951 at Marine Corps Air
Facility (MCAF) Santa Ana, California as Marine Helicopter
Transport Squadron (HMR) 162. During the latter part of
1956, the squadron was redesignated as Marine Helicopter
Squadron-Light (HMR(L) ) 162. On 1 February 1962, the
squadron was redesignated Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron
The "Golden Eagles" have flown several types of
helicopters including the Sikorski HRS-1, HRS-3 and UH-34D,
and the Boeing-Vertol CH-46D, CH-46F and CH-46E.
The current squadron will be joining several of their
veterans at a reunion on 30 June 2001.
"For us, meeting the guys that passed to us this great
tradition will be an exciting time, " said Hart.