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New Helo training squadron established

HeyJoe

Fly Navy! ...or USMC
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
HT-28 'Hellions' Take Off at Whiting

From the Chief of Naval Air Training Public Affairs

NAS WHITING FIELD, Fla. (NNS) -- Training Air Wing (TRAWING) 5 established a third advanced helicopter training command, Helicopter Training Squadron (HT) 28 "Hellions" in a ceremony May 25, at Naval Air Station Whiting Field.

The establishment of HT-28 will help to meet the growing demand for United States Navy and Marine Corps helicopter pilots while also training Coast Guard and international navy pilots.

Rear Adm. Gary R. Jones, Commander Naval Education and Training Command, was the keynote speaker for the event.

“The Navy and and Marine Corps are undergoing a significant transformation in readiness postures, deployment strategies, and manpower initiatives,” Jones said.

“Naval Education and Training, along with the Naval Aviation Enterprise are fully engaged in the war against radical extremists, a conflict that will require state-of-the-art training in support of American combat power for many years to come. The superb training that will be conducted within HT-28, as well as the outstanding training currently being conducted in the other squadrons here at Whiting Field, is one of the first steps in taking the fight to the enemy.”

Due to a constant increase in the required number of winged helicopter pilots to the fleet, TRAWING 5’s two advanced training squadrons have had to graduate more students, increasing instructor flight time and reducing student/instructor contact time. The addition of HT-28 will help return the squadrons to a smaller state which will foster more familiarization between instructor pilots and students, enabling instructors to better personalize each sortie to the needs of the student and deliver appropriate training.

The first class of student aviators will arrive in June. As these officers progress through the training, new classes of students will continuously be assigned to the command every few weeks. The HT-28 mission and size will steadily increase over approximately six months until equal to that of the other helicopter training squadrons at Whiting.

The Hellions’ first commanding officer will be Cmdr. John McLain.

“The Navy chooses commanding officers very carefully,” said Jones. “Those we put in command are charged not only with the future of that command, but with the future of the Navy. The dedication to service and adherence to the Navy Core Values of Honor, Courage and Commitment that we demand of our Sailors, are reflections -- reflections of the warrior ethos embodied in the leaders we choose to command. We have such a leader in HT-28’s commanding officer, Cmdr. John ‘Gypsy’ McLain.”

McLain’s executive officer will be Marine Lt. Col. Clay Stackhouse. Command of the squadron will alternate between the Navy and Marine Corps, a structure which has already proven effective at HT-18.

About 50 “Plank Owner” instructor pilots were drawn from HT-8 and HT-18.

“The decision to stand up a third squadron is proof that helicopters and tilt-rotors are where the action is in naval aviation today,” said McLain during the welcome aboard briefing for the instructor pilots.

In 2006, the two existing advanced helicopter training squadrons at Whiting Field completed over 70,000 flight hours and winged more than 500 Navy, Marine, Coast Guard and allied helicopter and tilt-rotor pilots: more than 40 percent of all naval aviators produced last year. The mission is expected to increase over the next several years.

The squadron took its name “Hellions” from a World War II Marine Corps Fighter Squadron, VMF-218. The Hellions will operate out of South Whiting Field, in Milton, Fla., along with its sister squadrons, HT-8 “Eightballers” and HT-18 “Vigilant Eagles.”

For more news from around the fleet, visit www.navy.mil.
 

scoober78

(HCDAW)
pilot
Contributor
Two of the fellows I selected with have orders from VT-28...to the newly established HT-28.
 

phrogdriver

More humble than you would understand
pilot
Super Moderator
Aren't squadron numbers supposed to be unique? I know the "8" theme in HTs is strong, but there's already a training squadron with "28" in the name.
 

jamnww

Hangar Four
pilot
Aren't squadron numbers supposed to be unique? I know the "8" theme in HTs is strong, but there's already a training squadron with "28" in the name.
I am guessing that they made a pass on that issue because the other 28 is a VT and also not located at Whiting. I am sure they put a lot of pressure to get it 28 so that they could keep the 8, 18, 28 thing going.

Also, just taking a look at other squadrons there are repeats elsewhere as well...
VFA 203 --> HMMT 203 --> VMAT 203
VFA 204 --> VMMT 204

Anyway, as long as they let me fly they can name the squadron whatever they want.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
Aren't squadron numbers supposed to be unique? I know the "8" theme in HTs is strong, but there's already a training squadron with "28" in the name.
There's also a HS-8...who happen to be called the "Eightballers." Of course, their patch says "The REAL Eightballers."
 

ChuckMK23

Instructor, Flight.
pilot
So is the sole purpose of HT-28 and it's creation just a fitrep bullet(s) for some O-6. I kind of don't get ... TAW-5 isn't getting anymore aircraft... so.....?
 

skidkid

CAS Czar
pilot
Super Moderator
Contributor
So is the sole purpose of HT-28 and it's creation just a fitrep bullet(s) for some O-6. I kind of don't get ... TAW-5 isn't getting anymore aircraft... so.....?
Not a South Park guy but from what I hear it will also help STAN/Safety issues. The two HTs were so big that it was unwieldy for a CO to really lead/manage his IPs effectively.
This way a CO (well there is another Command Slate-not a bad thing) XO and OPSO can really keep their thumb on stan issues etc.

Sounds like a good thing to me.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
We talked about this in another thread, Chuck. It's not the aircraft, it's the student load. I think the short of it was w/ more IPs (and a lack of civilian help that the VTs have), they can handle the increased student load. The VTs have more studs going through, and since a lot of them are going helos, it would make sense they need more IPs to train.

Edit:

Skid beat me to it. Sounds like another good reason.
 
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