The History of HSL-49
Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light FOUR NINE (HSL-49), located at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California, is one of seven Pacific Fleet Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) MK III Squadrons. The "Scorpions" of HSL-49 were established on March 23, 1990. The squadron flies the world's most technically advanced helicopter, the SH 60B SEAHAWK, and has a complement of approximately 45 Officers and 180 Sailors.
The "Scorpions" first deployment began in November 1990 with Detachment ONE deploying aboard USS FORD (FFG 54). During Operation DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM and most recently IRAQI FREEDOM, HSL49 detachments demonstrate the true versatility of the LAMPS MK III weapon system and the SEAHAWK helicopter as an anti-surface, mine search and multi-mission combat strike aircraft. HSL49 continues to excel in the LAMPS community by providing detachments to ships in support of Strike Group Operations, Counter Drug Operations and Maritime Interdiction Operations.
HSL-49 has distinguished itself in the LAMPS community and in rotary wing aviation throughout the past 20 years. The SCORPIONS were awarded the 1996 Arnold J. Isbell trophy for Undersea Warfare excellence, the 1995 and 2001 Sikorsky Award for the most improved maintenance program, and the 1995 Meritorious Unit Commendation award. In 1999, HSL-49 was given the Aviation Safety Award for maintaining an outstanding record of aircraft safety. For outstanding precision for putting ordinance on target, HSL 49 was awarded the COMHSLWINGPAC TOP TORPEDO Award in 1995 and 2001. In 2002, HSL-49 was awarded the Lockheed Martin Superior Maintenance award for exceptional performance in Rotary Wing Maintenance.
Throughout the last several years, HSL-49 has continued to excel in areas that have been vital to the completion of critical fleet operations which have led to numerous accolades including the 2003 Secretary of Defense Maintenance Award, 2004 Top Torpedo Award, 2006 Retention Excellence Award, and the 2008 Capt A. J. Isbell Trophy. In 2009, the SCORPIONS were recognized not only for their ability to maintain an operationally fit squadron, but for their commitment to safety on and off the job. For this they were awarded the Chief of Naval Operations Aviation Safety Award and the Department of the Navy Safety Excellence Award.
As we lean toward the future, HSL-49 is reflecting on its commission as it celebrates its 20th year in operation. With over 72,000 total flight hours, HSL-49 continues to sustain operational excellence through their professionalism, teamwork, and dedication.