The Navy officially welcomed Helicopter Mine CountermeasuresSquadron 15 (HM-15) to Hampton Roads Wednesday with a ribboncutting ceremony at the Squadron's new hangar at Naval StationNorfolk.
The move brings around 700 Naval personnel and nearly a dozenhelicopters to the area.
HM-15, known as the Blackhaws, moved to Norfolk from Naval AirStation Corpus Christi, Texas, in accordance with the 2005 BaseRealignment and Closure (BRAC) recommendations.
Ironically, their new hanger sits on the real estate formerlyoccupied by the Naval Aviation Depot, a Norfolk unit eliminated byBRAC.
Because another Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron, HM-14,is already homeported at Naval Station Norfolk, the Navy saysrelocating HM-15 ensures all mine warfare aircraft are located in afleet concentration area. The Navy adds the relocation supports theHM-15 mission by locating them closer to the mine countermeasuresship and helicopter coordinated exercises.
Click here to see additional pictures of the new hanger,along with comments from members of HM15 on their relocation toNorfolk, on the squadron's Facebook page.
A company has been hired to complete the repairs to the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks, but how long those repairs will take remains unknown.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.
State officials say construction on a new Bonner Bridge has been delayed for years because of a legal battle with an environmental group.