NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The final flight of the Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 22 ‘Sea Knights’ took place Wednesday at Naval Station Norfolk, with its last flight replicating its first.
The flight, which marked the end of 16 years of dedicated service as an integral component of Naval Rotary Wing Aviation, went to First Flight, N.C. in the Outer Banks, flying to the Wright Brothers Memorial monument before returning for the last time.
The squadron has operated the MH-60S ‘Seahawk’ helicopter, the Navy’s multi-mission, rotary-wing work-horse, as well as the MQ-8B/C ‘Fire Scout,’ an unmanned aerial vehicle well-suited for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance in the maritime environment.
Commander Aaron “Dempsey” Berger is the last in the line of 14 commanding officers who have led the squadron.
“The first flight of HSC-22 was down to First Flight, where the Wright brothers did their first flight, so we took the last flight and we flew down to First Flight,” Berger said. “We got a picture with the monument and it was HSC-22’s last flight, and we thought it was well-worth making the trip down there.”
It was a bittersweet final trip, but the squadron’s reputation will not soon be forgotten.
“We show up, we execute, we’re on-time, with a smile on our face,” Berger said. “And when asked to do something, we leave with ‘yes.'”