Helicopter Squadron To Return To NAS North Island

Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12 Returns To North Island Thursday

Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12 is scheduled to return to Naval Air Station North Island Thursday following an eight-month deployment aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln, the Navy announced Wednesday.

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The squadron nicknamed the "Golden Falcons" will return following a three-day cross-country flight. The aircraft carrier docked at its new home at Norfolk earlier in the week.

"We had the highest sortie completion rate in the entire air wing, a credit to the hard work and dedication of the finest squadron in the Navy," said the squadron's commanding officer, Cmdr. Christopher Bailey. "Most importantly, we took care of each other -- everyone is coming home safely to their loved ones. In my eyes, that makes this a successful deployment."

The Golden Falcons, the oldest helicopter squadron in the Navy, flew 1,100 sorties covering 3,900 flight hours, of which 2,500 came in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, according to the Navy. Many of those missions involved standing off aircraft carriers during takeoffs and landings, in case an ocean rescue was needed, and delivering supplies to ships in the fleet.

The squadron departed Coronado on Dec. 12 last year, and marked its 60th anniversary in March.

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