HMLAT-303

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Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303
Active April 30, 1982 - Present
Country United States
Branch United States Marine Corps
Type Fleet Replacement Squadron
Role Assault support
Part of Marine Aircraft Group 39
3rd Marine Aircraft Wing
Garrison/HQ Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton
Nickname "Atlas"
Motto "Training The Future of Light Attack"
Tail Code QT
Engagements None
Commanders
Current
commander
LtCol Christopher W. Roe

Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303 (HMLAT-303), is a United States Marine Corps helicopter training squadron stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California. Known as the "Atlas", HMLAT-303 trains newly commissioned Naval Aviators, conversion pilots, refresher pilots, and enlisted aircrew on the new UH-1Y Venom and AH-1Z Viper helicopter as well as the AH-1W SuperCobra. It is part of Marine Aircraft Group 39 (MAG-39) and the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (3rd MAW).

Mission[edit]

The Mission of Marine Helicopter Light Attack Training Squadron 303 is to provide qualitative and productive training to Replacement Aircrew (RAC), Refresher, Transition and Conversion pilots. This training is provided in conjunction with the AH-1W Cobra as well as the newly upgraded AH-1Z and UH-1Y helicopters.

RAC students entering the training syllabus are newly designated Naval Aviators from the Naval Air Training Command in Pensacola, Florida. Refresher students are Fleet Marine Force Aviators returning from shore duty billets or military schools. Transition students are Fleet Marine Force Aviators qualified in other aircraft.

This command also instructs refreshers and RACs through intraservice and international exchange programs.

History[edit]

Marine Light Attack Helicopter Training Squadron 303 (HMLAT-303) was activated with four officers and three enlisted Marines on April 30, 1982. Today the squadron has grown to over 400 Marines and 45 aircraft. Based at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, California, HMLAT-303 conducts an extensive training syllabus to include: familiarization, navigation, ordnance, terrain, formation, instrument and night vision goggle flight. The squadron periodically deploys to Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, where training efficiency is enhanced due to the proximity of ordnance delivery ranges and superb weather conditions.

A UH-1N from HMLAT-303 flies California Representative Bill Brady during the October 2007 California wildfires.

HMLAT-303 has trained AH-1W Cobra and UH-1N Huey pilots for the Marine Corps and Navy for more than 20 years, and has begun training new AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venom pilots. HMLAT-303 is the only Marine Corps squadron tasked with training Navy newly designated Naval Aviators destined to become UH-1Y, AH-1Z and AH-1W replacement, refresher, and conversion pilots. Although the training mission assigned to HMLAT-303 requires sustained high tempo operations, the squadron had flown over 250,000 Class A and B mishap free flight hours until September 20, 2011, when an AH-1W Super Cobra crashed during a training exercise, killing both pilots.

In addition to flight training, HMLAT-303 manages the fleet-wide NATOPS standardization program for the H-1, conducts Instrument Ground School for all of MAG-39 aircrew, and is responsible for the scheduling of the AH-1W/Z and the UH-1Y Weapons System Trainers and the AH Aircrew Procedures Trainer.

Unit awards[edit]

A unit citation or commendation is an award bestowed upon an organization for the action cited. Members of the unit who participated in said actions are allowed to wear on their uniforms the awarded unit citation. HMLAT-303 has been presented with the following awards:

Ribbon Unit Award
Navy Unit Commendation ribbon.svg
Navy Unit Commendation with one Bronze Star
Meritorious Unit Commendation.jpg
Meritorious Unit Commendation with four Bronze Stars
National Defense Service Medal ribbon.svg
National Defense Service Medal with one Bronze Star
Global war terrorism service ribbon.gif
Global War on Terrorism Service Medal

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.
Bibliography
Web