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Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light FOUR NINE (HSL-49)
HSL-49 Squadron Emblem.jpeg
HSL-49 Scorpions Insignia
Active March 23, 1990 - present
Country  United States of America
Branch United States Navy Seal United States Navy
Role Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW), Search and Rescue (SAR), Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP), Communications Relay (COMREL), and Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS).
Garrison/HQ NAS North Island
Nickname Scorpions
Motto Excellence in all we do.
Equipment SH-60B Seahawk (Sikorsky Aircraft)

Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light FOUR NINE (HSL-49) is a United States Navy Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) helicopter squadron based in San Diego, California.

The Scorpions of HSL-49 are an operational fleet squadron based at NAS North Island. Their tailcode is TX and their radio callsign is "Red Stinger". The squadron provides combat-ready pilots, aircrewmen, technicians, and aircraft to Pacific Fleet warships. The squadron operates the SH-60B Seahawk helicopter (SH-60 Seahawk).


SH-60B Seahawk helicopter from HSL-49 bearing markings making it the "tailbird" near Point Loma, San Diego, CA in 2006.

HSL-49 was established on March 23, 1990 as the U.S. Navy transitioned the Helicopter Anti-Submarine Light community from the SH-2 Seasprite to the SH-60B Seahawk. The Scorpions first deployed in November 1990 with Detachment ONE embarked in USS FORD (FFG 54).

The squadron - then and now - deploys its personnel and aircraft in an expeditionary model. Detachments are led by an Officer-in-Charge, normally a Lieutenant Commander, and typically deploy with one or two helicopters, and a complement of pilots, Naval Aircrewmen, mechanics and technicians.

Detachments embark Arleigh Burke class destroyers, Ticonderoga class cruisers, and Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates in support of Carrier Strike Groups (CSG), Surface Action Groups (SAG), or independent deployed operations. Recent deployed detachments have engaged in missions ranging from Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), counter-piracy, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR), and Counter-Illicit Trafficking.

SH-60B Seahawk helicopter lifts from the USS Thach (FFG 43) in 2009.


Crews from HSL-49 operate the SH−60B Seahawk, a helicopter manufactured by Sikorsky Aircraft and equipped with two front-drive T700−GE−401C turboshaft engines manufactured by the General Electric Company. The helicopter has fixed landing gear, an external cargo hook, a rescue hoist, and bomb racks for carrying and launching external stores. In addition, it is equipped with a sonobuoy launch system, a Helicopter In−Flight Refueling (HIFR) system, and the necessary avionics and instrumentation for instrument flight and mission accomplishment. The helicopter can operate from a variety of naval ships.

HSL-49 will transition to the MH-60R variant of the Seahawk in 2015.

Red Stinger 104 from HSL-49 hovering at NAS North Island in 2009.


The SH−60B LAMPS MK III helicopter was designed to meet the requirements of the U.S. Navy's sea control mission. Its systems enable it to engage threats ranging from hostile submarines to missile−equipped surface ships. The aircraft's systems extend the search and attack capabilities of configured destroyers, frigates, and cruisers.

Primary Missions[edit]

In an Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) role, Scorpion aircrews use radar, Electronic Support Measures (ESM), Magnetic Anomaly Detection (MAD), sonobuoys, and ship sensors to localize, classify, track, and if necessary attack when a submarine has been detected. Aircraft can be equipped with various different torpedoes for the mission.

In an Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) role, Scorpion aircrews observe, identify, and localize threat platforms using radar, ESM, and FLIR. When a suspected threat is detected, data can be provided to the parent ship for surface−to−surface weapon engagement. Aircraft equipped with Hellfire missiles (AGM-114) may conduct independent or coordinated attacks. The SH-60B can also be equipped with the GAU-16/A (.50 caliber) and M240D (7.62 mm) crew served machine guns.

SH-60B Seahawk helicopter from HSL-49 conducting SAR jumps training in the vicinity of Guam in 2008 while embarked in USS Princeton (CG 59).

Secondary Missions[edit]

Vertical Replenishment - In the VERTREP mission, the aircraft is able to transfer material between ships, or between ship and shore.

Search and Rescue - In the SAR mission, the aircraft is designed to search for and locate a particular target/object/ship or plane and to rescue personnel using the rescue hoist.

Medical Evacuation - In the MEDEVAC mission, the aircraft provides for the medical evacuation of patients.

Communications Relay - In the COMREL mission, the aircraft relays communications between units.

Naval Surface Fire Support - In the NSFS mission, the aircraft provides a platform for spotting and controlling naval gunfire from surface ships.

SH-60B Seahawk helicopter from HSL-49 returning to NAS North Island, San Diego, CA in 2014. Point Loma can be seen clearly in the background.

Unit Awards[edit]

Year Award
1995 Meritorious Unit Commendation
1995 Sikorsky Award (Most improved maintenance)
1995 COMHSLWINGPAC Top Torpedo Award (Outstanding ASW ordnance precision)
1996 Arnold J. Isbell Trophy (ASW excellence)
1999 CNO Aviation Safety Award
2001 Sikorsky Award
2001 COMHSLWINGPAC Top Torpedo Award
2002 Lockheed Martin COMHSLWINGPAC Maintenance Award
2003 Secretary of Defense Maintenance Award
2004 COMHSLWINGPAC Top Torpedo Award
2004 Sikorsky Aircraft Maintenance Award ("Golden Wrench")
2008 Arnold J. Isbell Trophy
2008 CNO Aviation Safety Award
2009 Department of the Navy Safety Excellence Award
2009 CNO Aviation Safety Award
2009 Navy Unit Commendation
2010 CNO Aviation Safety Award
2011 CNO Aviation Safety Award
2013 Sikorsky Aircraft Maintenance Award ("Golden Wrench")
2013 CNO Aviation Safety Award
2014 Department of the Navy Safety Excellence Award

Commanding Officers[edit]

Name Dates
CDR Jason E. Rimmer 21 Nov 2013–Present
CDR William R. Sherrod 16 Aug 2012 - 21 Nov 2013
CDR Jason A. Burns 11 May 2011 - 16 Aug 2012
CDR John J. Barry III 25 Feb 2010 - 11 May 2011
CDR Chris M. Mills 20 Nov 2008 - 25 Feb 2010
CDR Brian W. Frazier 23 Aug 2007 - 20 Nov 2008
CDR Clayton L. Conley 22 Jun 2006 – 23 Aug 2007
CDR David A. Lemek 7 Apr 2005 – 22 Jun 2006
CDR Jeffrey M. Bocchicchio 22 Jan 2004 – 7 Apr 2005
CDR Alexander V. Sharp 3 Oct 2002 – 22 Jan 2004
CDR Frederick T. Blanchard 28 Jun 2001 – 3 Oct 2002
CDR William P. Cuilik 16 Mar 2000 – 28 Jun 2001
CDR Joseph S. Lyon III 7 Oct 1998 – 16 Mar 2000
CDR Gary T. Cooper 5 Jun 1997 – 7 Oct 1998
CDR Gary R. Leaman 18 Apr 1996 – 5 Jun 1997
CDR Paul M. Pietsch 16 Feb 1995 – 18 Apr 1996
CDR Zachary A. Henry, Jr. 9 Dec 1993 – 16 Feb 1995
CDR William R. Farawell 3 Sept 1992 – 9 Dec 1993
CDR Daniel S. Zazworsky 15 Aug 1991 – 3 Sep 1992
CDR Larry E. Larson 20 Mar 1990 – 15 Aug 1991

Command Master Chiefs[edit]

Under construction.

See also[edit]