By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Daniel Schumacher
Commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF) awarded the 2012 Pacific Fleet Battle Efficiency (“E”) award to the “Eightballers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8 for the HSC Carrier Air Wing (CVW) category, Feb. 12.
The aviation Battle “E” is an annual award recognizing a command for its display of exceptional performance, efficiency, and mission readiness throughout the year.
HSC-8 was one of six HSC squadrons competing for the Pacific Fleet Battle “E.”
“Nothing happens by just one person’s efforts,” said Cmdr. Derrick Kingsley, executive officer for HSC-8. “This award is given to the whole command for their collective accomplishments. Everyone’s performance has been absolutely phenomenal.”
According to CNAF instruction, HSC squadrons are largely evaluated on operational achievements, material and personnel readiness, aviation safety, and contributions to weapons systems and tactics development.
“This award shows the hard work the HSC-8 Sailors have put in every day and that it has not gone unrecognized,” said Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Neill, from Cullman, Ariz., HSC-8’s administration officer. “In order to have a competitive chance for the Battle “E” we needed to exceed in every criteria.”
HSC-8 plans to commemorate the award by painting a large “E” onto one of their helicopters.
“The enthusiasm of the crew is second to none, from our newest E-1 to our Commanding Officer,” said Senior Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Ramon Lopez, HSC-8’s maintenance control supervisor, from Calexico, Calif. “Every member of this winning team collaborates and contributes to the overall success of the mission.”
HSC-8 is one of nine squadrons with CVW 9, deployed with the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group (JCSCSG). The JCSCSG also includes Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), Destroyer Squadron 21, and guided-missile cruiser USS Mobile Bay (CG 53). The JCSCSG is forward deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support mission for Operation Enduring Freedom.
An MH-60S Knighthawk of the Eightballers of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8 drops off cargo on the flight deck of the Military Sealift Command fast combat support ship USNSBridge (T-AOE 10) during a replenishment-at-sea with the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate/Released)
Sailors hook cargo nets to an MH-60S Knighthawk from the Eightballers of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8 on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) during a replenishment-at-sea with the Military Sealift Command fast combat support ship USNSBridge (T-AOE 10). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kenneth Abbate/Released)