By U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet Public Affairs
Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 28, Det. 1, “Ghostriders,” completed its homeport shift from Naval Support Activity Naples, Italy to Naval Air Station Sigonella, August 17, 2021.
The Ghostriders departed their detachment headquarters in Naples, for the last time, July 26, and flew aboard the U.S. Sixth Fleet flagship, USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) in Gaeta, Italy before supporting Large Scale Exercise (LSE) 2021.
"We are excited about welcoming the Ghostriders to the ‘Hub of the Med,’" said NAS Sigonella's Commanding Officer Capt. Kevin Pickard. "As a fellow helicopter pilot, my first operational tour was here at NAS Sigonella, and it's great to see Navy rotary aviation return to Sicily. While the operational mission remains the same for HSC-28, the facilities and training areas available here in Sigonella provide for increased readiness and operational effectiveness. We look forward to supporting HSC-28 for years in the future and fully incorporating them into the Sigonella team."
HSC-28 provides combat ready MH-60S armed helicopters capable of personnel transfer, search and rescue, vertical replenishment, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and airborne mine countermeasures to U.S. Sixth Fleet area of responsibilities. Det. provides direct logistics support to commander, U.S. Sixth Fleet and offers search and rescue and MEDEVAC capabilities to the region.
"The HSC-28 Det. 1 Ghostriders are excited about transitioning our base of operations in Italy to NAS Sigonella. This move provides better proximity to maintenance facilities, offers increased training opportunities, and facilitates greater flexibility for operational tasking in the Mediterranean Sea," said Lt. Cmdr. Andrew "Noodles" Conner, HSC-28 Det 1 Ghostriders, Officer-in-Charge.
The detachment consisting of approximately 25 officer and enlisted personnel. The detachment is able to conduct maintenance and training overseas to ensure continued readiness of their one MH-60S helicopter. Crews and support elements support the detachment for six months at a time, rotating from HSC 28 in Norfolk Virginia. The current detachment arrived in Italy in late July.
U.S. Sixth Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.