HSM-46 Grand Masters Squadron Patch – Plastic Backing
A squadron patch of the HSM-46 Grand Masters with plastic backing
The mission of HSM-46 is to train, deploy and support combat-ready MH-60R detachments for assignment to individual air-capable ships and Carrier Strike Groups.
Drawing from the Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) program, the MH-60R expeditionary model is designed to combine both ship and helicopter weapons systems for the most effective mission performance. The helicopter mission systems are integrated into the world’s most technologically advanced ships, thereby greatly extending the combat horizon of the ship. The combined systems provide for earlier warning of surface contacts and longer range prosecution of subsurface contacts. In addition to the primary missions of Under Sea Warfare (USW) and Surface Warfare (SUW), the MH-60R helicopter’s missions include Search and Rescue, Vertical Replenishment, Medical Evacuation, and Communications Relay. The multi-mission helicopter weapons system that the men and women of HSM-46 maintain and operate was originally introduced to the fleet in 1984 as the SH-60B and continues to serve as the MH-60R, the most advanced multi-mission, rotary-wing platform in the world.
Established at Mayport, Florida on April 7, 1988 as HSL-46, the squadron transitioned to the MH-60R in 2012 and was redesignated HSM-46. The squadron currently deploys up to six detachments aboard Atlantic Fleet ships. A detachment normally consists of one or two aircraft, five to six pilots, two to three sensor operators, a maintenance chief and twelve to sixteen maintenance personnel. A typical detachment deploys with its assigned ship for six to eight months with multiple work-up periods prior to deployment.
Often compared to a game of chess, the SUW and USW missions are pursuits in subtlety and finesse that require consummate strategic planning and tactical vision. “GRANDMASTER” is a title bestowed on those who have achieved international standing in chess through tactical expertise and demonstrated competence. The professionals of HSM-46 are dedicated to those same ideals and possess the same commitment to excellence, hence the squadron’s insignia and nickname.
The versatile knight chess piece, with its ability to execute moves in multiple dimensions, is symbolic of the tactical versatility of the MH-60R helicopter and aircrew to execute multiple missions. The eight-point star on the knight’s shield represents the eight points of the compass and embodies HSM-46’s ability to successfully execute missions anywhere in the world. The determination evident on the knight’s face is representative of the determination, enthusiasm and motivation of every GRANDMASTER squadron member and accurately depicts our warrior spirit