HM-19 "Golden Bears" Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron Nineteen
HM-19 "Golden Bears" Insignia
HM-19 was established at Naval Air Station Alameda, California on 9 January 1989 as the Naval Reserve's second Airborne Mine Countermeasures (AMCM) squadron, flying the RH-53D Sea Stallion Helicopter operating under the control of Commander, Helicopter Wing Reserve.
In January 1993, the Golden Bears began transitioning to the MH-53E Sea Dragon Helicopter. A transition to a new platform requires retraining of all the maintenance and aircrew personnel, a monumental undertaking. To achieve this goal the "Golden Bears" of HM-19 and the "Black Hawks" of HM-15 formed a cooperative training effort (centered around two of HM-15's helicopters) identified as Det Three, or, more commonly known as "The Pink Det".
Initially, a small cadre of HM-19 personnel worked onboard HM-15, learning to fly and maintain the Sea Dragon. After HM-19 transferred the Sea Stallions to the U.S. Marine Corps, HM-15 manned a detachment and sent it to HM-19. This joint effort between the Reserve and Regular Navy was enormously successful, and has since become the model for future reserve squadron transitions.
HM-19 constituted twenty percent of the Nation's Airborne Mine Countermeasures capability. The 325 officers and men that comprised HM-19 were trained to operate and maintain the Sikorsky MH-53E helicopters and a broad array of highly sophisticated, complex equipment required for the location and destruction of naval mines.
HM-19 was the recipient of the Chief of Naval Operations "Aviation Safety Award" for calendar years 1989, 1990 and 1993 as well as the 1989 Commander, Helicopter Wing Reserve "Retention Excellence Award."
HM-19 was disestablished 5 November 1994 and integrated with Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron Fifteen (HM-15).
MH-53E Sea Dragon Patch
|Commanding Officer||Date Assumed Command|
|CDR Robert M. Davis, Jr.||JAN 1989|
|CDR Leslie N. Allen||AUG 1991|
|CDR Alexander J. Sabol||MAR 1992|
|CDR Stephen H. Roach||DEC 1993 |
Establishment Ceremony on 9 January 1989,
Parading the Colors
Establishment Ceremony Squadron Cake
presenting the Squadron Insignia
Commanding Officer CDR Robert M. Davis, Jr., USNR cuts the Ceremonial Cake with his sword
HM-19's Air Intelligence Officer LT Robert M. Cieri, USNR standing in front of one of the Squadron's RH-53D Sea Stallion Helicopters
Airborne Mine Countermeasures
Mark-105 Hydrofoil platform
Images provided by Mr. Robert M. Cieri
Squadron History provided by LT Mark Zwolski, Gary Petersen and Davie W. Gibson, Jr.