Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 772 (HMH-772) is a United States Marine
Corps helicopter squadron consisting of CH-53E Super Stallion transport
helicopters. The squadron, known as "Hustler", is based at Naval Air Station
Willow Grove, Pennsylvania and is attached to Marine Aircraft Group 49 (MAG-49),
4th Marine Aircraft Wing (4th MAW).
HMH-772, call sign "Hustler" was activated on April 15th, 1958 at the Marine Air
Reserve Training Command, Willow Grove, Pennsylvania as Helicopter Transport
Squadron 772, United States Marine Corps Reserve. The squadron was redesignated
April 1, 1962 as Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 772 and reassigned in
February 1965 to Marine Aircraft Group 43, 4th Marine Aircraft Wing.
Vietnam War & the 1980s
In 1970 the Squadron moved from NAS Willow Grove, PA to NAS Lakehurst, New
Jersey. The following year, 1971, HMH-772 transitioned to the more capable
CH-53A Sea Stallion helicopter. Redesignated Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron
772, the squadron returned to NAS Willow Grove in 1972 and joined MAG-49.
In Jan of 1986, the squadron was asked to support the SAR effort following the
Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.
The Gulf War & the 1990s
In 1991 the Squadron was mobilized in support of Operation Desert Storm. The
squadron aircrew flew fourteen (14) CH-53A aircraft across the country to join
the 3rd MAW and awaited further orders to Okinawa, Japan. While in Okinawa with
the 1st MAW the Squadron transitioned to the CH-53D aircraft. From Okinawa the
squadron embarked aboard the USS Midway and provided support for Operation Fiery
Vigil, which was the evacuation of personnel from the Republic of the
Philippines after the volcano Mount Pinatubo erupted. During this time the
squadron also provided support for Operation Sea Angle the humanitarian relief
operations in Bangladesh. For these actions HMH-772 was awarded another
Meritorious Unit Commendation. The Squadron returned to CONUS in November 1991,
was deactivated and was reassigned back to the 4th MAW.
The Global War on Terror
After 9/11 HMH-772 was mobilized once again and activated on January 27, 2002 in
support of Operation Noble Eagle and Operation Enduring Freedom. Within two
weeks of the activation the squadron relocated to MCAS New River, NC and was
assigned to MAG-29 within the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. The squadron was given
tasking to integrate with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) Air Combat
Element (ACE) HMM-263. At the completion of the workup cycle HMH-772 had the
distinction of being the first reserve squadron to receive the Special
Operations Capable (SOC) designation.
While deployed the HMH-772 (Det) provided heavy lift support for Operational
Rehearsal Dynamic Response 2002 in Kosovo. After Kosovo the detachment then
moved onto Djibouti and for the next 5 months provided support for the Combined
Joint Task Force Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA). After Djibouti the detachment
rejoined the 24th MEU and provided support for Task Force Tarawa and the 1st
Marine Expeditionary Force during Operation Iraqi Freedom. The detachment was
deployed overseas for 9 months and returned in May 2003.