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Patches

HMA-169

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HMLA-169

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Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169
HMLA-169

"World Famous Vipers"


Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169 was activated 30 September 1971 at MCALF Camp Pendleton, CA, as Marine Attack Helicopter Squadron 169 (HMA-169), and assigned to Detachment, MAG-16. Unlike the other two Active Force HMAs, HMA-169 was initially equipped with the AH-1G "Huey Cobra" and did not transition to the AH-1J "Sea Cobra" until 1974. In 1984 the squadron became the first HMA to operate the AH-1T.

During 1977, HMA-169 began supplying detachments to deployed West Coast Marine Amphibious Units. In 1988, one of these detchments was deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of Operation "Earnest Will". In 1986 HMA-169 reorganized as as composite squadron operating a mix of AH-1Ts and UH-1Ns, and was redesignated HMLA-169.

HMLA-169, now operating the AH-1W "Super Cobra", deployed to the Persian Gulf again in 1991 and participated in Operations "Desert Shield" and "Desert Storm". Initially , the squadron was based aboard USS Tarawa, but moved ashore later. Following the end of hostilities, HMLA-169 participated in the Bangladesh Flood relief operations (Sea Angel).

In recent years, HMLA-169 supported Marine operations throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The Vipers have also participated in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. During 2011, the squadron replaced its UH-1Ns with the UH-1Y "Venom".


Lineage

1971-2012

Activated 30 September 1971 as Marine Attack Helicopter Squadron 169 and assigned to Detachment, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, Fleet Marine Force, Pacific.

Reassigned during September 1978 to Marine Aircraft Group 39, 3d Marine Aircraft Wing, FMFPac.

Redesignated 1 October 1986 as Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169.

Participated during January - April 1991 in Operations "Desert Shield" and "Desert Storm".

Participated in Operation "Sea Angel" in Bangladesh, during May 1991.

Participated in combat operations in Iraq (operation "Iraqi Freedom", 2003, 2005, 2006, 2009.

Participated in combat operations in Afghanistan (Operation "Enduring Freedom", 2010 and 2011.


Honors

  • Presidential Unit Citation streamer
    - Iraq 2003
  • Joint Meritorious Unit Award streamer
    - Bangladesh 1991
  • Navy Unit Commendation streamer with 1 silver star
  • Meritorious Unit Commendation streamer with 3 bronze stars.
  • National Defense Service streamer with 2 bronze stars
  • Armed Forces Expeditionary streamer
  • South-West Asia Campaign streamer with 3 bronze stars
  • Iraq Campaign streamer with _ bronze stars.
  • Afghanistan Campaign streamer with 1 bronze star
  • Global War on Terror Expeditionary streamer

  • Nickname: Vipers
  • Tailcode: SN
  • Aircraft: AH-1G/J/T/W; UH-1N/Y
  • Website: HMLA-169