HM-19 “Golden Bears” Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Home » NAS Units » HM-19 “Golden Bears” Helicopter Mine Countermeasures

hm-19-golden-bears-patchHM-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).

Commanding Officers

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

— provided by Mr. Robert M. Cieri, LT Mark Zwolski, Gary Petersen and Davie W. Gibson, Jr.

10 thoughts on “HM-19 “Golden Bears” Helicopter Mine Countermeasures

  1. To whom it may concern, I served at HMR-19!

    How can I receive any form of recognition and/or receive documentation from the military regarding my service?

    Thanks in advance!

    Dan Beerman

      1. Wasn’t Lt. Cmdr. Drazek in the 17 Nov 1991 HM-19 crash in Half Moon Bay with my First husband? I believe he was a commerical pilot as well.

        1. I served with Kevin Johnson, he was a friend of mine. I
          Remember the pain of losing Kevin. He played on our softball
          Team. His work space was next to mine and he
          was a very funny, but he knew his ,”stuff,,”

  2. One of the plankowners and the first one to retire from squadron! “We Be Tools!” It was a great 2-year ending of a memorable 20+ year ride (except for the earthquake)!

  3. Hello Dennis, a.k.a AKC Carmody. I talk of you often ie baseball
    Cards, family, and chasing you around the Hanger with my
    Tape measure for height/weight (I was PRT coordinator). You
    Passed with flying colors. No pun intended, (air command).
    Grey hair? What hair? Like the father head lice said to his
    Son “I remember when all of this used to be hair.” Lol
    Keep in touch…Sk1 Dave Borman

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