HMX-1 Squadron Patch

History of HMX-1

Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) was established 1 December 1947 at Marine Base Quantico, Virginia, as an experimental unit tasked with testing and evaluating military helicopters when rotary wing flight was still in its infancy. Founded to test tactics, techniques, procedures and equipment, HMX-1 has since then, become synonymous with helicopter transport of the President of the United States.

In 1957, rotary wing movement of the President, Vice President, and other important personnel originated, as President Dwight D. Eisenhower – away on vacation – was urgently needed back at the White House. What would have been a two hour motorcade trip was reduced to a seven minute helicopter ride. On that day, HMX-1 earned its most prestigious of missions – direct support of the President.

In addition to Presidential and VIP support, the “Nighthawks” of HMX-1 maintains the role as the primary Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) unit for Marine assault support helicopters and related equipment. Indeed, the same pilots and aircrew supporting the President are often testing and evaluating aircraft and systems used by the Fleet Marine Forces. HMX-1 aircraft and Marines also support the Marine Corps Combat Development Command in the development of helicopter tactics, techniques and landing force equipment, as well as for student demonstrations and helicopter indoctrination. The squadron currently operates a fleet of “White Top” VH-3D “Sea King” and VH-60N “White Hawk” and the “Green Top” MV-22B “Osprey”.