History of HMX-1
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
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".