Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron SEVEN ONE (HSM 71) was established on 4 October 2007 and is the Navy's premier operational Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron. The Raptors truly embody the phrase: "FIRST AND FINEST."
This establishment signifies the beginning of a new chapter in military history. The Raptors have been given the newest, most technologically advanced helicopter in the United States Navy's inventory, the MH-60R or “Romeo.” HSM 71 is the first squadron to employ this new airframe and begin a new community.
The insignia to the left was developed to characterize the men and women who have become known as Raptors. Raptors, or birds of prey, are known by three primary characteristics- keen eyesight, undisputed mastery of the skies, and unrivaled hunting prowess. Raptors exhibit an extraordinary variety of hunting techniques. Some raptors soar as they watch for prey on the ground. Others are known for their skillful aerial maneuvering resulting in prey being snatched unaware. And still others hover when hunting, and then dive steeply down on their targets.
The name and image of a Raptor represent the exceptional skill and lethal combat capabilities the HSM community brings to naval warfare. From nautical origins, the trident is often associated with Poseidon, the god of the sea in Greek mythology. The insignia combines the exceptional aerial skills and deadly combat efficiency of the raptor with an implied mastery of the sea through the use of a trident. The black background represents the all weather, day and night capabilities of our multi-mission helicopters that have supported the HSL community since its inception, principally the SH-2F and the SH-60B. The third and brightest star signifies the current generation of crew and aircraft, which brings the greatest capability and lethality to the new HSM community. Just as a raptor flies the skies in search of prey, the men and women of the HSM community fly the skies ensuring naval dominance.