Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron SEVEN ONE (HSM 71) was established on October 4th, 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 Raptors took the HSM community lead for the testing and implementation of the Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System as well as provided groundbreaking advancements in electronic warfare during their 2016 Western Pacific deployment. The Raptors continue to push forward and will be the first operational squadron to fire the VX-1 missiles.
The Raptors have been awarded the Admiral Thach Award for outstanding achievement and contributions to naval aviation, the Commander Naval Air Forces Blue “M” for medical readiness, the Golden Wrench for maintenance excellence, the Battle "E" for superior operational readiness and performance, the Retention Excellence Award, and have flown over 55,000 mishap-free flight hours.
Our commitment to operational performance, by the book maintenance, operational readiness, innovation in tactics and weapons system development, and community leadership has combined to produce a truly capable team. The Raptors continue to set the standard for professional development, superior readiness and safety in an operational environment and have clearly established themselves as the “First and Finest” in the HSM community.