This coin is for the elite squad of highly skilled helicopter pilots and sharpshooting aerial marksmen whose duty is to defend US waters against drug traffickers determined to reach our nation’s southeastern shores. HITRON (Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron) was formed in 1998 in response to the exorbitant amount of drugs entering the United States by sea. With noted, marked success within a year of its inception, the group was soon designated as a permanent unit in the Coast Guard, initiating its motto: a “Force From Above.”
Based at Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida, HITRON has developed many innovative tactics and procedures to patrol US waters, combating the excessive threats of drug trafficking by intercepting high-speed “go-fasts” carrying illegal drugs. When maritime patrol aircraft locate trafficking vessels, HITRON crews are deployed in armed helicopters, signaling cutters and over-the-horizon pursuit boats to intercept and seize. In addition to halting illegal drugs from entering the country, HITRON has expanded to include Homeland Security, responding to potential terrorist threats in high-risk areas throughout the southern Atlantic coast.
In honor of this esteemed squadron, this challenge coin features the official insignia of HITRON. The insignia depicts integral patrol and seizure vessels and incorporates the sun and moon, symbolizing HITRON’s readiness to deploy day or night. Minted in nickel, the relief images are accented with a background of colored enamel, while the reverse displays the US Coast Guard logo. This HITRON coin honors the elite members of this tactical squadron, embodying their mission and the US Coast Guard’s “Semper Paratus” motto of “Always Prepared” to defend our nation’s waters.
Each coin measures a 2 inch X 2 1/2 inch Crest.