Santa Claus visits Southern Maryland Dec. 15 (Courtesy of the U.S. Navy) Families across Southern Maryland should be on the lookout as Adm. Santa Claus conducts pre-deployment mission planning over St. Mary’s County on Dec. 15 from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Regional residents who keep an eye on the skies have a chance to see Saint Nicholas, also known by call sign “Claus,” flying with elves and other holiday helpers from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (HX) 21 aboard a UH-1Y Huey helicopter. Children are advised to be on their best behavior as Claus spreads holiday cheer and conducts reconnaissance for his upcoming operations on Christmas Eve. While exact flight plans are classified, Claus and the HX-21 crew will fly over local neighborhoods including the Patuxent River Beach Houses, Chesapeake Ranch Airport, Solomons Island, Town Creek, Esperanza Farms, St. Mary’s County Airport, Leonardtown, Wildewood, Chancellor’s Run, Lexington Park, and Cedar Cove. HX-21 is a component of Naval Test Wing Atlantic and the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division. Nicknamed the “Blackjacks,” the squadron provides developmental flight test and evaluation for U.S. Navy and Marine Corps rotary-wing and tilt-rotor aircraft. NAS Patuxent River has been home to HX-21 since 1949.
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