The Marine Helicopter Squadron 1, also known as HMX-1 or the Nighthawks, is a United States Marine Corps helicopter unit.
Because of his popularity with the media after the Wilkes Ice Station incident, Shane Schofield was reassigned to the Marine Helicopter Squadron to keep him out of their questioning clutches. Two of the surviving Marines from Schofield's previous recon unit, Mother and Gant, were also reassigned to the Presidential Detail. Colonel "Gunman" Grier was surprised that three former force recon Marines would be assigned to his squadron, but was glad to have them for their experience. The Marines that comprised the crew of the HMX Nighthawks rarely found themselves needed, often only operating whenever the President needed to undergo short journeys that Air Force One would be unsuited for.
In July 2001, the HMX-1 squadron were tasked with accompanying Air Force One and the President to a pair of top-secret Air Force bases in Utah. While the President was inspecting the work done at Area 8, a mechanical fault was found with Air Force One, and with the distance to the next base, Area 7, being minimal, it was decided that the Nighthawks would transport the President there while Air Force One was fixed.
While en-route to Area 7, Gunman could not raise the Secret Service's Advance Team 2 on radio, despite recieving an all clear from their beacon, and so dispatched Nighthawk Three, led by Colt, to investigate. Moments later they picked up a spike on their microwave sensors, and Gunman and Dallas requested Schofield go over Marine One to check it for bugs. While Schofield found nothing, the crew of Nighthawk Three found Advance Team 2 all dead. Unable to reach the other two choppers, Colt and his men were suddenly ambushed and killed, while Nighthawk Three was taken and piloted on to an outside hanger at Area 7.
Once Marine 1 and Nighthawk Two landed at Area 7 and their passengers disembarked, Schofield swapped personnel lists with Major Kurt Logan, who then requested (after a brief interuption from "Ramrod" Hagerty) that they move their aircraft inside the main hanger. After the two choppers were towed inside, most of the HMX crew moved into some of the hanger's offices, where they debated what went on at Area 7.
Schofield became concerned when he noticed that the holder of the Nuclear Football, Carl Webster, had disappeared from view, more so when he realised that the 7th Squadron soldiers around the hanger were in offensive positions. He tried to speak to Ramrod about these concerns, but the pencil-pushing Marine Colonel dismissed him, and when Schofield pressed the matter, Ramrod delcared that he would have Schofield court-martialed when they returned to Quantico.
Schofield, Gant and Brainiac logged onto Area 7's camera network inside Marine 1, and saw a team of armed 7th Squadron men coming up in the elevator. Schofield attempted to make for the rest of the HMX crew in the offices before the gunfire erupted. The Marines in the office were largely wiped out when an RPG hit the office, with Book II and Elvis narrowly escaping before the blast. Gunman managed to survive the blast, but was takn down moments later as he tried to return fire at the 7th Squadron. Schofield led Mother, Gant and Brainiac down an air vent to the Level 1 hanger below, while Book II and Elvis, joined by Love Machine and Calvin, used the elevator shaft to get down to Level 5.
When the two groups met up later, following Book II's group meeting up with the President and his remaining security detail, they began working to keep the President safe and retrieve the Football. By the end of the crisis, only Schofield, Book II, Mother and Gant survived from the HMX squadron, as well as the traumatised Ramrod, and the four Marines recieved Congressional Medals of Honour for their actions.
A new Helicopter Squadron was likely put into place following the incident at Area 7.
- Colonel Michael "Gunman" Grier (Marine-1 pilot)
- Lieutenant Colonel Michelle Dallas (Marine-1 co-pilot)
- Colonel Rodney "Hot Rod / Ramrod" Hagerty (White House Liason Officer)
- Captain Shane "Scarecrow" Schofield
- Gunnery Sergeant Gena "Mother" Newman
- Staff-Sergeant Elizabeth "Fox" Gant
- Sergeant Buck "Book II" Riley Jr
- Corporal Gus "Brainiac" Gorman
- Sergeant Wendall "Elvis" Haynes
- Lieutenant Corbin "Colt" Hendricks
- Sergeant Ashley "Love Machine" Lewicky
- Captain Tom "Calvin" Reeves
HMX-1 is responsible for the aerial transportation of the President of the United States, the Vice President, and other VIPs when Air Force One is not needed or unavailable. While the President's primary protection is his Secret Service detail, the HMX Squadron become his main protection whenever the President is onboard Marine 1.
- Sikorsky VH-60N White Hawk - HMX-1 / Marine 1 / Nighthawk One
- CH-53E Super Stallions - Nighthawk Two & Nighthawk Three
- M9 pistols
- Beretta pistols
- M16 assault rifles