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HSL 43 Holds Change of Command

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070223-18
Release Date: 2/23/2007 4:27:00 PM

From Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 43 Public Affairs

NAS NORTH ISLAND, Calif. (NNS) -- Cmdr. Matthew F. Coughlin succeeded Cmdr. Arturo M. Garcia as commanding officer Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 43 in a change of command ceremony here Feb. 22.

Garcia assumed command of HSL-43 in December, 2005. During his tenure, the "Battle Cats" were awarded the 2005 Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation Most Improved Maintenance Award and Capt. Arnold Jay Isbell Trophy for Excellence in Anti-Submarine and Anti-Surface Warfare. Garcia will next serve as military assistant to the executive secretary, Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Coughlin, who has served as the HSL-43 executive officer since December 2005, graduated from Western New England College in Springfield, Mass., with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. He was commissioned in October 1988 through the Aviation Officer Candidate School Program in Pensacola, Fla. He completed flight training at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field, Fla., and was designated a Naval Aviator in January 1990.

Coughlin’s previous assignments include HSL-40 and HSL-48. Following his tour in HSL-48, he attended the Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, Calif., and graduated with a Master’s of Science degree in Manpower, Personnel and Training Analysis. He then reported to USS Peleliu (LHA 5) in April 1996, where he served as both Hangar Deck Officer and Mini-Boss while deployed to the Persian Gulf.

In March 1998, Coughlin reported to HSL-41 as a SH-60B flight instructor. He next reported to HSL-49 serving as the Squadron Maintenance Officer. During his tenure, HSL-49 was awarded both the Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky Maintenance Awards. In April 2003, Coughlin reported to the Operations Directorate, Joint Chiefs of Staff and served as an assistant deputy director of operations, surveillance officer, and emergency actions officer.

The HSL-43 “Battle Cats” provide fully combat-ready SH-60B Seahawk Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) detachment pilots, air crew men, technicians and aircraft to U.S. Pacific Fleet warships. The SH-60B is a day and night capable, all-weather aircraft that provides the Navy with a multimission equipped aircraft.

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