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HSM-41 Transitions from SH-60B to MH-60R Helos

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS070929-11
Release Date: 9/29/2007 12:10:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class (SW) Mark Logico, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Pacific

CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- The “Seahawks” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 41 graduated not only the last class of SH-60B helicopter naval air crew, but also the first class of MH-60R helicopter naval air crew at Naval Air Station North Island Sept. 28.

Since 1983, the squadron has trained more than 3,000 fleet replacement pilots and air crew for the SH-60B helicopter and fleet squadrons. When HSM-41 received the Romeo aircraft (MH-60R) in December 2005, they started training the first set of pilots and air crew for the new aircraft.

“It’s a proud moment for naval aviation and a historic moment for helicopter aviation, this command and our Navy,” said the Seahawks’ Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Curtis Shaub. “It’s a bittersweet moment, as it is the end of an era when we stop training on the SH-60B and move into this new airframe. We couldn’t be more excited for what the country expects of us and the training we’re providing here today.”

Unlike the SH-60B and SH-60F, the MH-60R features electronic support measures, airborne low frequency sonar, a multi-mission radar upgrade--including ISAR, forward looking infrared, and a weapons suite including torpedoes and Hellfire missiles.

“They’ve pretty much taken the Bravo and the Foxtrot and combined them and increased them with technological advancement to where we have an up to date war-fighting machine,” said Chief Aviation Warfare Systems Operator Justin Tate, the training student control leading chief petty officer.

Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 3rd Class (NAC) Scott Haeusler, who graduated from the air crew training, said he looks forward to applying his knowledge when he transfers to his new command in HSM-71.

“It’s been a long time training to be air crew qualified,” said Haeusler. “It’s an honor to be with the aircraft from the very beginning. I can now say that I was there, and I was a part of it.”

The MH-60R will be one of two helicopter airframes used on Navy aircraft carriers once the Navy completes a reduction from the current seven types of helicopter airframes. It is designed to operate from frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers alike.

“The MH-60Rs are equipped with the newest 21st century computers and we are able to upgrade them as technology increases,” said Shaub. “Its mission has expanded. It has become a force multiplier for the fleet and for the strike group.”

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