HSL-60 “Jaguars” Redesignates
Helicopter Anti-Submarine Light (HSL) 60 will transition and redesignated to Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM)-60 as they sundown the SH-60B Seahawk and begin to train and deploy with the MH-60R
US Navy, June 17, 2015 - By Lt Ryan Meeuf - Commander Steve Smith assumed command of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Light (HSL) 60 from Commander Oscar Toledo on June 12, in a ceremony held on Naval Station Mayport.
The change of command at HSL-60 will be closely followed by the squadron’s transition and designation to Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM)-60, currently slated for July 2015. Cmdr. Smith will lead the “Jaguars” as they sundown the venerable SH-60B “Seahawk” and begin to train and deploy with the MH-60R.
“The MH-60R moves us towards to the latest technology available in naval helicopters. The SH-60B was a great airframe, but with dated technology.” stated Cmdr. Smith.
“The MH-60R is a major advancement. It’s an exciting opportunity for HSL, soon to be HSM, 60 to be the only Reserve squadron in the fleet to fly the MH-60R. This aircraft is at the forefront of the Navy; the Jaguars maintenance and aircrews have been working incredibly hard over the previous 18 months to prepare for this transition. I’m excited to see their hard work pay-off as we start the next chapter of the squadron.”
Cmdr. Steve Smith is a native of Mt. Carmel, IL and a graduate of I.T.T. Technical Institute in Indianapolis, IN, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Engineering Technology. Cmdr. Smith enlisted in the Navy and served as an Air Traffic Controller prior to attending OCS and his designation as a Naval Aviator in January 1999. Cmdr. Smith’s first flying tour was with HSL-45, where he deployed onboard USS Oldendorf (DD-972), USS Lassen (DDG-82) and USS McCampbell (DDG-85). He subsequently served as a SH-60B Instructor Pilot with the “Airwolves” of HSL-40, where he was selected as Officer of the Year. During this tour, he was selected for re-designation into the Full Time Support (FTS) community.
Smith completed his Department Head tour at HSL-60, where he deployed onboard USS John L. Hall (FFG-32) in support of Counter-Narcotic operations in the Caribbean. As part of the Active-Reserve Integration (ARI) concept, he detached to HSL-46 in 2006 to serve as Officer-in-Charge of Detachment TWO assigned to USS Forrest Sherman (DDG-98). Cmdr Smith returned to HSL-60 in 2007 to serve as the squadron Maintenance Officer.
Smith also served at Navy Personnel Command at Millington, TN, on the staff for Officer Promotions and serving as the FTS Aviation Detailer. During this tour, he completed an Individual Augmentee assignment as the Executive Officer for a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT).
The joint team was located at Forward Operating Base (FOB) Ghazni, Afghanistan. Cmdr. Smith returned to HSL-60 in February 2014 to serve as Executive Officer.
Toledo assumed command of HSL-60 in February 2014. During his tenure, HSL-60 deployed several detachments around the globe, including an international Joint Warrior Exercise to the North Atlantic onboard USS James E. Williams (DDG-95) in spring 2014, a four-aircraft, six-month Firescout deployment onboard USS Elrod (FFG-55) in support of AFRICOM Special Operations Forces, and a counter-narcotics deployment onboard USS Kauffman (FFG-59) supporting Operation Martillo in the 4th fleet AOR.
Additionally, HSL-60 was also awarded the Blue “M” Award for Medical Readiness an unprecedented fifth year in a row while also earning the FY14 Noel Davis Battle Efficiency Award, the FY14 Golden Wrench Award, the FY14 Retention Excellence Award, and the CY14 Safety “S” Award.
Cmdr. James Grieco will take over as the Jaguar’s Executive Officer.