US Navy HSL-48 Shifts To HSM
US Navy Helicopter Anti-Submarine Light HSL-48 transitioned to the MH-60R variant of the Seahawk and re-designated as Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM). Vipers flew with the SH-60B since its creation in 1989
US Naval Air systems Command (NAVAIR), May 07, 2014 - By Lt.j.g. Patrick Sullivan - Cmdr. Edward O’Grady assumed command of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 48 from Cmdr. Eric Bower on May 2.
The change of command marked the transition from HSL (Helicopter Anti-Submarine Light) into HSM. Under the new HSM-48 standard, the squadron will operate the MH-60R and move from the SH-60B “Seahawk” helicopter that has been in service with the Vipers since the squadron’s inception in 1989.
“As we christen HSM-48, we move forward with new aircraft, new equipment, new skills and expanded missions,” said O’Grady. “We also move forward with a clean slate. This new squadron has yet no history, that’s for all of us to write. It does however, have a proud legacy, and most recently a legacy of excellence. Helicopter squadrons like this are unique in military aviation in that our missions can run the gamut from combat to humanitarian and everything in between.”
“Recently, under the guidance of Skipper Bower, we’ve shown that we are more than equal to all of those tasks,” he added.
“This past year, we had an outstanding aviation maintenance inspection and we set the standard during our search and rescue evaluation. We won awards for aviation safety and the retention of our Sailors, and most importantly, we’ve put combat ready detachments to sea....And as the sun sets on our time as HSL and we prepare to move into the future, we embrace the duality of our mission and we reaffirm to the world that in Viper Nation you will find no better friend, and no worse enemy.”
Bower assumed command of the Vipers in February 2013. Under his tenure as commanding officer, the squadron deployed seven fully mission capable LAMPS detachments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and the Global War on Terror. The squadron’s hard work was rewarded with the Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing Atlantic Battle “E” and the Arleigh Burke Fleet Trophy.
Bower’s next assignment will be to OPNAV command. Previous assignments include the Joint Staff, as Director for Operations (J-3). He served as Assistant Deputy Director for Operations and Strike Advisor on National Joint Operations and Intelligence Center Team Four in the National Military Command Center. He provided worldwide politico-military monitoring, strategic and emergency action functions and crisis response in support of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of Defense, and the President of the United States.
O’Grady is a native of Highland Mills, NY and commissioned from the United States Naval Academy in 1997. His career has included two deployments with HSL-44, assignment to the staff of Director Navy International Programs Office (NIPO) in Washington DC, a deployment with HSL-42 as Detachment Officer in Charge, and assignment to United States Special Operations Command as a planner on the Commander’s Global Special Operations Forces Operational Planning Team.
Cmdr. Jeffrey Hill will take over as Viper Executive Officer.