HSM-60 Jaguars Moves to NAS Jacksonville
US Navy Reserve ’ Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 60 moved from Naval Station Mayport, its home of 15 years, to NAS Jacksonville. Operates 7 MH-60R Seahawks
US Navy, June 08, 2016 - NAS Jacksonville by Julie M Lucas - Naval Air Station Jacksonville became the home of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 60 in February when the reserve squadron moved from Naval Station Mayport, its home of 15 years.
The Commanding Officer of HSM 60 is Cmdr. Steven Smith. The command triad is completed by Command Master Chief CMDCM Sal Lisitsin and Executive Officer Cmdr. James Grieco.
The squadron is assigned seven MH-60R Seahawks.
“The space here at NAS Jax is great– everyone is spread out and can have their own computer and desk,” said Lt. Cmdr. Tracy Parsons, training officer.
The “Jaguars” were formerly known as Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 60.
The command of nearly 200 deploys a small group of people at a time and is comprised of full time support, Selected Reserve personnel who drill one weekend per month and Individual Ready Reserve.
This can lead to unique challenges, having personnel who fly in monthly, some from as far as Montana.
“I was an aviation maintenance adminstrativeman (AZ) in the Navy Reserves, but a job came open for a full time billet as a yeoman, so I was able to reclassify,” said YN2 Sean Rosa.
While some of the “SelRes” are pilots in their civilian jobs, others do a vast range of careers, such as working for government contractors at different bases.
“Because pilots have to keep their hours up, if they only have duty once a month, people are pretty punctual when arriving and sometimes come days early to maintain their mandatory flying hours,” Parsons said.
The det that deployed just as the squadron moved to NAS Jax returned last week from assisting guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen (DDG 82) with its final patrol in South American waters. Another det will deploy in August.
To prepare for deployments, squadron personnel go to the Atlantic Undersea Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) in the Bahamas.
According to Parsons, training can be varied depending on the upcoming deployment.
“I’ve spent time down there from four days to four weeks, but don’t let the exotic location fool you, we are down there to training and work,” Parsons said.
Some of the training that occurs can include torpedo testing along with other weapons.
The squadron chose to be named Jaguars upon establishment in 2001, six years after the city of Jacksonville became the home of the relatively new NFL football team.
Since getting special permission from the league, the squadron uses the same logo as the team.
The football team unveiled its current logo a few years ago, around the time that HSM-60 transitioned from being an HSL, and adopted the new logo.
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HSM-60 Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 60 US Navy
NAS Mayport / McDonald Field