Story by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jordan Twiss // Staff Writer
While on their first aircraft carrier deployment, the “Proud Warriors” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 72 maintain a standard of excellence carried over from their days as Anti- Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 42. As they integrate into Carrier Air Wing 7, HSM-72 demonstrates the adaptable nature of the MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter as they grow into their role in the air wing, providing enhanced surveillance coordination operations.
HSM-72’s primary missions, anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, provide security for the Harry S. Truman Strike Group.
“Our squadron maintains around-the-clock airborne coverage,” said Lt. Skip Lambert, HSM-72’s avionics and armament division officer. “We have a helo there to keep an eye out and protect us from possible threats.”
The Proud Warriors operate an extended sensory platform for the strike group remaining alert to potential ship and submarine threats.
“We might not be the ones dropping the bombs,” said Cmdr. Jason Sherman, commanding officer, HSM-72. “But we have a great sense of pride in what we’re doing.”
The Proud Warrior mission statement, “To launch combat ready aircraft with the best trained aircrew on time, every time. Set the standard for mission execution within [the Carrier Air Wing] and the HSM community,” is embodied by everyone, from the commanding officer to the junior enlisted.
“I love it,” says Aviation Machinists Mate Airman Kyle Schmitt. “It’s a great feeling to put a helicopter together, then look out and see it flying and think I made that possible.”
From the maintenance personnel to the flight crews, the Sailors’ professionalism and effort does not go unnoticed.
“I am humbled ever y day by the opportunity to be at this command,” said Sherman. “It’s because of the level of pride and professionalism my Sailors show.”
HSM-72, originally HSL-42 was established in 1984, as a detachment based expeditionary squadron that flew the first Sea Hawk variant. The transition in 2013 featured an upgraded platform and equipment to provide increased maritime coverage for the carrier strike group. The squadron kept it’s name and, despite the changes, the symbol of the Proud Warrior carried on.
“Being a Proud Warrior means you can accomplish any task put in front of you,” said Schmitt. “You do it quickly and by the book, making sure it gets done.”
HSM-72, assigned to Naval Air Station Jacksonville, is deployed as part of the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.