Red Wolves Hold Change of Command

Story Number: NNS100202-23Release Date: 2/2/2010 4:31:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class John Suits, Navy Public Affairs Support Element, Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The "Red Wolves" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 84 held a change of command ceremony Jan. 30 at Naval Station Norfolk.

Cmdr. Scott. R. Gootee relieved Cmdr. Sean A. Butcher as commanding officer.

During the ceremony, Butcher made it a point in his speech to thank his Sailors for their contributions.

"I would like to thank the Red Wolves for their sweat and leadership in making my job easier every day," said Butcher. "To understand the command [HSC-84], spend a little time in our world. They are a united team with focus on mission success."

As a Navy Reserve unit, the Red Wolves have a history of deployments in support of the Vietnam War, Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Uphold Democracy and Joint Endeavor. The squadron also supports Navy SEALs, Army, Air Force and NATO during special warfare operations.

Butcher's tours of duty include the "Dragonwhales" of Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 8 in Norfolk, Va., making multiple deployments to the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean aboard USS Sylvania (AFS-2) and USS San Diego (AFS-6), including Task Force Ranger in Somalia aboard USS Savannah (AOR-4). Butcher also served as a T-34C fixed wing flight instructor at Training Squadron (VT) 3 in Pensacola, Fla.

In 1999, Butcher reported to HSC-84, which was then called Helicopter Combat Support Special Squadron (HCS)4, and served as training officer, safety officer, administrative officer and operations officer, followed by continuous deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom before assuming command in Sept. 2008.

Before relinquishing command to Gootee, Butcher gave some last-minute advice to his Sailors about achieving their mission success while on duty.

"Develop. Lead. Win," said Butcher. "Your decisions on the battlefield will impact you and those around you. You are warriors and leaders of the future. God bless the Red World nation."

Butcher was also given the Meritorious Service Medal by Commander, Navy Reserve Force, Vice Adm. Dirk J. Debbink, the ceremony's guest speaker.

"This squadron carries on the tradition of being the first rapid-response team during the Vietnam War," said Debbink. "The combat support by the most experienced squadron in the Navy has been nothing but superb."

After assuming command of the "Red Wolves", Gootee addressed his Sailors on the challenges they will soon face. "It's time to get back to work," said Gootee. "I will give you my best effort each and every day to ensure the squadron's fine reputation. We will continue to support ground troops who are going in harm's way in our role to support new training."

Butcher's next assignment will be as the Navy Special Warfare Transition Officer at Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.

For more news from Naval Station Norfolk, visit

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