NORFOLK, Va. – During the same week our Navy celebrates its 245th birthday, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 2 held its aerial change-of-command ceremony to mark the transfer of leadership Oct. 15.
Capt. Edward Johnson, who took command of HSC 2 in September 2019, Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic’s largest MH-60S squadrons, was responsible for maintaining 22 Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) assigned aircraft during his tenure. He turns over the command to Capt. Steve Thomas.
“Capt Johnson is an exceptional naval officer. His proactive leadership, vision, and mentorship set the conditions of success for the Fleet Angels and left an indelible imprint on HSC-2,” said Capt. Shawn Bailey, Commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic.
While in command, he was responsible for overseeing the training of MH-60S and MQ-8/C aircrews, as well as Helicopter Operations School (HELIOPS) students. Additionally, HELIOPS continued to provide training for all aviation certified ships, providing more than 2,500 hours of classroom, simulator and live aircraft events, completing over 70 courses, and training more than 1,000 students. The school provided more than 280 hours of advanced simulator training.
“It has been my privilege to lead such a talented and mission focused team through these turbulent times. It was absolutely eye watering to watch everyone step up to the plate, adapt to our new reality with innovative solutions and get the job done- ahead of time and ahead of expectations,” said Johnson.
Johnson and his command team produced more than 270 MH-60S Fleet Replacement pilots and aircrewmen, MQ-8B air vehicle operators and mission payload operators, and Airborne Mine Countermeasures qualified pilots and aircrew to meet Fleet Commander Requirements.
Johnson departs HSC-2 to serve as the deputy commodore for Commander, Helicopter, Sea Combat Wing Atlantic.
During his brief speech after the aerial change of command portion of the ceremony, Thomas discussed the appreciation of assuming command of HSC-2.
“I’m honored and humbled to be joining the Fleet Angel Team and look forward to being a part of their continued success,” said Thomas.
As a Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS), HSC-2 is responsible for the training of pilots and aircrewmen to employ the MH-60S worldwide in a variety of missions, including fleet logistics support, search and rescue, medical evacuation, special warfare support, anti-surface warfare and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief. The squadron fulfills secondary missions of theater security cooperation and U.S. 2nd Fleet operational support.
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