Indians Change Command at Sea

Story Number: NNS171206-19Release Date: 12/6/2017 1:30:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class John Hetherington, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6 Public Affairs

ARABIAN GULF (NNS) -- The Indians of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 6, based in San Diego, performed an airborne change of command ceremony, Dec. 6, above the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) currently deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations.

Cmdr. James Jerome relieved Cmdr. Joshua C. Ellison as commanding officer of HSC-6. In a unique ceremony that highlighted the capabilities of the squadron, Ellison and Jerome, each piloting an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter, read their orders mid-flight. The pilots demonstrated evasive maneuvers and launched flares, completing the ceremony. More than 150 squadron Sailors observed from the ship's flight deck.

Ellison assumed command of HSC-6 on Sept. 2, 2016, after serving as executive officer. His next assignment will be as air department head aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer (LHD 4).

Prior to reporting to HSC-6 as executive officer in September of 2016, Jerome served as Regional Engagement Branch Chief and Aide-de-Camp for the director of U.S. Africa Command.

"I have seen this squadron work together through a year of arduous training and now on deployment in U.S. 5th Fleet," said Jerome. "The squadron's success is attributed to each member's dedication to the team and our mission. I plan to continue building on the high standard of operational excellence set by Cmdr. Ellison during his time leading the Indians. I am excited about serving with the men and women of HSC-6."

HSC-6 provides all-weather rotary wing operations, and conducts vertical lift search and rescue, logistics, anti-surface warfare, special operations forces support, and combat search and rescue capabilities for Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 embarked aboard Theodore Roosevelt.

Theodore Roosevelt and its carrier strike group departed San Diego on Oct. 6 for a regularly scheduled deployment to the U.S 5th Fleet area of operations in support of maritime security operations to reassure allies and partners and preserve the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in the region.

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