NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The “Nightdippers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5 held a change of command ceremony in the squadron’s hangar bay onboard Naval Station Norfolk, Mar. 21.
Cmdr. Matthew Wright relieved Cmdr. Michael Dutton as commanding officer of HSC 5 in a ceremony attended by the command Sailors, family and guests. Dutton served for two and a half years as commanding officer of HSC-5, leading them through tailored ship’s training availability and composite training unit exercise with Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 12.
“Aside from being called ‘dad,’ nothing has made me more proud than to witness this squadron’s focused execution, unmatched flexibility and ride-or-die spirit,” said Dutton. “Simply put, they have made me a better officer and a better person. Thank you HSC-5 for the last two and a half years. What a privilege this has been.”
Wright served as the executive officer of HSC-5 under Dutton and now, as the commanding officer, will lead the squadron on her deployment with CSG 12.
“Over the last year, we have come a long way through workups, building our team and aircraft to prepare for our upcoming deployment,” said Wright. “In the coming days we will embark on a deployment that will take us around the world, where we will operate in some of the most unforgiving environments. Our mission is simple: to rescue, protect and deliver. To rescue from the sea in both friendly and opposed environments, to protect the strike group overseas and to deliver logistics and troops to the fight or offensively employ ordnance on target.”
HSC-5 is slated to deploy as a part of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7 and CSG 12 this spring.
“My promise as commanding officer is that I will dedicate myself to bring out the best of this generation of HSC 5 as part of the CVW 7 and CSG 12 team,” said Wright.
HSC-5 is comprised of MH-60S Seahawk helicopters whose mission consists of search and rescue, Naval Special Warfare Support and anti-surface warfare. Additional missions include logistics support, vertical replenishment, medical evacuations, non-combatant evacuation operations and maritime interdiction operations.
For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.