USS GEORGE WASHINGTON, At Sea (NNS) -- The "Golden Falcons" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 12 held a change of command ceremony aboard Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73), Oct. 21.
The squadron's personnel fell into formation on the ship's flight deck to witness Cmdr. Jason Young assume command of HSC-12 from Cmdr. Jeffrey Holzer.
"The ceremony went off without a hitch," said Holzer. "I feel very proud to turn over command of HSC-12 to Cmdr. Young. We've built a great team together and I know he's going to continue to do great things and move the squadron to new heights."
Holzer assumed command of HSC-12 in July 2013. During his tour, he led the squadron in support of Operation Damayan, the humanitarian assistance/disaster relief efforts in response to super typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, to deliver relief supplies to more than 4.2 million people in the Philippines.
"Our participation during Operation Damayan was without a doubt the highlight of my tour as commanding officer of the Golden Falcons," said Holzer. "HSC-12 is a great squadron. They have accomplished a lot and I know they'll keep pushing forward under Cmdr. Young."
The ceremony included two MH-60S Seahawks that flew above George Washington, one piloted by Young, and one piloted by Holzer and Capt. William Koyama, commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, who piloted while Holzer read official orders and executed the change of command.
"Cmdr. Holzer has done a lot during his time with HSC-12," said Koyama. "As the executive officer, he assisted in leading the squadron in a permanent duty station move from San Diego, to Atsugi, Japan. He also coordinated humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the Philippines. He was a great leader for his command and handled every challenge put in front of him."
Each helicopter flew past George Washington as the ceremony concluded to symbolize the passing of the command from Holzer to Young.
"[Holzer] has put us in a great position for success," said Young. "His dedication toward excellence has been fantastic and I believe [HSC-12] only has good things ahead."
HSC-12's primary mission is to effectively employ the versatility and lethality of the MH-60S Seahawk aircraft to support the strike group commander's objectives. The missions include force protection, special operations, search and rescue, anti-surface warfare, and logistics.
"I'm very excited to command the oldest active-duty, rotary-wing squadron in the Navy," said Young. "I have a fantastic team of maintainers, pilots and aircrewman who do wonderful things for us. I'm excited for our future together and everything on the horizon."
The Golden Falcons are one of nine squadrons of Carrier Air Wing 5 embarked on George Washington that provide a combat-ready force to protect and defend the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.
For more news from Commander Task Force 70, visit www.navy.mil/local/ctf70/.