Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21 Holds Change of Command

Story Number: NNS160422-11Release Date: 4/22/2016 10:47:00 AM
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By Lt. j.g. Kevin Holland, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21 Public Affairs Officer

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 21 held a change of command ceremony aboard Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, April 21.

During the ceremony, Cmdr. Roy M. Zaletski relieved Cmdr. David S. Wells as commanding officer of HSC-21.

Wells, a native of Newtown, Pennsylvania, assumed command of HSC-21 Feb. 12, 2015. Since arriving at HSC-21, he has overseen the training for numerous squadron detachments with various commands, allowing flight crew personnel to practice the squadron's diverse mission set. He also oversaw work-ups for and the deployments of a detachment of three helicopters aboard USS Essex (LHD 2) and a detachment of two helicopters aboard USNS Mercy (T-AH 19).

Speaking of his time as commanding officer, Wells noted, "I have been truly privileged that the Navy and its leaders let me fly their aircraft for the last 19 years and saw fit to let me command the Sailors of this great expeditionary helicopter squadron."

Zaletski praised Wells' work over the past 14 months, stating that his "commitment to our squadron's focus on professionalism and safety has set us on a glideslope for great successes to come, and I cannot overstate how much I admire your [Wells'] dedication." Wells' next assignment will be as the executive assistant to Rear Adm. Robert P. Girrier, director, Unmanned Warfare Systems.

Zaletski, a native of Long Island, New York, assumed command of HSC-21 after serving as the executive officer of HSC-21 since Feb. 12, 2015. Zaletski was commissioned in 1997 when he graduated from the United States Naval Academy, where he also obtained a Bachelor of Science in ocean engineering. Wells spoke highly of Zaletski's experience and noted that "Zaletski has a brilliant understanding of what is required to successfully lead this squadron through its next transition into LCS, Firescout and AOMCM ... Blackjacks, you are in good hands!"

HSC-21's mission is to provide all-weather, vertical lift, and combat-ready aircraft and crews to U.S. 3rd, 7th and 5th Fleet areas of responsibility. Flying the MH-60S Knighthawk, HSC-21 detachments provide tactical and logistical support, as well as search and rescue and humanitarian assistance capabilities, to the fleet.

For more news from Commander, Naval Air Forces, visit www.navy.mil/local/airpac/.

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