SAN DIEGO, Calif .– The “Merlins” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 3 welcomed a new commander during an official change of command ceremony held at Naval Air Station ‘North Island, August 12, 2021.
During the ceremony, chaired by Captain Sean “Papa Roach” Rocheleau, Commodore, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, Pacific, Cmdr. Loren “Wookie” Jacobi relieved Captain William “Easy” Eastham as the 45th commanding officer of HSC-3.
“Skipper Eastham, we started our careers under similar circumstances and got to this point on very different paths,” said Jacobi, addressing Eastham at the ceremony. “It is clear that your experience in the whole community, your team coach mentality and your service leadership have paid off. I am honored to be your relief.
Eastham, a native of Amissville, Va., Led the Merlins from May 2020 through August 2021. Eastham became the 44th commander of HSC-3 during an unprecedented time in naval history. Spring 2020 marked the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the world was primarily focused on mitigating viruses and treating sick patients. On July 12, 2020, an entirely separate disaster made national headlines when a fire aboard the ship, aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), crossed 11 of the ship’s 14 decks.
Addressing the role the HSC-3 played in the firefighting efforts aboard the Bonhomme Richard, Rocheleau said the squadron was “accredited by the NOC as the only fire resistance at certain times. and responsible for maintaining the hull at the bottom of San Diego Bay.
The Merlins had been the first squadron to arrive on scene with aerial firefighting capabilities and, alongside base and ship firefighters, were providing round-the-clock aerial firefighting support. HSC -3 flew 110.9 flight hours with 26 flight crews to perform 1649 water drops for an output of 545,076 gallons of water.
“Last July, we transformed our school and our flight line into the most operational unit in the Navy and responded to a national emergency with the tragic fire aboard the USS Bonhomme Richard,” Eastham said during of a speech in which he thanked the sailors of HSC-3 for their dedication. “With less than four hours’ notice, our maintenance team prepared 3 planes, from the Sunday shutdown, to respond to the crisis. They then surprisingly supported these operations for over 57 continuous hours. ”
Despite the historic year and a half due to the COVID 19 pandemic and emerging tasks, the Eastham Squadron achieved the highest production target of the Air Naval Training Command in HSC-3 history , sending 76 fleet replacement pilots and 72 fleet replacement crew members to follow-up controls. In March 2021, the HSC-3 reached the milestone of 325,000 class “A” incident-free flight hours. Following the change of command, Eastham is expected to report to Helicopter Sea Combat Wing, Pacific as Deputy Commodore. After receiving a Meritorious Service Medal from Rocheleau, Eastham addressed one last time to the nearly 700 sailors of the HSC-3.
“To all the sailors of the HSC-3, thank you. To each of you, I am very grateful, ”said Eastham, addressing the audience. “Our way forward has not always been clear, but I will tell you that my faith in the courage, commitment and integrity of the sailors of the United States Navy has never been more resolute. It is often said that our sailors are our strategic advantage in the face of global competition. My faith in this is assured and I am more than satisfied with who you are and with your incredible accomplishments. ”
Jacobi, a native of Springfield, Va., Joins Commander Merlins, Naval Air Forces N81 Future Manpower Requirements. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2001, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Naval Architecture and graduated in January 2003. He also obtained a Masters in Systems Engineering, specializing in Systems Unmanned Combatant, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey. , California.
“I look forward to continuing the legacy of excellence at HSC-3,” said Jacobi. “As one of the oldest squadrons in naval aviation, we find ourselves on the verge of radical change as we move to a future of manned and unmanned systems working together collaboratively. HSC-3 and Naval Aviation are at the forefront of this change as we train the first generations of dual-skilled MH-60S and MQ-8 aviators while continuing to safely perform our core missions. HSC-3 Airmen, Maintainers and Administrative Professionals represent the highest level of technical and tactical leaders in naval aviation. I couldn’t be more excited to be part of such a compelling organization.
Jacobi’s previous missions include tours with the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center in Fallon, Nevada, the HC-8 “Dragonwhales”, the HSC-23 “Wildcards”, the HSC-12 “Golden Falcons” and the Secretary. of the Navy Tour as a Technical Operations Engineer on Amazon’s Prime Air drone delivery team in Seattle, Washington.
HSC-3 is the replacement squadron for the Navy’s West Coast MH-60S fleet, responsible for training pilots and crews by providing the most capable fighters to the fleet. HSC squadrons deploy expeditionary helicopter detachments to conduct naval special warfare, search and rescue, theater security cooperation, strike coordination and reconnaissance, anti-surface warfare missions , humanitarian aid and disaster relief.
|Date posted:||23.08.2021 17:43|
|Site:||SAN DIEGO, California, United States|
|Hometown:||AMISSVILLE, Virginia, United States|
|Hometown:||SPRINGFIELD, Virginia, United States|
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