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Saturday, May 1, 2010

HSM-71 Passes Operational Milestone

By LTJG Frederick D. Grant

The U.S. Navy’s Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron Seven One (HSM-71), under the command of CDR Jeffrey Dodge, celebrated reaching 10,000 mishap free flight hours in the MH-60R Raptor since starting to fly the helicopter in October 2007. HSM-71 is the first operational squadron to fly the MH-60R, the Navy’s newest and most advanced helicopter platform. Its primary missions include anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare. The “Romeo” has several mission system upgrades from its predecessor, the SH-60B, including the APS-147 radar and the AN/AQS-22 ALFS dipping sonar. Over the next few years, all SH-60B squadrons will gradually transfer over to the MH-60R. HSM-71 had the challenging task of being the first to tactically employ the new platform, laying the foundation for this new community to be built. Following a successful six-month deployment as part of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 aboard the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Strike Group, HSM-71’s operational excellence was recognized by winning the Battle Efficiency Award and being nominated for the Captain Arnold Jay Isbell Trophy. (From May 2010 Rotorcraft Report)

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