By Kaylee LaRocque

Naval Air Station Jacksonville Public Affairs

Commander, Carrier Strike Group (CCSG) 8 Rear Adm. Dale Horan visited Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 72 aboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville to meet with leadership and conduct an all-hands call March 7. 

The admiral met with officers and chief petty officers to discuss some of the top concerns the team was facing during their current maintenance phase and the squadron's future deployment with the strike group. 

I'm here today because as a commander, it's important to get out and meet the Sailors who are conducting our mission which is to provide prompt and sustained firepower overseas in support of our country's requirements," said Horan.

"I need to understand what they do and what their challenges are so I can better help them effectively accomplish their mission." 

During the all-hands call, Horan praised the HSM-72 "Proud Warrior" team for their accomplishments. "You have a stellar reputation and are doing a great job," he said.

"Please continue your great work ethic and team effort in getting through this maintenance phase. It is as critical to the mission as a deployment." 

He also stressed the importance of safety regarding mission readiness. "We have to accomplish the mission and we have to do it safely so we have to fold in safety from the beginning through the execution," said Horan.

"We also have to take care of our people and provide them the tools and the mindset to accomplish the mission effectively." 

The admiral also toured squadron spaces learning about maintenance control issues, power plants and inspecting new aviation survival training gear.

His visit concluded with a tour of the Paul L. Nelson Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing Atlantic Training Facility that included viewing maintenance training of helicopters and operating a MH-60R Tactical Operational Flight Trainer.   

HSM-72 was commissioned at NAS Jacksonville on Jan. 15, 2013. The squadron is a member of Carrier Air Wing One and embarks on the aircraft carrier and surface combatants assigned to (CCSG) 8 in support of combined and joint task forces, United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.