By Lt. j.g. Zachary Sanicol
HSM-70 Public Affairs Officer
Cmdr. Ed Fossati concluded his successful tour as Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 70 commanding officer passing the helm to Cmdr. Jeffrey Franz during a change of command ceremony at Naval Air Station Jacksonville Oct. 6.
Fossati took command of HSM-70 as the "Spartans" were entering their final phase of deployment training: Tailored Ships Training Availability (TSTA) and advanced warfighting tactics with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8 in Nevada as part of the air wing training requirements.
During his tenure as commanding officer, he led a squadron of more than 300 personnel, 11 MH-60R aircraft and three detachments on a seven-month combat deployment.
While deployed, the squadron operated in the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation in support of Operation Inherent Resolve aboard USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), USS Truxtun (DDG 103), USS Hue City (CG 66), and USS Philippine Sea (CG 58).
Additionally, shortly following the squadron's return, a detachment of Spartans re-deployed aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
Franz is a graduate of the University of Arizona and holds a master's degree in Foreign Policy and Strategic Studies from the Naval College of Command and Staff in Newport, Rhode Island.
He was previously assigned to the Joint Staff as a current operations officer within the Joint Operations Directorate, United States Global Force Management Division.
Preceding assignments include as an instructor pilot with HSL-40 where we selected as Instructor of the Year and the 2007 Naval Helicopter Association Fleet Instructor Pilot of the Year.
His sea tours include HSL-42 and HSM-70. He deployed twice with HSL-42 on USS Thomas S. Gates (CG 51), and USS Anzio (CG 68). While at HSL-42 he was selected as the Pilot of the Year in 2005.
As part of HSM-70 he deployed on board USS Gettysburg (CG 64) with the George H.W. Bush for their maiden voyage. In 2012 he was selected as HSM-70's Officer of the Year.
Fossati retired with nearly 24 years of enlisted and commissioned service.