4-Dec-2023 Source: US Navy
While deployed to U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 74 members honor a long standing military tradition during a Change of Command Ceremony as Commander J. Eric Kohut relieved Commander Phillip R. Krites.
“It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve alongside all of you as Commanding Officer,” said Krites. “I just want to say thank you for making this the most rewarding tour of my naval Career. You always looked out for one another, picked up a shipmate up when they needed it – You Supported the Swamp! – You Chased Greatness! – And you Embodied Be Ready! Enabling us to meet our mission task in multiple areas of the world.”
The ceremony took place on the flight deck aboard aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) as squadron members watched a flyover featuring two MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopters, symbolizing the airborne exchange of command.
Kohut reported to the “Swamp Foxes” of HSM-74 in July 2022 to serve as the squadron’s Executive Officer. His previous assignments include operational tours with the “Spartans” of HSM-70, Helicopter Maritime Strike Weapons School Pacific (HSMWSP), Carrier Strike Group 15 (CSG-15), the “Griffins” of HSM-79, and NATO Allied Command Operations. During these assignments, he flew numerous missions in support of Operations Sentinel, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, and Freedom’s Sentinel.
“I am beyond humbled and honored by this opportunity to serve with you. The past year was full of trial and successes; your hard work does not go unnoticed by me, our Air Wing, or our Strike Group Commander. The Swamp is the pinnacle of this Air Wing and the gold standard of squadrons across the fleet. Words cannot describe how lucky I feel to be a small part of it and I look forward to joining the successes this family builds together over the coming months of deployment.”
HSM-74 is an MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter squadron with over 300 personnel responsible for providing combat ready crews and maintaining MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopters to provide support to Carrier Air Wing Three (CVW-3). The primary mission sets for the MH-60R Sea Hawk include Surface Warfare (SUW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Electronic Warfare (EW), and Search and Rescue (SAR).
Deployed as part of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group (IKECSG), the “Swamp Foxes” of HSM-74 are ready to respond to a range of contingencies in support of national security priorities. IKECSG is currently deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations to help ensure maritime security and stability in the Middle East region.