HSM 75 Conducts Airborne Change of Command above USS Nimitz

HSM 75 Conduct Airborne Change of Command above USS Nimitz

The “Wolf Pack” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75 conducted an airborne change of command ceremony in the skies above the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), Aug. 13, in the Persian (Arabian) Gulf.

 Cmdr. Thomas F. Foster, from New Castle, Del., relieved Cmdr. Peter M. Collins, from Portland, Ore., as commanding officer of the “Wolf Pack.”

Capt. Kevin Mannix, commander of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, presided over the transfer of command.

Collins reported to the “Wolf Pack” in May 2011 as the executive officer and assumed command in June 2012 prior to the squadron’s first underway on board Nimitz as part of CVW-11 for Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2012.

 “The ‘Wolf Pack’ has come a long way; each time we have faced a new goal, we have both grown and learned something or we have approached it with vigor, hit the mark and kept pressing forward,” said Collins. “There are many challenges that lay ahead of the ‘Wolf Pack,’ but I challenge the ‘Wolf Pack’ to carry the culture that makes this place so strong, take it wherever they go, and make that place stronger with it.”

Foster, a 1995 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, began his career with the “Swamp Foxes” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 44. While at HSL-44, Foster made a counter-narcotics deployment aboard USS John L. Hall (FFG 32) and USS John Hancock (DD 981) in support of the John F. Kennedy Strike Group. Foster was also assigned to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 46, Supreme Headquarters Allied Command (SHAPE), and HSM-41.

 “It is my privilege to assume command today; the “Wolf Pack” has a long history of excellence, it is well deserved and I’m glad to be a part of it,” said Foster. “To departing Skipper Collins, the ability to focus us when we need it and relax us when we should, I have learned a lot from you, and I appreciate your mentorship and your friendship.”

HSM-75 is currently embarked with CVW-11 on board Nimitz and deployed with the Nimitz Strike Group to the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of Responsibility promoting maritime security operations, theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring Freedom.

Press Release, August 15, 2013; Image: US Navy