US Navy establishes new helicopter squadron in Florida

The US Navy has established a new helicopter squadron, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 50, onboard naval air station Mayport in Florida.

As disclosed, the squadron will be fully equipped with MH-60R Seahawks and will provide expeditionary aviation detachments in support of littoral combat ships and expeditionary independent deployers to meet global force management missions.     

The MH-60R Seahawk is used to support a number of operations spanning: anti-submarine warfare, electronic warfare, surface warfare, command and control, non-combat operations, and fleet support for operations and logistics. It can also integrate mission systems with other ships to provide early warning indications of surface contacts and longer range pursuit of subsurface contacts.

“Every member of Valkyries will have a major impact as we establish this squadron from the ground floor and create a strong, resilient, combat-ready unit prepared to deploy MH-60R Detachments to Fight and Win at sea,” HSM-50’s first commanding officer Carolyn Peterson said.

Peterson, a native of Nashville, Tennessee, served in a number of assignments including tours as an instructor pilot, a helicopter initial shore assignments officer, a Carrier Air Wing MH-60R operational squadron department head, and a joint planning officer in Anchorage, Alaska.

HSM-50 is expected to conduct a formal establishment ceremony in the summer of 2022 and the squadron will fall under Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing Atlantic.