Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron Five One (HSM-51) "WARLORDS" is a United States Navy helicopter squadron based at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Ayase City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Honshū Japan. HSM-51 one of the seven squadrons making up Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing, Pacific Fleet, based in San Diego and deploys aboard multiple ships in the US Navy's Seventh Fleet based in Yokosuka, Japan.
Commanding Officer CDR Stephen Froehlich
Executive Officer CDR Carey Castelein
Command Master Chief CMDCM (AW/SW/FPJ) Jonathon Carter
The "Warlords" are the US Navy's premiere forward deployed Sikorsky MH-60R "Seahawk" helicopter squadron. Home ported in Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan, the "Warlords" provide combat-ready armed anti-surface and anti-submarine helicopter detachments to ships deploying in the Korean, Western Pacific and Persian Gulf regions, as well as Executive Transport for Commander, U.S. Seventh Fleet home ported in Yokosuka, Japan. They have recently successfully transitioned from the old SH-60B helicopter to the new and improved MH-60R.
The MH-60R is an upgrade from the older SH-60B, and carries a complex system of sensors including an Airborne Low Frequency Sonar and air-launched sonobuoys. Other sensors include the APS-147 surface search radar, ALQ-144 Electronic Support Measures (ESM) system and optional nose-mounted forward looking infrared (FLIR) turret. It carries the Mk 46, Mk 50, or Mk 54 torpedo, AGM-114 Hellfire missile, and a single cabin-door-mounted M240 7.62 mm (0.30 in) machine gun or GAU-21 .50 in (12.7 mm) machine gun.
Known as the "varsity squad" HSM-51 represents the elite squadron within the HSM community.
The squadron performs a diverse set of multi-role missions:
Primary missions include:Anti-submarine warfare (ASW)
Anti-surface warfare (ASU)
Secondary missions include:Search and rescue (SAR)
Medical evacuation (MEDEVAC)
Vertical Replenishment (VERTREP)
Special Operations support (SPECOPS)
Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS)
Communications Relay (COMREL)
HSL-51 was established 3 October 1991 and transitioned to HSM-51 on 7 March 2013.
On 11 March 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami ravaged northeastern Japan. Responding immediately, HSM-51 surged two detachment within 24 hours and within three days had a total of five detachments deployed, operating independently and as a part of the Ronald Reagan Strike Group in direct support of Operation TOMODACHI. In a first for the HSL/HSM community, the entire squadron redeployed from its home base of NAF Atsugi to NAF Misawa with less than 18 hours notice while Warlord families were simultaneously evacuated to safe havens in the continental United States. 382 hours and 118 sorties were flown delivering more than 100 tons of critical relief supplies.
In 2011, as a critical component of the Forward Deployed Naval Force's 9-1-1 response force, Warlord detachments surged nine times with less than 48 hours notice, deploying directly into international events watched by the world and ensuring the security of U.S. and Allied interests across the Pacific. The year began with rising tensions on the Korean Peninsula and HSM-51 answering the call when needed most, rapidly deploying three detachments to the Yellow Sea. At the peak of the crisis and just days before Christmas Detachment FOUR embarked USS SHILOH (CG-67) in under 14 hours notice providing Sea Surface Control (SSC) support to Seventh Fleet's Ballistic Missile Defense ships. In 2011, the Warlords executed over 5,891 SH-60B/F Class A mishap-free flight hours in support of CTF 70, CVW-5, eleven Yokosuka based Cruiser-Destroyer ships, and one CONUS based Frigate. The Warlords also reached over 124,000 Class "A" mishap-free flight hours in 2011.
The WARLORDS embody the spirit and tenets of the Samurai warrior depicted on their unit insignia, Miyamoto Musashi. A famed and accomplished 16th century warrior, artist, sculptor, and calligrapher, Musashi was a master swordsman who created and perfected a two-sword kenjutsu technique called niten'ichi ("two heavens as one"). In this technique, the swordsman simultaneously uses both a large sword (katana) and a "companion sword" (wakazashi). In addition to his renowned skill as a swordsman, Musashi was also an expert in throwing weapons and was known for his straightforward approach to combat, with no additional frills or aesthetic considerations.
UH-3H Sea KingVIP Configured UH-3H, 1991 - 2006
SH-60 SeahawkSH-60B, 1991–2013
VIP Configured SH-60F, 2005–2013