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Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron FIVE ONE
HSM 51 Logo.png
HSM-51 Squadron Emblem
Active 1991
Country  United States of America
Branch United States Navy Seal United States Navy
Type Naval Helicopter Squadron
Role Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW)
Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW)
Search and Rescue (SAR)
Executive Transport (For SEVENTH Fleet)
Part of Commander, Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing, Pacific Fleet
Garrison/HQ Naval Air Facility Atsugi
Nickname "Warlords"
Colors Red and Black
Engagements Operation Desert Storm
Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Iraqi Freedom

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 Thaddeus Johnson

Executive Officer CDR Stephen Froehlich

Command Master Chief CMDCM (AW/SW) John Vallesillo


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.

The squadron performs a diverse set of multi-role missions:

Primary missions include:

Secondary missions include:



In 2011 the Warlords of HSM-51 celebrated 20 years of Naval Aviation excellence and reaffirmed their position as the U.S. Navy's premier LAMPS Mk III squadron, hua. A critical element of the Forward Deployed Pacific Fleet quick-response force, Warlord detachments were repeatedly called to respond to U.N. Security Council resolutions and Presidential directives. Playing a significant role in national policy execution during numerous headline world events, the squadron excelled in the area of competitor nations' emerging ASW technologies and naval capabilities. In this challenging environment, the Warlords demonstrated sustained superior performance and impressive adaptability with unequaled mission effectiveness while providing seven combat-ready detachments to the Seventh Fleet Commander.

On 11 March 2011, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami ravaged northeastern Japan showcasing the Warlords' true strength. 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. Due to the dedication and hard work of every single Warlord, 382 hours and 118 sorties were flown delivering more than 100 tons of critical relief supplies to the beleaguered people of Japan.

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 showing our Nation's commitment to the people of South Korea. As the world braced for war, every Warlord detachment stood the watch maintaining 24-hour alert throughout the 2010-2011 holiday stand down period. At the peak of the crisis and just days before Christmas Detachment FOUR successfully embarked USS SHILOH (CG-67) in under 14 hours notice providing crucial Sea Surface Control (SSC) support to Seventh Fleet's Ballistic Missile Defense ships. By the end off the year the Warlord's seven combat-ready detachments had flawlessly accomplished every mission, demonstrating unmatched adaptability and unequaled mission effectiveness during 14 international exercises, an at-sea rescue, and vital Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HA/DR) efforts following northeastern Japan's devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami. 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. This sustained superior performance combined with cost-effective mission readiness has become the Warlord's calling card.

  • Recipient of the 2011 COMPACFLT Retention Excellence award.
  • Awarded the 2011 Sikorsky Aircraft "Golden Wrench" Award for Maintenance Excellence.

The Meaning of Musashi[edit]

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.

Squadron Aircraft[edit]

UH-3H Sea King

  • VIP Configured UH-3H, 1991 - 2006

SH-60 Seahawk

  • SH-60B, 1991–2013
  • VIP Configured SH-60F, 2005–2013
  • MH-60R, 2013–present


1. All information here is verified through HSM-51's Public Affairs Officer.

For more information please contact the Public Affairs Officer here.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]