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Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron FIVE ONE
Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 51 (US Navy) insignia 2016.png
HSM-51 squadron emblem
Country United States of America
BranchUnited States Navy Seal United States Navy
TypeNaval Helicopter Squadron
RoleAnti-submarine warfare (ASW)
Anti-surface warfare (ASUW)
Search and rescue (SAR)
Executive transport (For SEVENTH Fleet)
Part ofCommander, Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing, Pacific Fleet
Garrison/HQNaval Air Facility Atsugi
ColorsRed and Black
EngagementsOperation 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 the Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Ayase City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Honshu, Japan. HSM-51 one of the seven squadrons making up the Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing, Pacific Fleet, based out of San Diego which deploys aboard multiple ships in the U.S. Navy's Seventh Fleet that is based in Yokosuka, Japan.


Commanding officer CDR Jason Russo

Executive officer CDR Tim Rogers

Command master chief CMDCM (AW/SW/IW) Todd E. Wende


The "Warlords" are the U.S. 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 (0.3 in) machine gun or GAU-21 0.50 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:

Secondary missions include:


HSL-51 was established on 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, HSL-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. Three hundred and eighty-two 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 HSL-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.

A HSM-51 Seahawk transports relief supplies in Operation Damayan in Ormoc, Philippines, 2013

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.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]