Commanding Officer
Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) Squadron 40 FRS
HSM-40 Menu

Commanding Officer
Cmdr. Justin Banz

Cmdr. Justin Banz is a native of Tucson, Arizona and graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.  He later graduated with Distinction from the Naval War College, where he earned a Masters in National Security and Strategic Studies and also holds a Master of Arts in Global Leadership from the University of San Diego.

Previously, he commanded the “Warlords” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 51 as part of the forward deployed naval forces in Atsugi, Japan.  Under his leadership, the Warlords sustained theater-wide operational and readiness excellence while achieving numerous Navy Retention and Safety awards and were recognized throughout the Department of Defense by earning the Secretary of Defense Field Maintenance Award. 

Banz’ flying tours include his first operational assignment as an SH-60B Seahawk pilot with the Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 51 Warlords where he participated in numerous support operations on ships deployed in the Korean and Western Pacific regions. He then transitioned to the MH-60R Seahawk and served as a fleet replacement squadron instructor and training department head in HSM-41.  As the plankowning maintenance department head in HSM-35, he oversaw the squadron’s initial certifications for both the MH-60R Seahawk and MQ-8B Firescout and was selected as the Squadron Officer of the Year.

Banz’ completed shore tour assignments as assistant operations officer and humanitarian and domestic disaster lead planner with ESG-3, director fellow for the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group, and most recently as MH-60R requirements officer in the OPNAV Air Warfare Division. 

In his career, Banz has been awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation and Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal in addition to other unit and personal awards.
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