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Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic

HELSEACOMBATWING Atlantic welcomes new Commander

by Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic Public Affairs
11 December 2020 Commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic held an aerial change of command ceremony to mark the change in leadership, Dec. 11.

Rear Adm. John Meier, Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic participated in the aerial ceremony above Naval Station Norfolk to mark the time-honored tradition. During the ceremony, Capt. Shawn Bailey was relieved as commander of Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic by Capt. Ryan Keys, who will oversee the HSC and Helicopter Mine Countermeasures (HM) community of more than 4,000 Sailors and civilians.

Bailey discussed the accomplishments his squadrons have achieved during his tenure “assuring the mission was executed on time, on target, every time”.

“Our squadrons have accomplished so much across our traditional mission sets including disaster relief efforts, the addition of the MQ-8B and MQ-8C to the arsenal, first East Coast deployments on board Littoral Combat Ship, and the demonstration of the MH-53E’s and MH-60S’ firefighting capability, and the integration between platforms to improve the AMCM capability throughout the fleet,” said Bailey.
 
Additionally, over the past three years, his wing had deployed 52 helicopters in support of both land-based and shipboard Defense Support of Civil Authorities operations.

Bailey, who served as deputy commander and commander of Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic from November 2017 to December 2020, has had an indelible impact on the HSC community’s overall capability and lethality.  His keen leadership resulted in the inaugural installation of Helmet Display Targeting System on the East Coast to effectively employ guided and unguided rockets, Hellfire missiles, and the M-197 20mm cannon.
Bailey oversaw the manning, training, and equipping of 14 assigned Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic commands successfully deploying 64 expeditionary detachments worldwide.  His squadrons supported multiple operations and exercises in Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Fleet areas of responsibility.
Additionally, the HSC and HM squadrons supported more than 19 joint exercises, including four multi-national Mine Countermeasures events further enhancing HSC’s tactical prowess.
“Every day it has been an honor to serve with the inspiring men and women of Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic.  I greatly admire their professionalism, tenacity, and total commitment to our nation, our people, and each other,” said Bailey.
 
Keys who has worked for Bailey for the past 18 months looks forward to assuming command of Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic.
 
“He has taught me a tremendous amount regarding the man, train and equip mission,” said Keys. “These will be big shoes to fill.  I look forward to taking command of HSCWL as our community takes on new challenges including expanding its warfighting to a new Type/Model/Series in the MQ-8C, honing new Airborne Mine Countermeasure capabilities, and keeping the HSC community at the forefront of the Great Power Competition.”
 
To the more than 4,000 Sailors and civilians who encompass the wing, Keys reflects on the professionalism of what they bring to the fight.
 
“And most importantly, I am honored to lead the 4000-plus Sailors of our wing, they are consummate professionals and the engine that drives the Naval Aviation Enterprise every day,” said Keys.
 
Bailey will depart the Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic with an impressive 73-squadron unit awards received under his leadership during his tenure according to his citation.  These awards include: 27 Retention Excellence “Golden Anchor” Awards, 25 Blue “M” Squadron Medical Readiness Awards, 6 Chief of Naval Operations Aviation Safety “S” Awards, 9 Battle Efficiency Awards, 4 Blue “H” Squadron Excellence in Health, Wellness, and Fitness Awards, and 2 Ashore Blue “E” for Supply Excellence Awards. 
 
 
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