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Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic

HSM-40 Welcomes Commanding Officer

by LT Rosalyn Lopez, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron Four Zero
08 August 2022 Cmdr. Justin Banz was relieved by Cmdr. David Bizzarri during a change of command ceremony for the “Airwolves” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 40 onboard Naval Station Mayport on Aug. 04.  Bizzarri assumed all duties and responsibilities as the commanding officer of HSM-40 in a ceremony attended by family and HSM-40 crew.
Officer saluted by other officers
SLIDESHOW | 6 images | HSM-40 Welcomes Commanding Officer 220804-N-N0783-1007 MAYPORT, Fl. -- Cmdr. Justin Banz walks through sideboys during a change of command ceremony for the “Airwolves” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 40 onboard Naval Station Mayport on Aug. 04. Cmdr. David Bizzarri assumed all duties and responsibilities as the commanding officer of HSM-40 in a ceremony attended by family and HSM-40 crew. (Photo courtesy U.S. Navy)

A native of Tucson, Arizona, Banz was commissioned in 2001 from the United States Naval Academy and was designated a naval aviator in 2003. He took command of HSM-40 in March 2021.

Banz expressed his appreciation for the hard work of his officers and Sailors during his tenure at HSM-40. “It has been a true pleasure working alongside you during these past 16 months.  Every day, your efforts directly support the Fleet and serve as an example to naval aviation.  Take pride in knowing your daily excellence builds upon the command’s rich legacy and that your service matters!” 

HSM Wing Atlantic Commodore, Capt. Teague Laguens, expressed appreciation for Banz’s leadership turning the squadron around returning it to the pinnacle of training excellence. 

“It has been a pleasure to watch him lead his team through a challenging time and then earning ‘Model FRS’ accolades from the Commander, Naval Air Forces Aviation Maintenance Inspection Team during the Airwolves’ very recent inspection. The entire Airwolf team should be proud of their noteworthy efforts.” said Laguens.

HSM-40 is one of two MH-60R Fleet Replacement Squadrons (FRS) that train pilots and aircrew of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, along with foreign students from around the globe. Students train in Naval Aviation’s premiere rotary wing ASW weapons system, the MH-60R “Seahawk.”
 
 
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