Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 35 held a change of command ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, California, Oct. 8.
At the ceremony, Cmdr. Katie Mullen Ellis relieved Cmdr. Chad M. Falgout as the commanding officer of the “Magicians” of HSM-35.
Falgout, a native of Hahnville, Louisiana, is a 1996 graduate of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As commander of HSM-35, Falgout led a squadron of more than 280 personnel, nine MH-60R aircraft, two MQ-8B Fire Scouts and deployed six detachments to the U.S. 3rd Fleet and U.S. 7th Fleet areas of responsibility.
Falgout’s next assignment will be as air department head aboard USS Makin Island (LHD 8) homeported in San Diego.
Ellis, a native of Westford, Massachusetts, assumed command of HSM-35 after serving as the executive officer since October 2014. Ellis is a 1997 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and in 2006 was selected as the Naval Helicopter Association’s Shipboard Pilot of the Year.
HSM-35 is the Navy’s first composite squadron fully dedicated to the operation and maintenance of the MH-60R Seahawk and the MQ-8B Fire Scout unmanned aerial system. The “Magicians” serve as the primary helicopter detachment for the Navy’s newest warship, the littoral combat ship. Currently HSM-35 Detachment 3 is deployed aboard USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) as part of a surface warfare mission package with one MH-60R and one MQ-8B to support U.S. 7th Fleet operations.
Image: US Navy