A Warlord Tradition - A Brief History of HSM-51

A Warlord Tradition - A Brief History of HSM-51

by MC3 Jason C. Baugus, PAO, NAF Atsugi
U.S. Navy

As the U.S. Navy’s only expeditionary Forward Deployed  Light  Airborne  Multi-Purpose  System squadron,   the  Warlords   of   Helicopter   Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 51 have been at the forefront of   helicopter   operations   throughout   the   Pacifi Ocean and Arabian Gulf since their establishment on October 3, 1991.

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.

Like Musashi, the Warlords are master warfi fl the Sikorsky MH-60R helicopter which has improved anti-submarine warfare abilities, new radar suite, and upgraded communications equipment. The Warlords are equally skilled with their weapons - the AGM-114 Hellfi missile, the MK-46, MK-50 and MK-54 torpedoes, and the GAU-21 .50cal and M-240D 7.62mm crew served weapons. Should the need arise, the Warlords stand ready to preserve freedom and democracy and strike the enemy swiftly, relentlessly and with deadly accuracy.

Serving aboard the Yokosuka-based ships of Commander Task Force 70, the Warlords have amassed  more  than  11  Battle  Efficiency Awards since establishment in 1991, setting the standard for operational excellence.

Excellence, humility, vigilance and teamwork are the governing credos by which the Samurai and the Warlords live and operate.

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