Commander Michael A. Perez will assume responsibility as Commanding Officer of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron SEVEN ZERO (HSM-70) from Commander Kenneth R. Colman during a change-of-command ceremony onboard NAS Jacksonville on March 26.
Commander Kenneth R. Colman graduated from Washington State University earning a commission through Officer Candidate School in July 2000 and was designated a Naval Aviator in December 2001. Following initial flight training he reported to HSL-41 for SH-60B Fleet Replacement training.
Upon completion of fleet replacement pilot training, Colman reported to the operational assignments include tours with HSL-47, CVW-11 / HS-6 and HSM-75. He deployed with the SABERHAWKS, Carrier Air Wing TWO (CVW-2) and the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72) Strike Group during the first-ever Bravo to Sea deployment supporting and Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief Operations in Sumatra, Indonesia following the tsunami in 2004. At CVW-11 he served as the Anti-Submarine and Anti-Surface Warfare Officer (ASW / ASUW) for Carrier Air Wing ELEVEN deploying with the USS NIMITZ Carrier Strike Group during which he flew the SH-60F and HH-
60H with The Screamin’ Indians of HS-6 and deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In January 2010 he reported to HSM-75 as the Quality Assurance, Training, and Operations Officer. During his tenure, The Wolf Pack transitioned from the SH-60B to the MH-60R, from an Expeditionary to a CVW squadron and deployed for the first time with Carrier Air Wing ELEVEN embarked USS NIMITZ (CVN 68). The Wolf Pack earned the Battle ‘E’, Jay Isabelle Trophy and the SECDEF Maintenance Award for 2013. Commander Colman was recognized as the HSM-75 Officer of the Year for 2013. Commander Colman reported as the Executive Officer to the SPARTANS of HSM-70 in October 2017.
Ashore Commander Colman served at HSM-41 as a Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) Instructor flying the SH-60B and MH-60R from January 2006 to July 2008 and received squadron Pilot of the Year Award for 2008. From September 2013 – September 2015 he was assigned to the Joint Staff, J-33 serving as Strategic Surveillance, Emergency Actions, Primary Strike Officer and Assistant Deputy Director of Operations for Team FOUR at the National Military Command Center. From March 2016 to August 2017 he served as Executive Officer at HSM-40, the East Coast MH-60R FRS.
Commander Colman earned a Master’s Degree in Business Leadership from the University of San Diego and is a graduate of the USAF Air Command and Staff College. His personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy Achievement Medal (three awards), and numerous unit and campaign awards.
His leadership resulted in HSM-70 scoring 94% on their Organizational Maintenance Program Audit (OMPA), setting a very high standard. HSM-70 also sent out multiple detachments during his time as the Commanding Officer. Detachment One operated in the 6th fleet onboard the USS Gravely (DDG 107) for just under 9 months. During that time, they participated in multiple international exercises as the Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG) 1 flagship. The STORMFORCE and NTGe-19 detachments participated in an exercise demonstrating the plausibility and potential of new forward sensor fusion technology solutions. During that detachment, the remainder of the squadron was called upon to support the USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74) for F-18 and E-2 Carrier Qualifications. Other detachments include two Submarine Commanders Courses, TRIDENT SPECTRA, and an Anti-submarine Warfare Weapons Detachment. Detachment Two is currently preparing for deployment onboard the USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81) later this year.
Commander Michael Perez of Vandalia, Ohio graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and was commissioned May 2002. He reported to Pensacola, Florida for flight training and was designated a Naval Aviator in January 2004.
Following Fleet Replacement training in the SH-60B Seahawk helicopter, he reported to the Proud Warriors of HSL-42 at Naval Station Mayport, Florida. Serving as Detachment Maintenance Officer, he made deployments in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM as a part of the USS IWO JIMA Expeditionary Strike
Group and USS ENTERPRISE Carrier Strike Group operating in the US Central Command Area of Responsibility. He was awarded HSL-42 ‘Pilot of the Year’ award in 2007.
In January 2008, Commander Perez was assigned to the HSL Fleet Replacement Squadron, the HSL-40 Airwolves, as an instructor pilot at Naval Station Mayport, Florida. He flew nearly 1,000 hours as an instructor and was awarded HSL-40 ‘Officer of the Year’ in 2010.
In January 2011, he reported to the USS RONALD REAGAN as an Arresting Gear and Catapults Officer (shooter) and deployed with Carrier Strike Group SEVEN to the 7th and 5th Fleet Areas of Responsibility. While deployed, USS RONALD REAGAN conducted Operation TOMADACHI following the earthquake off the coast of Japan in March and launched sorties as part of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM AFGHANISTAN later into deployment. As V-1 Division Officer, he led over 150 Sailors comprising one of the largest divisions on board. In 2012, the USS RONALD REAGAN completed a homeport change to Naval Station Puget Sound in Bremerton, Washington.
In October 2013, he reported to the Vipers of HSM-48 as Naval Station Mayport, Florida. He served as detachment officer in charge in USS LEYTE GULF (CG-55) from August 2014 to January 2015 during which the USS LEYTE GULF deployed as flagship of STANDING NATO MARITIME GROUP ONE (SNMG-1) conducting multiple NATO maritime exercises in the 6th Fleet AOR. Following deployment, he served as HSM-48 Squadron Maintenance Officer. In October 2015, he reported to NATO JOINT FORCE COMMAND in Brunssum, the Netherlands as an Exercise Planning Officer coordinating pre-deployment training for staff officers and ground advisors from twenty-nine member nations deploying to Afghanistan as part of NATO’s RESOLUTE SUPPORT Mission.
Commander Perez is a graduate of the University of Florida Warrington College of Business, earning a Master of Business Administration degree in 2010. He has accumulated more than 2,300 flight hours and awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Award, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy, Marine Corps Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various unit commendations, service and campaign awards.
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