18-Jul-2022 Source: US Navy
Commander M. E. Kawika Chang relieved Commander Timothy E. Rogers as the 25th commanding officer of the “Warlords” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 51 at a change of command ceremony held July 14, in the HSM-51 hangar bay on board Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi in Ayase, Japan.
Cmdr. Rogers was honored for his service and successful tour in leading the “Warlords” by Commander, Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Capt. Brannon S. Bickel. Rogers is transitioning to his new position at the office of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) N7 Strategic Warfighting Innovation Cell. His previous tours include operational tours at HSM-71 and HSM-75, HSM-41 as an instructor pilot, Flag Aide to Commander Naval Air Forces, and serving as the HSM Community Placement Officer, Naval Personnel Command.
Cmdr. Chang is a prior “Warlord” and assumes command after serving as executive officer since May 2021. His previous tours include the “Vipers” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 48, HSL/HSM-51 facilitating the transition from the SH-60B to the MH-60R, operational Department Head tour with HSM-74 “Swamp Foxes,” and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington D.C. (J7, Joint Force Development Directorate). He has accumulated over 2,400 flight hours in Naval aircraft.
Assuming the duties as executive officer is Cmdr. Thomas J. McDonald having most recently completed an assignment to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington D.C. (J7, Joint Force Development Directorate).
The HSM-51 Warlords are a Forward Deployed Naval Forces (FDNF) squadron based in Japan and are home to approximately 320 officer and enlisted military personnel. The command operates and deploys MH-60R Seahawk helicopter detachments that support all theatre-based Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and Ticonderoga-class cruisers assigned to Commander Task Force (CTF) 70 and CTF-71.