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US Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 26 marks change of command with ceremony

U.S. Navy Press Release | November 17, 2023

Estimated reading time 3 minutes, 4 seconds.

Cmdr Scott F. Chirgwan addresses the audience at the Helicopter Sea Combat (HSC) 26 change of command ceremony, Nov. 16, 2023. Cmdr Matthew Mravlja was relieved by Chirgwin. U.S. Navy /Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Aimee Ford Photo

The U.S. Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 26 “Chargers,” stationed aboard Naval Station Norfolk, held a change of command ceremony Nov. 16 to mark a transition of command leadership.

During the change of command ceremony, Cmdr Scott Chirgwin, of Portland, Oregon, assumed all duties and responsibilities as the HSC-26 commanding officer from Cmdr Matthew Mravlja, of Westford, New York.

While in command of HSC-26, Mravlja led an operational squadron of 439 Sailors, molding a cohesive combat unit ready that deployed to U.S. Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Fleet areas of responsibility (AOR).

This included operations deployed aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), the dry cargo ship USNS Alan Shepherd (T-AKE 3), the expeditionary sea base USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), and the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) while simultaneously maintaining a land-based detachment in Manama, Bahrain.

These detachments provided critical helicopter aviation support for Operation Continuing Promise 2022, Special Boat Team 20, U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Security Response Teams, USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group, and SEAL Teams Three, Five and Seven.

“During my time at HSC-26, due to the hard work of the ‘Charger’ team we have accomplished tremendous feats and made real and significant impacts in multiple AORs,” said Mravlja, who addressed the new commanding officer. “The passion and professionalism of Chirgwin as the new Skipper will ensure this success continues.”

Chirgwin discussed the passion the ‘Chargers’ bring to their assigned missions.

“Every person here is critically important, this machine doesn’t move without your hard work and sacrifice” Chirgwin said. “Every person is a critical piece to a greater goal.”

HSC-26 trains pilots and aircrewmen to employ the MH-60S helicopter worldwide in a variety of missions, including fleet logistics support, search-and-rescue, medical evacuation, special warfare support, anti-surface warfare and humanitarian assistance/disaster relief.

The squadron fulfills secondary missions of theater security cooperation and U.S. 2nd Fleet operational support.

This press release was prepared and distributed by the U.S. Navy.

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