A 2004 Flower Mound High School and 2008 U.S. Naval Academy graduate is serving with Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 41 (HSM-41) Seahawks, the Navy’s Fleet Replacement Squadron dedicated to training new MH-60R helicopter pilots and aircrew.
Lt. Jimmy Jones, native of Flower Mound, is a pilot with HSM-41, a San Diego-based squadron that operates the Navy’s next generation submarine hunter and Anti-Surface Warfare helicopter, the MH-60R Seahawk. Each helicopter is nearly 65 feet long, may weigh up to 23,500 lbs. (max gross) and can travel over 200 miles per hour for nearly 320 miles on a tank of gas.
As a 28 year-old with numerous responsibilities, Jones said he joined the Navy because he had a sense of patriotism and wanted to serve in some capacity. He added that he swam in high school and at the Naval Academy, which gave him a sense of time management and focus. “My parents let me figure stuff out on my own while still giving me boundaries,” said Jones.
He also said he is proud of the work he is doing as part of the squadron’s 575-member civilian/military team, helping to train and prepare Navy aircrew to protect America on the world’s oceans.
“HSM-41 produces fleet replacement squadron by training naval aviators and crewmen for the fleet,” Jones explained.
Sailors’ jobs are highly varied at HSM-41. Approximately 65 officers, 400 enlisted men and women, and 110 civilian contractors make up and keep all parts of the squadron running smoothly — this includes everything from maintaining helicopter airframes and engines, to processing paperwork, handling weaponry, and flying the aircraft.
“Every day I feel an extraordinary amount of pride to serve alongside our great Nation’s most inspiring men and women,” said Cmdr. Brent Gaut, HSM-41’s commanding officer. “Our Seahawk team is filled with hardworking and highly qualified professionals who hold uncommon levels of responsibility and accountability in support of our mission: to train the Navy’s current and future generations of aviators, aircrewmen, and maintenance personnel to fly, fight, and fix the MH-60R. Their work ethic, commitment, enthusiasm, and esprit de corps are second to none!”
The MH-60R is the most capable and mature Anti-Submarine Warfare and Anti-Surface Warfare multi-mission helicopter available in the world today. It is used for Anti-Submarine Warfare, Anti-Ship Warfare, Search and Rescue, Drug Interdiction, Logistics, and Special Operations. Being the newest version of the Seahawk line, the MH-60R helicopter brings powerful new capabilities to the Navy with digital cockpits and mission-adaptive systems.
As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s newest helicopter platforms, Jones and other HSM-41sailors are proud to part of a warfighting team that readily defends America at all times.
“I would recommend the Navy,” said Jones. “I have a lot of friends since I’ve joined. Also the core values and structure are great for building to a great career both in and out of the Navy.”
Lt. Ana Maring is with the U.S. Navy Office of Community Outreach.