5-Jun-2023 Source: US Navy
The “World Famous Golden Falcons” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC-12) held an in-flight change of command ceremony while deployed aboard the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), June 1.
Cmdr. Seth Saalfeld relieved Cmdr. Jonathan D. Dorsey as Commander, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 12.
Prior to the in-flight change of command Dorsey was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by Capt. Michael B. Sweeney, Commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW 5), during an end of tour award ceremony.
“The Golden Falcons are the first airborne and the last down every day,” said Sweeney. “My mission statement is to launch combat ready aircraft from combat ready warships you all help us to succeed in that. CVW-5 and the strike group are always ready because of your efforts.”
Cmdr. Dorsey assumed command of HSC-12 on March 3, 2021 in Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi, Japan. He deployed three times throughout the Indo-Pacific area of operations with Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW-5) aboard CVN 76 leading his squadron to be awarded the 2022 Battle Efficiency “Battle E” Award and the 2022 Chief of Naval Operations Safety “Safety S” Award.
“Golden Falcons I will carry you with me always,” said Dorsey. “I will be forever grateful for the honor of serving so many fine Americans by being your Skipper. Remember that comfort is the killer of dreams so remember to say yes to the challenges as they come.”
Cmdr. Saalfeld was selected for squadron command in March 2019 and reported to HSC-12 as Executive Officer (XO) in March 2022. He has accumulated over 2,700 flight hours since earning his naval Aviator wings in January 2008. Prior to becoming the XO of HSC-12 Saalfeld served as a team chief, Strategic Command, J-5 Nuclear Directorate. While there he supported the production and quality review of all submarine and aircraft launched nuclear weapons plans.
“It has been a true honor to serve with Commander Dorsey in helping lead the Golden Falcons through the measurable successes of the past 15 months,” said Saalfeld. “I am immensely proud to take Command of this outstanding squadron full of the hardest working Sailors and Aircrew who ensure we are combat ready every day.”
HSC-12 is forward-deployed to NAF Atsugi attached to CVW-5, as part of Carrier Strike Group (CSG 5) embarked aboard CVN 76, HSC-12 supports in Anti-Surface Warfare, Search and Rescue, Combat Search and Rescue, Naval Special Warfare Support and Vertical Replenishment.
CSG-5 is forward-deployed to U.S. 7th Fleet, the U.S. Navy’s largest forward-deployed numbered fleet, conducting operations and routinely interacting with allies and partners to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific.