Estero Native Keeps Navy’s Helicopters Flying

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A 2008 Estero High School graduate and Estero, Florida native is serving with a U.S. Navy helicopter squadron that flies the Navy’s newest and most technologically-advanced helicopter.

Seaman Alexandra Bascom is a logistics specialist with the “Air Wolves” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 40, a Mayport, Florida 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 120 miles per hour for nearly 320 miles on a tank of gas.

As a logistics specialist, Bascom is responsible for obtaining supplies to ensure mission readiness.

“I love to provide the supplies people need on time in a quick manner and seeing them smile,” said Bascom.

According to Navy officials, the MH-60R is the most capable multi-mission helicopter available in the world today. It is used for a variety of missions, including hunting and tracking enemy submarines, attacking enemy ships, search and rescue, drug interdiction, delivering supplies and supporting the Navy’s special operations forces.

It is replacing the Navy’s older helicopters because of its greater versatility and more advanced weapon systems.

Bascom said they and other sailors are proud to be part of a warfighting team that readily defends America at all times.

“This command gives me an opportunity to continue to learn and practice my job while being able to create a balance with my personal life,” said Bascom.

Sailors’ jobs are highly varied within the squadron. Approximately 297 Navy men and women are assigned and keep all parts of the squadron running smoothly. This includes everything from maintaining helicopter airframes and engines, to processing paperwork, handling weapons and flying the aircraft.

“The Airwolves of HSM-40, represent the best and the brightest our Navy has to offer,” said Cmdr. David Loo, HSM-40 commanding officer. “HSM-40’s mission is to train Fleet Replacement Pilots and Aircrewman for deployed shipboard operations in the MH-60R Seahawk aircraft. The training conducted includes aircraft flights and full visual simulators in Aircraft Operations, Anti-Surface Warfare, Anti-Submarine Warfare, Search and Rescue, and Shipboard Operations. HSM-40’s support, maintenance, and instructor staff allow for the completion of over 100 assigned students, year round, operating 16 MH-60R helicopters and 5 simulators.”

Serving in the Navy, Bascom is learning about being a more respectable leader, sailor and person through handling numerous responsibilities.

“The Navy gives you the opportunity to come to work and build relationships with people that become more like family instead of co-workers,” said Bascom.

Provided by Navy Office of Community Outreach