Petty Officer 3rd Class Nick Fontaine is an aviation
electrician's mate 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
As an aviation electrician's mate, Fontaine is responsible for
maintenance of electrical systems on the MH-60R helicopter.
“This job gives me the opportunity to work with my hands,” said
Fontaine. "Everyday there is always something to get done and new
challenges to overcome."
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
It is replacing the Navy’s older helicopters because of its greater
versatility and more advanced weapon systems.
Fontaine said they and other sailors are proud to be part of a
warfighting team that readily defends America at all times.
“I like that this command gives me the opportunity to be stationed
in Florida,” said Fontaine. "I like being able to work near the
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
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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, Fontaine is learning about being a more respectable leader,
sailor and person through handling numerous responsibilities.
"The Navy has taught me to get the job done and get it done right
the first time,” said Fontaine.
"Why Being There Matters"
On our planet, more than 70 percent of which is covered by water,
being there means having the ability to act from the sea. The Navy
is uniquely positioned to be there; the world's oceans give the Navy
the power to protect America's interests anywhere, and at any time.
Your Navy protects and defends America on the world's oceans. Navy
ships, submarines, aircraft and, most importantly, tens of thousands
of America's finest young men and women are deployed around the
world doing just that. They are there now. They will be there when
we are sleeping tonight. They will be there every Saturday, Sunday
and holiday this year. They are there around the clock, far from our
shores, defending America at all times.
[by Navy Office of Community