Vice Admiral Kenneth Whitesell

Commander, Naval Air Forces/Commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet

Mr. Bryan Scurry

Executive Director, Naval Air Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet

Captain Walt ''Sarge" Slaughter

Chief of Staff, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet

Force Master Chief H. Trenton Schmidt

Force Master Chief, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet

Commander Justin P. Eckhoff

Commanding Officer, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 78

29 October 2020

Cmdr. Justin P. Eckhoff, a native of Wilbraham, Massachusetts, graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management Engineering and a commision from the Navy Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. He earned a Master of Business Administration degree with a certificate in Information Systems from the Naval Postgraduate School in 2012.

Eckhoff’s sea tours include service as a detachment operations and training officer with the “Battlecats” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 43 aboard USS Jarrett (FFG 33); detachment maintenance officer aboard USS Rodney M. Davis (FFG 60); and as the squadron quality assurance officer. With the “Wolf Pack” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 75, he served as squadron quality assurance officer aboard USS Nimitz (CVN 68) supporting Operation Enduring Freedom with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11. As a department head with the “Easy Riders” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 37, he served as the squadron training officer, maintenance officer, and as officer in charge for a detachment aboard USS Chung Hoon (DDG 93) supporting Pacific Presence Operations with Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 3.

His shore tours include fleet replacement squadron instructor duty with the Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 41 “Seahawks,” where he served as assistant operations officer and NATOPS standardization officer and was named the Instructor Pilot of the Year in 2012.

Eckhoff’s last tour was as the special operations branch chief, J-3 directorate, United States European Command. He reported to the “Blue Hawks” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 78 as the executive officer in September 2020.

Eckhoff is is currently serving as the commanding officer for HSM-78.

Eckhoff has accumulated over 3,100 flight hours in the H-60 Sea Hawk. His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (four awards), and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (three awards).

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