April 2, 2023

LHS Grad Flies Advanced Helicopter

Andy Pagliarulo

Andy “Pags” Pagliarulo graduated Leonardtown High School in 2007. Now, he is Lt. Junior Grade Pagliarulo in the U.S. Navy, and he is part of a helicopter squadron that flies the Navy’s newest and most technologically-advanced helicopter, the MH-60R Sea Hawk.

LTJG Pagliarulo is a naval aviator with the “Wolf Pack” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 75, based out of San Diego.

“This aircraft is new, extremely capable and very versatile,” said LTJG Pagliarulo. He said the aircraft can be used for search and rescue and humanitarian aid, as well as surface and submarine warfare.

The squadron deploys its helicopters and personnel around the world aboard a variety of Navy ships, including frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers.

While aboard ships at sea, the squadron conducts a variety of missions.

“Our missions aboard ships include tracking and hunting enemy submarines, combatting enemy surface ships, search and rescue, communications relay, and ferrying supplies, cargo and personnel,” said Lt. Reagan Lauritzen, Commander, Naval Air Force U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesperson.

As a naval aviator, LTJG Pagliarulo is responsible for the safe mission of each flight.

“I love flying, there’s something new every day and I also enjoy working with my team,” said LTJG Pagliarulo. “My mentors are extremely knowledgeable and do a great job fostering an environment for success.”

The MH-60R Sea Hawk is over 60 feet long, and can weigh up to 23,500 lbs. It is replacing the Navy’s older helicopters because of its greater versatility and more advanced weapon systems.

“The MH-60R features more sophisticated electronics, like a new low-frequency sonar and an advanced radar system,” said LT Lauritzen. “The Seahawk can also launch torpedoes, fire Hellfire missiles and laser guided rockets, and carry crew served weapons”

LTJG Pagliarulo said he is proud to be a part of the 292-member squadron that is ready to defend America at all times.

“I like the family environment within the Navy,” said LTJG Pagliarulo. We have a great command climate and we look out for each other.”

Being a sailor assigned to a helicopter squadron and in a deployable status means spending a lot of time away from friends and family, but serving his country makes it worth it for LTJG Pagliarulo.

“On deployment I accomplish what I’ve trained for. I joined the Navy because I had a sense of service and when I’m deployed I get to do what I joined the Navy to do,” said LTJG Pagliarulo.

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