‘Dusty Dogs’ welcome new commander

NORFOLK, Va. – The “Dusty Dogs” have a new commander.

Commander Ted J. Elkins (Photo: Naval Air Force Atlantic)

Commander Ted J. Elkins assumed command of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron SEVEN (HSC-7), known as the “Dusty Dogs,” in a change of command ceremony on Thursday, December 6 at Naval Station Norfolk Chambers Field.

Elkins relieved Commander Keith S. Kulow of Cleveland, Ohio, who has led the squadron since July 2017.

The Fort Lauderdale, Florida, native graduated from Liberty University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science in Social Science. He received his commission from Officer Candidate School on May 26, 2000, and was designated a Naval Aviator on April 12, 2002.

Elkins’ operational assignments include tours at Helicopter Combat Support Squadron TWO (HC 2), USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWO TWO (HSC 22) and NATO Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy.

The Dusty Dogs are attached to Carrier Air Wing THREE (CVW 3) aboard the Norfolk-based USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) and operate and maintain 9 MH-60S Seahawk helicopters with 248 personnel.

From August-November 2017, the squadron flew more than 235 flight hours during their Defense Support to Civil Authority (DSCA) operations after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in Texas and Puerto Rico. During relief operations, more than 200 sorties were flown, accounting for the transportation of 1,566 passengers; 966,000 pounds of cargo and 850 flight hours.