A native of Manchester, Connecticut, Commander Jay Russo graduated in 2001 from the U.S. Naval Academy and was designated a Naval Aviator in 2003. Commander Russo’s sea duty assignments include tours with HSL-42, USS IWO JIMA, HSM-48, and HSM-51. While at HSL-42 he deployed on USS NORMANDY in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. He later deployed as Detachment Maintenance Officer on USS PHILIPPINE SEA again supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was selected as the HSL-42 2004 Administrative Officer of the Year and 2006 Pilot of the Year. As a crewmember of IWO JIMA, he deployed as Flight Deck Officer to the 4th Fleet Area of Responsibility and earned his Officer of the Deck Underway qualification. With HSM-48 he deployed as Detachment FOUR Officer-in-Charge on USS NICHOLAS to 5th and 6th Fleet. Upon return, Commander Russo served as Squadron Maintenance Officer and was selected as the 2013 Naval Air Forces Navy and Marine Corps Association Leadership Award winner and the 2014 HSM-48 Officer of the Year.
Ashore, Commander Russo served at HSL-40 as a Fleet Replacement Squadron Instructor Pilot in the SH-60B, on the Joint Staff in Washington D.C., and as Executive Officer of the MH-60R East Coast FRS, HSM-40. He was recognized as the 2008 HSL-40 Pilot of the Year and as the HSM Wing Atlantic Pilot of the Year. On the Joint Staff, he served in the J-3 Directorate as Assistant Deputy Director for Operations and Presidential Strike Advisor in the National Military Command Center.
Commander Russo reported in January 2019 to HSM-51 to serve as Executive Officer. He took command of the Warlords in March 2020. He holds a B.S. in Computer Science from USNA, an MBA from the University of Florida, and is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College (non-resident program). He has accumulated over 2,800 hours in the H-60.