By JoAnna Delfin
Joint Region Marianas Public Affairs
Cmdr. Frank Loforti relieved Cmdr. William “Easy” Eastham as commanding officer of Guam-based Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25, during a change of command ceremony at Andersen Air Force Base Oct. 5.
Eastham commanded HSC-25’s 334 Sailors, known as the Island Knights, from July 2016 to October 2018 developing the most operationally ready, safe and capable squadron in the Navy.
“Today is particularly special as we bid farewell to skipper Eastham,” said Capt. Kevin Kennedy, commodore, U.S. Pacific Fleet Helicopter Sea Combat Wing. “The positive change this squadron has taken over the last two years under the command of Cmdr. Eastham is simply remarkable. With Easy it isn’t simply enough to do what is expected, he makes the whole organization better. Over the last couple of years he helped make both the Island Knights and HSC wing-PAC better.”
During Eastham’s time with the command, HSC-25 detachments provided operational support including rotary wing combat capability to the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group and the Ronald Reagan Strike Group.
“Every day I’ve been blessed to drive up to our building and take my spot as the coach of the dream team,” said Eastham. “No matter what the call is, you meet the mission and purpose – one Navy team secluded on an Air Force Base on a tiny island in the pacific can save lives, can defend an island, can change the world.”
Along with the support the Island Knights provide to the Navy, the squadron is also an integral part of Guam’s search-and-rescue operations. HSC-25 is the Navy’s only MH-60s squadron to provide 24-hour, all-weather SAR and MEDEVAC support to Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. During Eastham’s command, HSC-25 launched 28 searches and MEDEVACs saving 15 lives.
Eastham will report to Navy Personnel Command in Millington, Tennessee.
Loforti assumes command of the squadron after serving as the executive officer from September 2017 to October 2018 and expressed his eagerness to serve as the commanding officer.
“Today marks the first day of the best job I will ever have,” he said. “The Navy has offered me the opportunity to be your commanding officer. We will focus on developing our people because I believe with my whole heart that every Sailor in this room wants to be part of not just a winning team, but part of the greatest team.”