ray trygstad:



I entered the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland in July 1973, where I majored in European Studies. While at the Naval Academy I was a member of the Glee Club, the Protestant Chapel Choir, the Drum and Bugle Corps, the Brigade Activities Committee, and also served as Art Director of the campus humor magazine, The Log. After graduating from the Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree and a commission as an Ensign in June of 1977, I reported to Patrol Squadron 46 (VP-46) for temporary duty while awaiting orders to flight training. I received my Naval Aviator wings and was designated as a Naval Helicopter Pilot at NAS Whiting Field in Milton, Florida in June 1979.

Following flight school I was assigned to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 35 (HSL-35) at NAS North Island, California, to fly the Kaman SH-2F Seasprite LAMPS helicopter. While with the HSL-35 “Magicians” I deployed to the Western Pacific aboard USS Merrill (DD-976) and USS Kinkaid (DD-965), to the Indian Ocean aboard the USS Oldendorf (DD-972) and USS Meyerkord (FF-1058), and to the Eastern Pacific for contingency operations aboard USS Fife (DD-991) as the LAMPS Detachment Operations Officer. When not deployed I was the Ground Safety Officer, Line Division Officer, and Squadron Tactics Officer at HSL-35. I was also a member of the Pacific Fleet LAMPS Tactical Development Board.

My next assignment returned me to Helicopter Training Squadron 18 (HT-18) at NAS Whiting Field in Milton, Florida, where I was a TH-57C Advanced Helicopter Training Flight Instructor, the Navy Student Control Officer and Flight 2 Flight Leader.

My second sea tour was with HSL-31 Detachment BRAVO, homebased at NAS North Island, California. I deployed twice as Officer in Charge of the Detachment BRAVO “Bad Boys of Bravo” aboard USNS Chauvenet (T-AGS-29) and USNS Harkness (T-AGS-31) to support hydrographic survey operations throughout the Indonesian archipelago. Det BRAVO flew the Navy’s last HH-2D utility model Seasprite, SHAKA 14, which is now part of the collection of the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Florida.

Following my tour with Det Bravo I transferred to shore duty with the HSL-31 “Archangels” as a Fleet Readiness Squadron flight instructor, where I served as Squadron Safety Officer and Squadron Administrative Officer. While at HSL-31 I earned a Master of Science in Systems Management degree (MSSM) from the University of Denver with a 4.0 GPA. In recognition of outstanding service as a department head at HSL-31 I was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal.

After completion of the Navy’s Aviation Safety Officer course at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, my third sea duty assignment took him to Norfolk, Virginia to serve at Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 34 (HSL-34), where I was Officer in Charge of HSL-34 Detachment 9 aboard USS Trippe (FF-1075), Detachment 2 aboard USS Ticonderoga (CG-47) and Detachment 6 aboard USS O’Bannon (DD-987). O’Bannon, with the Det 6 “Caballeros de la Noche” embarked, deployed to South America for UNITAS XXXII as the flagship for the Commander, South Atlantic Force, U. S. Atlantic Fleet. Det 6’s aircraft, AMERICA 243 (nicknamed “Maggie”) was the last production SH-2F Seasprite. I also served the HSL-34 “Greencheckers” as Squadron Safety Officer and Squadron Operations Officer. While at HSL-34, the Navy designated me as a Computer Systems Management Subspecialist. My outstanding performance on UNITAS XXXII was recognized by a second award of the Navy Achievement Medal, while in recognition of outstanding service as a department head at HSL-34 I was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal.

My last assignment took me to the Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Unit at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), where I was the Sophomore Class Advisor, Public Affairs Officer, and Academic Affairs Officer. I also founded and directed the IIT ROTC Glee Club, acted as the Faculty Advisor to the IIT Chapter of Officers’ Christian Fellowship, and served on several faculty committees as well as on PhD review committees. I retired from the Navy on September First, 1994.

I have over 3500 flight hours, including over 2000 hours in the H-2 Seasprite and over 1300 hours in the TH-57 Sea Ranger, and am a qualified aircraft commander, standardization pilot, instrument check pilot, and post-maintenance check pilot in the SH-2F Seasprite. My awards include the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal (2 awards), the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Meritorious Unit Commendation (2 awards), the Battle “E” ribbon (5 awards), the National Defense Medal (2 awards), the Sea Service ribbon (5 awards), and pistol and rifle Sharpshooter ribbons.

Copyright 1999 Ray Trygstad, Naperville, Illinois
Email: trygstad@trygstad.org
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