By Lt. Kyle Wiest
Cmdr. Patrick Burrus assumed command of Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) Weapons School Atlantic from Cmdr. Richard Linhart on May 6. During Linhart's tenure, the Weapons School successfully completed four Helicopter Advanced Readiness Program periods, two missile exercises, as well as an Anti-Submarine Warfare Exercise. Through these efforts, HSM Weapons School Atlantic maintained its commitment to deploying combat aircrews, ready to face the challenges of an ever-changing, uncertain world.
Linhart earned his commission from the United States Naval Academy in 1997. His first fleet assignment was with the "Scorpions" of HSL-49 to fly the mighty SH-60B Seahawk. Following a successful first tour at HSL-49, Linhart received orders to Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC), Fallon, NV. Linhart earned his designation as a Seahawk Weapons and Tactics Instructor while at NSAWC in March of 2003. In April of 2004 he was selected to attend United States Naval Test Pilot School and after successful completion received follow on orders to HX-21. In September 2005 he volunteered for individual augment orders to Naval Special Warfare (NSW) Group TWO and deployed as the Air Operations and Fires Officer in support of NSW Task Unit Ramadi.
Following his Individual Augmentee (IA), he returned to HX-21 in May 2006 and served as the MH-60R/S project officer.
His charge as the project officer included MH-60S Armed Helicopter shipboard compatibility, MH-60S Airborne Laser Mine Detection System, MH-60R Pre-Planned Product Improvement systems, and numerous other MH-60R/S system evaluations.
In 2008, Linhart joined the Pre-Establishment Unit for HSM-70, the first MH-60R squadron on the East coast. During his time at HSM-70, he served as the squadron Operations Officer and squadron Maintenance Officer. Linhart then reported to the Joint Improved Explosive Device Defeat Organization in Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for managing the rapid development, testing, and fielding of cutting edge counter Improvised Explosive Device technologies. In this capacity, he deployed to Afghanistan in support of Task Force Paladin from May to August of 2011. Linhart reported to the HSM Weapons School in November 2013 and assumed Command in March of 2015.
A native of Papillion, Nebraska, Patrick Burrus enlisted in the Navy in September 1987 and served as a Machinist Mate (Nuclear) on the submarines USS Narwhal (SSN-671) and USS James Madison (SSBN-627) until his selection for the Enlisted Commissioning Program.
He graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder and received his commission in December of 1997.
Burrus' first fleet assignment was with the "Vipers" of HSL-48 in September of 2000. During his time at HSL-48 he deployed in support of the Theodore Roosevelt battlegroup for the invasion of Afghanistan and in support of multiple battle groups in the Northern Arabian Gulf for the invasion of Iraq. After his tour at HSL-48, he reported to HT-8 at NAS Whiting Field, FL for an instructor tour, where he volunteered for an IA as an embedded trainer with the Coalition Military Assistance and Training Team in Iraq in January 2004. There he recruited and trained twenty pilots for the first Iraqi UH-1H/V squadron in Taji, Iraq. After his IA, Burrus completed his tour at HT-8 and reported to HSL-46 where he served as the squadron Seahawk Weapons and Tactics Instructor until reporting to HSM-70 in October 2008.
After the completion of his Department Head tour with HSM-70, Burrus accepted orders to Afghanistan as the Executive Officer of the 441st Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron in Kandahar, advising 27 Afghan Mi-17 pilots in combat tactics and squadron operations. After returning from Afghanistan, he reported to U.S. Central Command Headquarters in Tampa, FL and served there until May 2014. After completion of type/model training at HSM-40, Burrus reported to HSMWSL in January 2015, assuming duties as Executive Officer in March 2015.