By Lt. Branden Carpenter
HSM Weapons School Atlantic PAO
Cmdr. Andrew Miroff assumed command of Helicopter Maritime Strike (HSM) Weapons School Atlantic from Cmdr. Patrick Burrus on July 27 at Ocean Breeze Conference Center. During Burrus' tenure, the Weapons School successfully completed four Helicopter Advanced Readiness Program periods, four missile exercises, as well as four Anti-Submarine Warfare Exercises and supported three Submarine Commanders Courses. 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.
A native of Papillion, Nebraska, CDR 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, becoming the Commanding Officer in May 2016.
Miroff is a native of New York City, New York. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tulane University in 1998. Upon completion of flight training he was designated a Naval Aviator in March of 2000.
Miroff's operational assignments include tours with HSL-51, HSL-47, and HSM-70. While at HSL-51 he deployed on USS Cushing (DD 985), USS Cowpens (CG 63), and USS Chancellorsville (CG-62), as Detachment Training and Detachment Operations Officer, and served as Detachment Maintenance Officer while deployed on USS Vandegrift (FFG 48) with the USS Kitty Hawk Carrier Strike Group in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. At HSL-47 he served as the Squadron Weapons and Tactics Instructor where he was responsible for advanced tactical training of combat aircrews and deployed with Carrier Air Wing 2 with the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In June 2009, he reported to HSM-70 Squadron Training Officer and Squadron Operations Officer as part of Carrier Air Wing 8 with the USS George H. W. Bush Carrier Strike Group.
Miroff served ashore at HSM-41 as an FRS Instructor from 2004-2006. From July 2011 to July 2014, he was assigned to United States Special Operations Command as a Joint SOF Exercise Planner in the Force Management and Development Directorate (J7) and as Aide-de-Camp to the Deputy Commander Special Operations Command. He assumed the position of HSM-40's Executive Officer in March 2015 and transferred to the Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing Atlantic Weapons School in April of 2016. Miroff reported to HSMWSL assuming duties as Executive Officer in May 2016.