Friday, August 9, 2019

VT-2 has unique command change

T-6B Texans used in ceremony. Navy photo
NAVAL AIR STATION WHITING FIELD, Fla. – Cmdr. Wesley Barnes, U.S. Navy, relieved Capt. Mark Jackson, U.S. Coast Guard, as the 56th commanding officer of the “Doerbirds,” Training Squadron Two (VT-2) in a unique ceremony today at Naval Air Station Whiting Field, near Milton. In the aerial change of command flying the T-6B Texan aircraft, Jackson handed the reins of the squadron over the aircraft radio to Barnes. Three aircraft, one with Barnes and a second pilot, one with Jackson and another pilot, and one aircraft with the deputy commodore of Training Air Wing Five (TW-5), Col. Jeffrey Pavelko, who acted as the officiating officer, flew in a three-ship formation. During the flight, Barnes stated he was ready to relieve Jackson as commanding officer. Jackson then read his order over the airways, “I stand relieved,” and banked his aircraft out of the formation. As their lead officiating officer, Pavelko acknowledged the turnover in the air. After landing the T-6B aircraft, the officers completed the ceremony in a hangar on the installation with commodore, TW-5, Capt. Doug Rosa presiding. More than a hundred people attended the ceremony. Rosa presented Jackson with a meritorious service medal for his accomplishments leading the squadron. (Source: NAS Whiting Field, 08/09/19)