Thursday, January 14, 2021

NAS Whiting changes command

NAVAL AIR STATION WHITING FIELD, Fla. - Capt. Paul N. Flores, U.S. Navy, relieved Capt. Paul D. Bowdich as the 43rd commanding officer of Naval Air Station Whiting Field in a mostly virtual ceremony onboard the installation Thursday. Typically, the long-standing, traditional ceremony would be held with a large audience from the base and community, but due to COVID-19, the event was smaller and broadcast virtually. Under Bowdich’s leadership the past three years, Whiting Field provided air traffic control, emergency fire and rescue services, and runway and grounds maintenance to more than 13,000 acres of property at 12 outlying landing fields in Florida and Alabama. It supported some 400,000 flight hours and 3.5 million flight evolutions, as well as classroom and simulator training for about 3,700 student naval aviators. Productivity at the twelve outlying airfields under Bowdich’s direct control supported Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Air Force and allied forces operations, roughly 60 percent of the Navy’s primary aviation training, and averaging 17 percent of all Navy flight hours. All helicopter pilots in the Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard receive their helicopter advanced training at Whiting. Bowdich also saw the first Navy land exchange to fruition with the swap of OLF Site 8 in Escambia County for a fully operational OLF Site X in Jay, Fla. (Source: NAS Whiting Field, 01/14/21)