Navy Squadron Conducts In-Flight Change of Command

The ceremony for a unit change of command is steeped in tradition, consistent with the history that is often cited at the ceremonies.  The formal event was originally an opportunity for members of a unit to see their old commander relinquish his authority and transfer the flag of command to the new leader.

A unique and fairly modern twist on this ceremony sometimes take place in aviation squadrons.  As the ceremony is conducted on the ground, the incoming commander flies overhead on the wing of the outgoing commander.  As the two aircraft pass in front of the gathered crowd, the old commander “passes the lead” to the new commander.

A Navy carrier air wing recently performed just such an airborne change of command in F/A-18E/F Super Hornets.

Capt. Daniel S. Cave, deputy commander of the air wing, relieved Capt. Ross A. Myers, according to Navy officials.

The reading of orders took place as Myers and Cave flew over the airfield…

“This is the way aviators like to do change of commands,” Meyers is quoted in the release. “In the air where we do our business.”