KADENA AFB, Japan (NNS) – The Fighting Marlins of Patrol Squadron Forty (VP-40) held a change of command ceremony on June 2.
Cdr. Aaaron Shoemaker assumed command of the Fighting Marlins, relieving Cdr. Timothy M. Thompson.
The guest speaker, Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group Pacific, praised Thompson’s tenure as commanding officer of VP-40.
“The successes of our community hinges on the people who make those things happen. As I watch this squadron I know it’s the people that make a difference and I want to say thank you for that,” said Cozad. “I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to watch Skipper Thompson grow as a leader since our days in Milington and even prior to that.”
During the ceremony Cozad presented Thompson and the Fighting Marlins with the Golden Wrench Award.
“I’ve got something on behalf of Lockheed Martin,” said Cozad. “It’s an honor and a privilege for me to present the 2016 Golden Wrench trophy for excellence in aircraft maintenance to you and the men and women of the Fighting Marlins. Congratulations.”
During Thompson’s tenure as Skipper, the Squadron was awarded the Retention Excellence award, the Golden Wrench award, the 2015 Naval Aviation Maritime Patrol Unit, 2015 Isbell Trophy and Medical Readiness Blue “M” award. VP-40 executed a total of 4,746.7 flight hours on 912 sorties with a 98 percent mission completion rate, surpassing 48 years and 295,000 mishap-free flight hours.
“What does success look like,” said Thompson. “I’m here to tell you it looks a lot like the Fighting Marlins that sit before me today, and those marlins that are out in 5th Fleet and 6th Fleet expertly carrying out our nation’s business.”
Shoemaker addressed the Fighting Marlins for the first time as their Commanding Officer.
“Your tireless work ethic and unrelenting devotion to mission accomplishment is truly inspiring. Please continue to be the professionals that you are,” said Shoemaker. “It is an honor and my greatest privilege to serve alongside each of you as your commanding officer.”
Thompson’s next assignment is at SECNAV Management.
Cdr. Scott Coonan assumed the role as The Fighting Marlin’s Executive Officer.
VP-40 is currently on a tri site deployment in the 5th, 6th and 7th fleets Areas of Operations.