NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. (July 23, 2016) -- The Cougars of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139 conducted a change of command ceremony on July 23, at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas.
Cmdr. David Skarosi of Wheeling, Ill. relieved Cmdr. Lew Callaway of Austin, Tex. as Commanding Officer of the Cougars. Capt. J.J. Mann, Commander of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 presided over the transfer of command.
Cmdr. Callaway led the Cougars on their first EA-18G Growler deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. Under Callaway’s guidance and leadership, the Cougars were awarded the 2015 Commander, Electronic Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet Semi-annual Safety “S,” the Commander, Naval Air Forces Blue “M,” and the Navy Surgeon General’s medical readiness Blue “H” awards.
Over the course of his career, Callaway has accumulated over 2,400 flight hours and 600 arrested landings in the EA-6B Prowler and EA-18G.
Reflecting upon his experience in command of the Cougars, Callaway stated that "VAQ-139's squadron motto is 'Cougars taking care of Cougars'. I'm truly humbled to have led such a fine group of Sailors, Chiefs and Officers. Together we've protected our brothers and sisters in combat, and done our part to make America safer for future generations. Thank you, Cougars, for taking care of me."
Cmdr. Skarosi’s personal qualifications are EA-6B Naval Flight Officer and Improved Capability (ICAP) III pilot, EA-18G pilot, Joint Qualified Officer; Wing qualified Landing Signals Officer (LSO, EA-6B), Command Duty Officer (CDO) underway, and a Prowler Tactics Instructor (PTI). He has served in multiple military campaigns in a flying capacity; Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), Operation New Dawn (OND), Operation Odyssey Dawn (OOD), and Operation Unified Protector (OUP) for a total of 120 combat missions.
VAQ-139 is currently on detachment at Nellis Air Force Base for Red Flag 16-3, a joint interoperability exercise between the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Army.