Special to The Star
The Meridian Star
Training Air Wing One will welcome a new commodore today during an official change of command ceremony. Rear Adm. Mark Leavittt, Chief of Naval Air Training, will serve as the keynote speaker.
Capt. Brian Goszkowicz, who earned his "Wings of Gold" here in September 1992, will relieve Capt. William Sheehan, who has spent approximately nine years of his naval career on board.
Sheehan's assignments on board NAS Meridian began in May 1998, when he reported to the VT-23 "Professionals," where he was designated an instructor pilot in the new T-45C Goshawk. His other assignments on board were with the Training Squadron Seven "Strike Eagles," Reserve Detachment 182 "Salty Dogs," and Training Air Wing One. Beginning December 2008, he served as the executive officer and then commanding officer of Training Squadron Nine "Fighting Tigers.
Following that assignment, he reported to Chief of Naval Air Training in September 2011 as the Reserve Operational Support Officer with responsibility for 85 Full Time Support officers and 260 Selected Reserve officers across five Training Air Wings and 16 squadrons.
Personally selected to fill an unexpected vacancy, Sheehan returned to assume command of Training Air Wing One in January 2013, and expertly provided needed command continuity to maintain on-time student aviator production.
Following the change of command, Sheehan's next assignment will be commanding officer, Navy Operational Support Center, Houston, Texas.
After his designation as a Naval Aviator, Goszkowicz studied French at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif. After completing the "total immersion" course, he started his F/A-18 Hornet career at Strike Fighter Squadron 125 in NAS Lemoore, Calif. He completed his training with the "Rough Raiders" in July 1993 and received orders to Strike Fighter Squadron 137 (VFA-137) "Kestrels" deploying on two WESTPACs in support of Operation Southern Watch aboard the USS Constellation (CV 64). During this tour he was selected to attend the U.S. Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) as well as the U.S. Navy Test Pilot School (USNTPS).
Goszkowicz left his second WESTPAC to enter USNTPS Class 113. In June, 1997 he successfully completed the rigorous 48-week academic and flying curriculum and was assigned to the Naval Strike Aircraft Test Squadron in Fallon, Nev., where he was selected to be one of two Navy test pilots on the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) concept demonstration flight test program. He was the first Navy test pilot to fly the Lockheed Martin X-35 in December 2000 at Edwards Air Force Base.
Goszkowicz then reported to his Department Head tour with Strike Fighter Squadron 151 (VFA-151) in NAS Lemoore, Calif. While with the "Vigilantes," he made two deployments including leading strikes during the first nights of Operation Iraqi Freedom from the USS Constellation (CV 64). In December 2003, he reported to the N5 staff at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC) at NAS Fallon, where he served as the Land Strike Branch Head and then the Air Wing Training Officer. He was an instructor in both the F-16 and FA-18.
Goszkowicz reported to Strike Fighter Squadron 195 (VFA-195) as Executive Officer in December of 2006 and assumed command in March 2008. Forward deployed to Japan, he made several deployments aboard the USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) and made the historic hull swap bringing the USS George Washington (CVN 73) to Japan. In July of 2009, he reported to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, Casteau, Belgium and served with the Allied Command Transformation working on NATO defense planning.