Meridian Star

Local News

December 5, 2013

Training Squadron Nine change of command Friday

MERIDIAN —     Training Squadron Nine will welcome a new commanding officer, Cmdr. Charles Paquin, on Friday, Dec. 6, during an official change of command ceremony at 10 a.m. in Hangar One on board NAS Meridian.

    Rear Adm. Mark Leavitt, Commander, Naval Air Force Reserve and Deputy Commander, Naval Air Force/Naval Air Force Pacific Fleet, will be the guest speaker during the ceremony, when squadron personnel will bid farewell to Cmdr. Garrett Krause, who has served as squadron CO since August 2012.

    Under his guidance, the VT-9 Tigers safely flew more than 19,000 sorties and 20,500 training flight hours in the T-45C Goshawk, achieving a flawless Chief of Naval Air Training Safety and Standardization inspection and receiving the Chief of Naval Operations Aviation Safety Award for 2012.

    He optimized production through the efficient use of three El Centro Weapons detachments and one Key West detachment, allowing the squadron to complete six Intermediate E2/C2 Aviators, and wing more than 56 Navy and Marine Corps Strike Aviators and nine International Military Officers.

    Paquin, who returned to Meridian for a second tour, will now lead the squadron where he has served as the executive officer since August 2012.

    Paquin received his commission in 1995 through the Navy's Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Fla. He conducted primary flight training with the Air Force at Vance AFB, Enid, Okla., and completed his pilot training at NAS Kingsville, Texas, where he received his Navy Wings of Gold in 1997.

    His first fleet tour was with the Scorpions of VAQ-132, NAS Whidbey Island, Wash., where he flew the EA-6B Prowler. With the Scorpions, he flew missions out of Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia, and off the USS George Washington (CVN 73) in support of Operation Southern Watch.

    In early 2002, Paquin reported to NAS Meridian, Miss., Training Wing One (TW-1), where he instructed Advanced Strike Flight Training in the T-45C Goshawk and served as the TW-1 Landing Signals Officer.

    Following his training command tour, he served as the Carrier Air Wing Eleven (CVW-11) Landing Signals Officer aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN 68) and deployed in 2005 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

    In 2006,Paquin attended Command and General Staff College at Fort       Leavenworth, Kan., where he earned Joint Professional Military Education I credit and an MSA (concentration in leadership) from Central Michigan University.

    Paquin returned to NAS Whidbey Island, Wash., in 2007, where he was twice deployed with the Cougars of VAQ-139 in support of Operation             Enduring Freedom. With the Cougars, he served as a Department Head in both Maintenance and Operations.

    Before reporting to VT-9 as the Executive Officer, Paquin served on the Joint Staff as the Strategic and Operational Support Division Chief at the Joint Center for International Security Force Assistance, Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

    Paquin has flown more than 2,800 hours in Navy aircraft and has logged over 560 carrier arrested landings. His personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal (four strike-flight awards), the Air Force Aerial Achievement Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals (three awards), and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals (three awards).

    Krause's next assignment will be the Navy War College in Newport, R.I.

    VT-9 was commissioned on Dec. 15, 1961, at McCain Field, Naval Auxiliary Air Station Meridian.  On Aug. 2, 1971, the VT-9 Tigers split and formed a "sister" squadron designated VT-19 Frogs, and both squadrons assumed the Intermediate Jet Training role at Meridian.

    VT-9 was decommissioned in July 1987, and the personnel and assets were consolidated with VT-19. On Oct. 1, 1998, VT-19 was re-designated as VT-9 and the Tigers were born again.

    VT-9's mission is to safely train Student Naval Aviators in the Air Strike mission for the U.S. and International navies. The squadron has trained students from Spain, France, Brazil, Italy, Singapore and England.

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