Rear Adm. John F. Meier, Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic (COMNAVAIRLANT), visited the “Giant Killers” of Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility, Virginia Capes, June 29.
Since Meier assumed command of AIRLANT on May 1, he has visited a variety of commands that report to the Type Command. During the visit to FACSFAC VACAPES, Cmdr. Stephen Lamoure, commanding officer, and Cmdr. Jeffrey Sweitzer, executive officer and Command Senior Chief Petty Officer James P. Clark provided a tour of the command’s spaces to address the staff.
Known by their call sign “Giant Killer”, the command consists of more than one hundred twenty Officers, Chief Petty Officers, and Sailors along with 45 civilian professionals. The facility and its eight remote communication sites operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Meier highly praised the dedication and professionalism of the men and women of FACSFAC VACAPES.
“I make a point to get out of my office and visit with the men and women who are charged with the mission of supporting Naval Aviation,” said Meier. “It was a great opportunity to meet with Skipper Lamoure and his command team to see firsthand their important mission and how they are supporting the Department of Defense as a whole.”
Established in 1977, Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility, Virginia Capes maintains the scheduling, control, and surveillance of military operating areas and training routes for the northeastern United States. Their command now routinely oversees more than 112,000 miles of offshore air, surface, and sub-surface operating areas from Narragansett Bay, R.I. to Charleston, S.C.
Sailors assigned to the command provide air traffic control for more than 98,000 sorties each year operating in the expansive special use airspace. Some of these events include missile exercises, unit level training, NASA rocket launches, gunnery evolutions and underwater detonation drills.
Lamoure appreciated the visit by Meier to highlight the men and women assigned to Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility, Virginia Capes.
“It was an absolute pleasure to host Rear Adm. Meier,” said Lamoure. “Our Giant Killer Sailors work hard supporting homeland defense advancing the readiness of US. Atlantic Fleet and Joint forces. Our mission is essential and it was fantastic to demonstrate FACSFAC VACAPES’s capabilities to him.”
Meier commands Naval Air Force Atlantic with the responsibility for six nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, 54 aircraft squadrons, 1,200 aircraft and 43,000 officers, enlisted and civilian personnel based on the East Coast of the United States. It provides combat ready, sustainable naval air forces with the right personnel, properly trained and equipped, with a focus on readiness, operational excellence, interoperability, safety, and efficient resourcing.