The “Wildcats” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131, stationed aboard Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia, held an aerial change of command ceremony, Dec. 2, to mark a transition of command leadership.
During the change of command event, Cmdr. Erin E. Flint, of Gloversville, New York, assumed all duties and responsibilities as the VFA 131 commanding officer from Cmdr. Samuel P. Morrison, of Lexington, Illinois.
During his time at VFA 131, the “Wildcats” were part of back-to-back deployments with the air craft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower. Since arriving home the squadron has completed 7,136 maintenance actions and 198 special inspections encompassing 7,330 total man-hours. They have maintained a full flight schedule with multiple aircraft in planned maintenance. These deployments and accomplishments since arriving back at NAS Oceana won them the Battle “E” award.
The Battle "E" is awarded to the crew of ships and squadrons within the Navy who exhibit excellence in wartime capabilities and optimal mission readiness within their platform and region.
“Naval aviation is the ultimate team sport,” said Morrison. “The ‘Wildcats’ are an incredible team. It takes everyone within the squadron, from the most junior to the most senior, to accomplish that kind of maintenance, administrative and operational success during the year.”
Morrison went on to say that he knows that Flint, one of his best friends in the U.S. Navy, will do an incredible job with VFA 131.
“I am excited to work with the ‘Wildcat’ team,” said Flint. “We have an amazing group of people. They have been resilient and fantastic. It is an absolute pleasure to work with them.”
VFA-131 was the East Coast strike fighter squadron Battle ‘E’ award recipient for fiscal year 2021. The mission of VFA-131 is to safely and professionally provide administrative support, expert maintenance and lethal employment in order to effectively execute the full range of strike fighter missions