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Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic

VAW-121 holds Change of Command Ceremony

by Airborne Command & Control Squadron (VAW) 121 Public Affairs
01 July 2024 The “Bluetails” of Airborne Command & Control Squadron (VAW) 121, stationed aboard Naval Station Norfolk, held a change of command ceremony, June 27, to mark a transition of command leadership. 
The “Bluetails” of Airborne Command & Control Squadron (VAW) 121, stationed aboard Naval Station Norfolk, held a change of command ceremony, June 27, to mark a transition of command leadership. During the change of command event, Cmdr. Brad Weiland, (right) a native of Northridge, California, assumed all duties and responsibilities as VAW-121 commanding officer from Cmdr. Matthew Campbell, (left) a native of Cleveland, Tennessee. (U.S. Navy photo by Aircrew Survival Equipmentman 2nd Class Richard Warren)
SLIDESHOW | 1 images | VAW-121 holds Change of Command Ceremony The “Bluetails” of Airborne Command & Control Squadron (VAW) 121, stationed aboard Naval Station Norfolk, held a change of command ceremony, June 27, to mark a transition of command leadership. During the change of command event, Cmdr. Brad Weiland, (right) a native of Northridge, California, assumed all duties and responsibilities as VAW-121 commanding officer from Cmdr. Matthew Campbell, (left) a native of Cleveland, Tennessee. (U.S. Navy photo by Aircrew Survival Equipmentman 2nd Class Richard Warren)


During the change of command event, Cmdr. Brad Weiland, a native of Northridge, California, assumed all duties and responsibilities as VAW-121 commanding officer from Cmdr. Matthew Campbell, a native of Cleveland, Tennessee.

During his time at VAW-121, the Bluetails returned from a first-of-its-kind deployment in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations where the squadron provided 24/7 alert coverage and six shore-based detachments over the course of nine months. 

Upon returning home, the Bluetails entered the maintenance phase of the Optimized Fleet Response Plan, went through an extensive modification on all of its aircraft, supported Weapon School Integration (WSINT) for both the Air Force and Navy, and won the calendar year 2023 Association of Naval Aviation Tactical Aviation Award.

“This has been the honor and privilege of my entire career to be the 47th commanding officer of VAW-121,” Campbell said. “I will truly miss every single Bluetail, but will never forget the impact the Sailors, Chiefs and Officers left on me and my family.”

Campbell recognized his relief and thanked him for his ongoing support while leading the Bluetails.

“I would like to give a special thanks to Cmdr. Weiland and his family for their service, sacrifice and friendship. The squadron will do great things during his tenure,” Campbell said. “He is sure to carry on the tradition of servant leadership with a keen focus on the individuals in the squadron to ensure they are ready to meet the mission when called upon.”

Weiland discussed his focus for the Bluetails upon assuming command of VAW-121. 

“My goal for the Bluetails is to continue to provide dominant command and control for the Carrier Strike Group, while taking care of our people by fostering a culture of teamwork and excellence,” Weiland said. “I am humbled and honored to serve alongside the men and women who make up the Navy’s premier Airborne Command & Control squadron. Bluetails take care of Bluetails.”

VAW-121 provides airborne command and control of the battlespace from the sea, in support of tasking from its chain of command to deliver decisive combat victories. The squadron aims to complete their goals through a focus on mission combat and effective readiness while building and anchoring its Air Wings, Strike Group, or any other entity that needs squadron support.
 
 
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