The VFA-22 'Fighting Redcocks' hold change of command ceremony

PACIFIC OCEAN - Two F/A-18F Super Hornets assigned to the Redcocks of Strike Fighter Attack Squadron (VFA) 22 fly over a marine layer off the coast of Southern California.

(U.S. Navy Photo by Lt. Aaron B. Hicks

Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 22, "The Fighting Redcocks," welcomed a new commanding officer during an airborne change of command ceremony on Wednesday, Aug. 30.

Cmdr. Shamblee, from Houston, Tex. relieved Cmdr. Thomas Bodine, from Decatur, Ala. during an airborne ceremony originating from USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) and recovering at Naval Air Station Lemoore (NASL).

Cmdr. Bodine assumed command on July 2016 and led VFA-22 through a rigorous work-up cycle, successfully executing the Fleet Readiness Training Plan (FRTP).

While in command, he led the squadron through various training evolutions, including the Strike Fighter Advanced Readiness Program (SFARP), Deck Certification aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt, Tailored Ship’s Training Availability (TSTA), Air Wing Fallon (AWF) and Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX).

During this work-up cycle, the squadron also completed Planned Maintenance Interval (PMI), Material Condition Inspection (MCI), Aviation Maintenance Inspection (AMI) and five different safety related inspections. The squadron passed every inspection with flying colors despite the enormous task of 32 jet transfers/acceptances, unheard of for an operational squadron.

Bodine’s next duty assignment will take him to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs as the Navy’s first ever Federal Executive Fellow to join their ranks.

“It was the highlight of my career to take the helm of the Fighting Redcocks,” Bodine said. “To lead a squadron comprised of 215 stellar Chiefs and Sailors and 40 supremely talented Officers through an arduous work-up cycle has been an extremely challenging and rewarding endeavor.

"I would like to say one last thank you to the Officers, Chiefs, Sailors and family members of VFA-22 for their trust, hard work and commitment over the past 13 months," Bodine added. "You are an elite combat unit! As Cmdr. Shamblee takes over, I look forward to learning of the squadron’s combat victories under his very capable leadership. Thank you and YCBAR!”

Shamblee is the 56th commanding officer to lead the Fighting Redcocks and has assumed command at a crucial point as they prepare to deploy this fall.

Prior to commanding VFA-22, Shamblee began his operational flying in June 2003 with the “Dambusters” of VFA-195, where he served as the line division officer, landing signals officer (LSO), NATOPS officer and schedules officer.

He then became an instructor with the “Rough Raiders” of VFA-125, serving as the head schedules officer and the carrier qualification phase head. In 2009, he returned to Atsugi, Japan as a Carrier Air Wing (CVW) LSO with the “Badman” Team of CVW-5.

Following his CVW LSO tour, Shamblee reported to the “Black Aces” of VFA-41 in March, 2011 as a department head, serving as both the operations officer and the maintenance officer. He was then stationed in Millington, Tenn. with Navy Personnel Command for duty as a VFA placement officer (Pers-433A) in July 2013, and selected for squadron command, March 2014.

“As I assume command of the Fighting Redcocks, I am deeply honored and humbled," Shamblee said. "The squadron stands ready to excel on our upcoming deployment. To the outstanding Officers, Chiefs and Sailors of VFA-22 and your families, I will continue to work tirelessly on your behalf, knowing that each of you are part of the select few who have taken an oath to defend our Constitution and do our nation’s bidding.”

The Fighting Redcocks are a strike fighter squadron stationed at NAS Lemoore as part of Commander Strike Fighter Wing Pacific (CSFWP). Commander, Strike Fighter Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet provides combat-ready strike fighter squadrons trained to conduct carrier-based, all weather, attack, fighter and support missions as required by the fleet tactical commander.

Commander, Strike Fighter Wing maintains close liaison with Commander Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet and embarked Air Wing commanders in the execution of this mission. For more news from Commander, Naval Air Forces, visit www.navy.mil/local/airpac/.

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