NAS LEMOORE (December 11, 2019) – Carrier Air Wing TWO (CVW-2) welcomed a new Commanding Officer during a Change of Command ceremony, Wednesday, December 11th.
CAPT Matthew Thrasher, a Kansas native relieved CAPT Gregory Newkirk from Medina, OH, during the ceremony held at Naval Air Station Lemoore, CA. CAPT Newkirk, assumed command in June 2018, and led Team Broadsword through RIMPAC 2018, Air Wing Fallon, and a rigorous SUSTEX / Fleet Battle Problem underway period.
“This tour has been one privilege after another”, said CAG Newkirk. “Seeing CVW-2 spend over 400 days in the operational environment only to return and start building the Navy’s first 5th Gen fully NIFC capable Strike Group while simultaneously undertaking the broader Naval Sustainment System endeavor was a remarkable feat. It speaks volumes of the Commanding Officers’, the Officer and Chief Petty Officers’ leadership and the grit and determination of the CVW-2 Sailors and their families. I was immensely proud to be associated with this team and will remain so.”
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CAPT Thrasher is the 14th Commander of Carrier Air Wing TWO and has assumed command at a crucial point in Carrier Air Wing TWO’s transition to the the Navy’s first “Air Wing of the Future”. Prior to commanding Carrier Air Wing TWO, CAPT Thrasher was a U.S Naval Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) Instructor, attended the U.S Naval War college receiving a Masters of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies, was the Executive Officer to the Director of Operations and Branch Chief at U.S Strategic Command and served as an Aviation Requirements Officer on the OPNAV N98 staff.
“It’s been an honor to work with “Newk” Newkirk,” said CAG Thrasher. “His efforts have placed CVW-2 on a solid trajectory for workups and our eventual deployment. I look forward building on the incredible foundation he has laid.”
Preparing to execute as the “Air wing of the Future”, CVW-2 will be the first air wing to deploy with F-35C Lightning II and CMV-22B Osprey.