LEMOORE -- The “Shoguns” of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9 held a change of command ceremony at their home station, Naval Air Station Lemoore, Jun. 20, 2019.
With the officers, crew and special guests of CVW-9 assembled, and following a spectacular airborne ceremony, Capt. James D. Christie relieved Capt. Steven T. Hejmanowski as commander, CVW-9.
In keeping with naval tradition, Capt. Christie assumed command when he said to Capt. Hejmanowski, "I relieve you, Sir," and Capt. Hejmanowski replied, "I stand relieved."
"CVW-9 Sailors have shown themselves to be truly incredible aviators, aircrew, maintainers and support personnel,” said Capt. Hejmanowski. "During a demanding deployment, with the eye of the world on them, they stepped up and performed beyond any expectations. They get it – they understand the mission, and have proven they have what it takes to perform carrier based operations anywhere in the world, whenever called on. I could not have asked for a more professional, talented and outstanding air wing to command.”
Capt. Hejmanowski led CVW-9 through an intense deployment to the U.S. 7th, 5th and 6th Fleets, including extended operations in the South China Sea, the Arabian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea ensuring freedom of navigation throughout the globe and maintaining the security of Carrier Strike Group 3. The pinnacle of the deployment was the surrender of all ISIS territories in Syria and Iraq while CVW-9 aircraft flew overhead providing precise, lethal and reliable close air support for ground forces. Following the deployment, he has overseen operations as the air wing continues high tempo training events and transition to a new aircraft carrier.
Capt Hejmanowski, a native of Newburgh, New York, was raised in central Pennsylvania. He attended both the Pennsylvania State University and the United States Naval Academy, receiving his commission in 1992. He was designated a Naval Flight Officer in 1995, and has served as CVW-9’s Deputy Commander since May of 2016.
Capt. Hejmanowski's operational assignments include tours with Fighter Squadron 211 (VFA-211) as a junior officer and again as Department Head. He completed eight deployments on USS Nimitz (CVN 68), USS Enterprise (CVN 65), USS George Washington (CVN 73) and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74). He commanded Strike Fighter Squadron 102 (VFA 102).
Capt. Hejmanowski has surpassed an incredible 4,000 flight hours and has accumulated more than 900 carrier-arrested landings over his career.
His shore assignments include the US Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN); instructor Radar Intercept Officer at Fighter Squadron 101 (VF-101); Operations Officer for the F/A-18E/F Detachment at Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106); staff of Commander, Naval Air Force, Atlantic, serving as Strike Fighter Readiness Officer; N7 Department Head (TOPGUN CO) and N5 Department Head (STRIKE) at Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC); Deputy for Naval Aviation and Tactical Air Systems working for the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (AT&L); and a brief assignment as Battle Director in the Combined Air and Space Operations Center, Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. His personal decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (three awards), Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy Achievement Medal (two awards) and various other unit and campaign awards.
Addressing the CVW-9 team, Capt. Christie pronounced, "I’ve had the privilege to serve as Capt. Hejmanowski’s and your [CVW-9’s] deputy. Capt. Hejmanowski led us all through a challenging training cycle and, without pause, into a dynamic deployment with focus and steadfast determination. I look forward to carrying on CVW-9’s tradition of excellence, and have no doubt every one of you will continue to demonstrate just what it means to be a part of Team Shogun!”
CVW-9 return in May from a seven month, around the world combat deployment with Carrier Strike Group 3.
CVW-9 consists of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 71, Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 14, Fleet Logistics Combat Support Squadron (VRC) 30, Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 117, Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 133 and Strike Fighter Squadrons (VFA) 14, 41, 97 and 151.