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In the evening of January 14th 2019, Commander David J. Dartez relieved Commander Chris S. Dentzer as Commanding Officer of Strike Fighter Squadron TWO FIVE in a ceremony at Naval Air Station Lemoore.

A native of Yardley, PA, Cmdr. Dentzer graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2000, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics. Following graduation, he reported to NAS Pensacola to begin flight training and earned his naval aviator wings in June 2002. Operational tours include the “Sidewinders” of VFA-86 in Beaufort, South Carolina, the “Ragin’ Bulls” of VFA-37 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and the “Fist of the Fleet” of VFA-25 in Lemoore, California. Cmdr. Dentzer has made five combat deployments aboard the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65), USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70), and USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN 75). Cmdr. Dentzer served as a strike fighter tactics instructor for the “Diablos” of Strike Fighter Weapons School Atlantic and the Executive Officer for the “Flying Eagles” of VFA-122.

“Nothing is guaranteed when you’re in command except two things,” said Cmdr. Dentzer. “You can, and should, expect the unexpected, and you will be forever humbled by the men and women who serve under your command who are committed to their duties and who are so enviably talented in their abilities.”

His command tour culminated in a successful deployment as part of Carrier Air Wing 7 in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. “I leave you in Commander Dartez’ enthusiastic and eager hands as he will ensure that the Fist of the Fleet’s trajectory continues on its rising path,” Cmdr. Dentzer added.

After assuming command on August 24th, 2017, Commander Dentzer immediately led the Fist of the Fleet through numerous detachments supporting training exercises across the country, including 5th-generation fighter integration with F-22A Raptors and dissimilar air combat training. He also led the Fist of the Fleet through an arduous work up cycle from SFARP up to COMPTUEX. CDR Dentzer upheld the Fist of the Fleet’s mission objective of fighting and winning sustained combat operations from the sea or on land. CDR Dentzer has accumulated over 3,200 flight hours to include 80 combat missions and over 550 carrier arrested landings. His awards include the Strike/Flight Air Medal (3 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (4 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (2 medals), and the Meritorious Service Medal. The Fist of the Fleet thanks CDR Dentzer for his dedication to the well-being and advancement of each and every Sailor, and we wish him fair winds and following seas.

A native of King William, Virginia, Commander Dartez graduated from Virginia Tech in 2001, earning two Bachelor of Science degrees in Aerospace and Ocean Engineering, as well as minor in Leadership Studies through the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets. CDR Dartez was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Program and earned his Naval Aviator Wings in January 2004. CDR Dartez’s career has included five combat deployments aboard USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65), USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70), and USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) along with tours with VFA-86, VFA-125, Carrier Air Wing SEVENTEEN Landing Signal Officer, VFA-83, and the Naval War College. VFA-25 bids farewell to CDR Dentzer and looks forward to the ongoing success with CDR Dartez during the squadron’s upcoming deployment scheduled for spring of 2019.

“As we have seen under the leadership of Commander Dentzer, you will not find a more dedicated leader who has done all that he can to ensure that we maintained as a squadron our reputation of the highest level of professionals,” said Cmdr. Dartez. “On behalf of the Fist of the Fleet, I thank him for everything he has done for us during him tenure and today I offer you my commitment to carry the torch of leadership and serve as your commanding officer.”

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