NAS LEMOORE – There was a changing of the guard aboard NAS Lemoore, Thursday, Dec. 7, when Capt. William Gotten relieved Capt. Markus Gudmundsson as Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific.
Vice Adm. Michael Shoemaker, Commander Naval Air Forces, was the guest speaker for the ceremony. Gudmundsson, from Memphis, Tennessee, assumed the role as commodore at a critical time in the command’s history as the need to support demanding operational requirements, coupled with readiness and manning challenges in support of national tasking. Gudmundsson kick-started a robust movement toward improving flight-line readiness and quality of life initiatives.
“Goody [Gudmundsson] has been empowered as the supported commander to lead Rhino Readiness Recovery efforts, critical work that I am confident Lamont and his team will continue,” said Shoemaker. “I share these details because this activity is absolutely critical to improving flight line aircraft availability, and as Goody puts it, ‘all good things come from up jets.’ It is his vision focus, perseverance and steady leadership that has had an impact, changed the narrative on Lemoore and Rhino Readiness and slowly moving the needles in the right direction.”
Throughout his tour as Commodore, Gudmundsson and his team have prepared the five air wings he is responsible for to meet global Navy commitments. They have manned and equipped five of the seven carrier air wings (CVW) that have deployed in the last 18 months, including forward deployed navy forces (FDNF) air wing for its standard patrols. Since January of this year, four of those five deployments came from Lemoore-based squadrons.
Current operations include CVW-17 that is on station in the Arabian Gulf, CVW-11 returned during the first week of December, CVW-2 is slated to leave in early January and CVW-9 is beginning basic phase training as part of the work-up cycle. He also meticulously managed the stand-up of the fifth generation capabilities at NAS Lemoore with the reactivation of strike fighter squadron 125 (VFA-125), for the F-35C Lightning II.
Gudmundsson, originally from Boise, Idaho, commanded VFA-122, from September 2012 to August 2014 before reporting to Strike Fighter Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet as Deputy Commodore in December 2014. He subsequently assumed command as the 27th Commodore to lead the largest type wing in the U.S. Navy in June 2016. His next set of orders is to Monterey as the dean of students for the Naval Postgraduate School.
Gudmundsson is succeeded by Capt. William Gotten from Memphis, Tennessee. In June 2013, Gotten was assigned as the Military Assistant to the Deputy Under-Secretary of the Navy (Management) at the Pentagon before accepting orders to Strike Fighter Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet as Deputy Commodore of the largest Type Wing in the U.S. Navy.
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.
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