North Santa Rosa

Brock assumes mantle as commanding officer, VT-3

Following fifteen months at the helm, Lt. Col. George K. Hobson passed command of Training Squadron THREE to Cmdr. Philip M. Brock Friday, September 9, at 10 a.m. in the Naval Air Station Whiting Field atrium.  Before an assembly of friends, family and colleagues, Brock accepted the command pennant symbolizing the passing of the squadron’s reins.

 The change of command ceremony is a time honored tradition that enables the crew to welcome a new commanding officer to the unit and to praise the efforts of the outgoing skipper.

VT-3 enjoys unique status as NAS Whiting Field’s only Joint Forces Training Squadron.  Accordingly, command alternates between Air Force and Navy officers, and each service simultaneously is represented in the command suite at the executive and commanding levels. Hobson and Brock pooled their experience and the values of their respective service branches to make VT-3’s pioneering inauguration of the T-6B Texan II training aircraft a success.

The overarching message of all speakers was that cooperation between service branches, military and civilian staff, student and pilots, and Training Air Wing FIVE executives had been integral to Hobson’s vision for success at VT-3.

Col. Christopher M. Marcell, Professor of Leadership and Warfare Studies at the United States Air Force Academy, served as the guest speaker for the event.  He offered a battlefield-seasoned perspective to frame the significance of the occasion;

“In the desert today, it doesn’t matter what patch you’re wearing, you fight the same fight and answer to the same boss… there’s no reason this joint force experience has to start at the senior level; it should start in training.  Although the Air Force and Navy have different philosophies… we have common goals, and I think the VT-3 student product speaks to that mission, that goal,” Marcell reflected.

VT-3 achieved the Navy’s calendar year 2010 pilot graduation goals and is on course to advance an additional 200 student military aviators to their follow-on training during fiscal year 2011.  The squadron has reduced the attrition rates of its trainees, and the squadron’s graduates have achieved lower attrition rates at subsequent training commands.  Under Hobson’s guidance, VT-3 extended its stellar record of flight operations free of Class-A mishaps to 24 consecutive years.  The squadron advanced the art and science of aviation safety through comprehensive reviews of best practices and proactive moves to implement improvements.

For his achievements, Hobson was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for meritorious service.

“The last fifteen months have been the most challenging and most rewarding of my life.  Our operational tempo was relentless, but I’m proud to say we met our fiscal year 2011 mission; the men and women of the Red Knights- military and civilian- made that happen,” Hobson reflected.

Hobson reserved his final and most effusive approbations for Brock, who Hobson commended as a skilled pilot, a model of military bearing, and an invaluable partner in leadership.

Brock declared his intention to continue the proactive and productive methods of his predecessor.  He concluded his statements with an emphatic endorsement of Hobson’s qualities as an able executive and an exemplary man;

“I want to offer Lt. Col. Hobson congratulations for a job well done, leading us through the T-6 transition and production surge.  He has been a great friend and a tremendous leader,” Brock exclaimed.

Brock graduated from Norwich University in May of 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and was commissioned as an Aviation Maintenance Duty Officer.

In 1996 he was selected to attend pilot training.   Brock was designated Naval Aviator in July of 1998 at NAS Corpus Christie, in Corpus Christie, Texas.

He has served as Deputy Director for the War on Terror and Deputy Director for Special Operations under the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  Brock’s decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, and three Navy Achievement Medals in addition to many campaign, service and unit-specific awards.

Lt. Col. Brian M. Schafer, previously the Director of Operations, 4th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron, Bagram Airfield, in Bagram, Afghanistan, will supplant Brock as the executive officer of the squadron.  Schafer’s fifteen years of Air Force service have encompassed aerospace acquisition management, combat sorties as an F-15 Eagle pilot, instructor tours, and qualification as an Operational Test and Evaluation Pilot.

Posted by on Sep 13 2011. Filed under Military. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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