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Thompson to cede command of HT-28 at Whiting Field

Thompson to cede command of HT-28 

Following a successful year-long tour in command of Helicopter Training Squadron TWENTY-EIGHT, Lt. Col. Mark Thompson will turn over command of the unit to Cmdr. Christopher Pesile, Friday, June 29 at 10 a.m. in the Naval Air Station Whiting Field Atrium.

The change of command ceremony dates back to the era of wooden ships, and is a time-honored Navy tradition that enables the crew to see the formal exchange of duties between officers.  Col. James Grace, the Training Air Wing FIVE commodore will serve as the guest speaker for the occasion.

During Thompson’s tour the “Hellions” flew over 40,000 mishap-free flight hours, completed more than 20,000 sorties, and winged 430 Navy, Marine, Coast Guard, and allied Naval Aviators.  As the Hellion’s fourth Commanding Officer, he continued the tradition of surpassing fiscal year pilot production goals.  Additionally, the squadron volunteered in excess of 900 hours to community service projects including elementary school tutoring, fundraising for cancer research, and community outreach. HT-28 was also recognized for the unit’s exemplary safety record with the Chief of Naval Safety Awards for 2011 and for training excellence with the Vice Admiral Robert Goldthwaite Award.

A 1992 graduate of Georgetown University, Thompson earned his aviators wings in 1994 following his commission and completion of the Marine Corps Basic School.  He served as an AH-1W SuperCobra pilot, completing tours with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron (HMLA) 369 (twice), Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 163, and Marine Wing Support Squadron 373.  He also was selected to work at the White House as President George W. Bush’s Military Aide in 2006 prior to reporting to HT-28.  He assumed command of the HT-28 in

Pesile graduated from the United States Naval Academy in May 1994 and earned his aviator’s wings 15 months later.  His first tour of duty upon completion of training at Helicopter Training Squadron EIGHTEEN was with Helicopter Anti-submarine Squadron ELEVEN (HS-11).  He returned to NAS Whiting Field in 2000 to serve as an instructor with Training Squadron SIX (VT-6).  He then transferred to Commander Carrier Strike Group FIVE in Yokosuka, Japan for two years before returning to the “Dragonslayers” of HS-11.  Before his assignment with HT-28, he served in the Pentagon as a Deputy Director of Operations Emergency Actions Officer and Presidential Strike Advisor on Operations Team One.

The squadron’s new executive officer will be Lt. Col. Jeffrey M. Pavelko, USMC.


Posted by on Jun 25 2012. Filed under Local, Military, Top News. 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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