North Santa Rosa

Jamiola Assumes Command of VT-6

Training Air Wing FIVE Commodore Col. James Grace presents outgoing Training Squadron SIX Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Daniel Verda with the Meritorious Service Medal on the day Verda relinquished command of the unit. Verda passed command of the VT-6 "Shooters" to Cmdr. Donald Jamiola on Friday, July 20 aboard Naval Air Station Whiting Field. Under Verda, the unit completed 23,000 mishap-free flight hours, graduated 214 student Naval aviators, and smoothly transitioned from the T-34C Turbo Mentor to the state-of-the-art T-6B Texan II airframe.

Lt. Col. Daniel Verda passes command of Training Squadron SIX to Cmdr. Donald Jamiola as Training Air Wing FIVE Commodore Col. James Grace looks on with approval. Verda passed command of the VT-6 "Shooters" to Jamiola on Friday, July 20 aboard Naval Air Station Whiting Field. Under Verda, the unit completed 23,000 mishap-free flight hours, graduated 214 student Naval aviators, and smoothly transitioned from the T-34C Turbo Mentor to the state-of-the-art T-6B Texan II airframe.

Jamiola Assumes Command of VT-6 

By Lt. j.g. Tim Mosso, NAS Whiting Field Public Affairs

Following 13 months at the helm, Lt. Col. Daniel Verda passed command of the Training Squadron SIX “Shooters” to Cmdr. Donald Jamiola Friday, July 20, at 10 a.m. in the Naval Air Station Whiting Field atrium.

Before an assembly of friends, family and colleagues, Jamiola 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 the new commanding officer to the unit and to praise the efforts of the outgoing skipper.  VT-6’s ceremony marked the latest transition in the joint-forces squadron’s rotation between Navy and Marine Corps leadership.

Training Air Wing FIVE Commodore Col. James Grace served as the guest speaker for the event.  He offered a ringing endorsement of Verda’s performance with VT-6 and effusive praise for his fellow Marine’s character.

“The detailed plan that your team accomplished in transitioning from the T-34 o the T-6 was masterful.  To know Dan is to love Dan… what a great sounding board Dan has been for me.  [He] would be the first person to tell me if something wasn’t working, and he would offer a detailed plan to fix it,” Grace remarked.

Lt. Col. Daniel Verda passes command of Training Squadron SIX to Cmdr. Donald Jamiola as Training Air Wing FIVE Commodore Col. James Grace looks on with approval. Verda passed command of the VT-6 “Shooters” to Jamiola on Friday, July 20 aboard Naval Air Station Whiting Field. Under Verda, the unit completed 23,000 mishap-free flight hours, graduated 214 student Naval aviators, and smoothly transitioned from the T-34C Turbo Mentor to the state-of-the-art T-6B Texan II airframe.

During Verda’s tour, the “Shooters” flew over 23,000 mishap-free flight hours, successfully transitioned from the T-34C Turbo Mentor  to the T-6B Texan II, graduated 214 Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and allied student naval aviators, and exceeded fiscal year 2011 pilot production targets.  VT-6 exceeded fiscal year 2011 pilot production goals by a greater margin than all other TRAWING-5 primary training squadrons combined.

Moreover, Verda’s personal contributions as a squadron instructor included flying over 200 instructional hours encompassing 110 flight training syllabus events.

Grace, whose family has lived across the street from the Verda household since the family arrived at the air station, remarked that knowing Verda, his wife, Lisa, and their children has been a personal and professional pleasure.

“I will miss your sense of humor.  We will miss you at the wing, and we will miss you in our neigborhood,” Grace remarked.

Verda was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his numerous achievements during his tour at the squadron.

Training Air Wing FIVE Commodore Col. James Grace presents outgoing Training Squadron SIX Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Daniel Verda with the Meritorious Service Medal on the day Verda relinquished command of the unit. Verda passed command of the VT-6 “Shooters” to Cmdr. Donald Jamiola on Friday, July 20 aboard Naval Air Station Whiting Field. Under Verda, the unit completed 23,000 mishap-free flight hours, graduated 214 student Naval aviators, and smoothly transitioned from the T-34C Turbo Mentor to the state-of-the-art T-6B Texan II airframe.

The overarching message of the speakers was that multiple levels of mentorship throughout life, career, and command tenure been integral to Verda’s success at VT-6.  Verda credited mentors as varied as his parents, fellow Marines, Grace, and he offered a testimonial to the power of dedicated mentorship in a flight training environment.

Mutually-beneficial working relationships between concerned leaders and their charges, between peers at every level, and between generations of service members had diversified the unit’s perspectives and enriched all participants.

Above all, Verda emphasized that advancing the squadron’s culture of instructor-student mentorship was the most satisfying of his experiences of at VT-6

 

“To the students [of VT-6], I appreciate your hard work and I don’t worry… because when I retire, I will sleep well at night knowing that you will be there to protect me,” Verda reflected.

Verda reserved his final and most effusive praise for Jamiola, whom he commended as a good friend and an invaluable partner throughout his tour.

“You are more than ready for this task, and the squadron is lucky to have you,” Verda concluded.

Immediately after issuing his unqualified endorsement and gratitude to Jamiola, Verda formally relinquished command.

Jamiola was introduced as the Commanding Officer, Training Squadron SIX amidst a flourish of approval from family, friends, and colleagues.

Jamiola’s wife, Robin, dressed his uniform with the golden trident signifying Navy command ashore authority.  Amid general applause, the newly-minted command couple embraced to celebrate the moment.

The new squadron commander acknowledged the caliber of the standard set by his predecessor, but he expressed confidence that his experience learning from Verda had conditioned him for success.

“I have big shoes to fill, but I had a great mentor,” Jamiola declared.

The ceremony concluded with Jamiola’s call for sustained excellence among Shooters students and staff.

“I will continue to give 110 percent towards meeting our mission.  [VT-6], you made my tour as XO one of the greatest things I have ever done. Together, we will continue our legacy of pride and professionalism into the future.”

The squadron’s new executive officer will be Maj. Kevin Digman, USMC, who joins VT-6 following a tour as Assistant Operations Officer for Marine Air Group SIXTEEN.

Posted by on Jul 20 2012. 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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