North Santa Rosa

DeBrine to Turn Over Command of HT -18

DeBrine to Turn Over Command of HT-18

Cmdr. Jeff DeBrine will pass command of Helicopter Training Squadron EIGHTEEN Thursday, July 26 at 10 a.m. in the Naval Air Station Whiting Field atrium building.  Lt. Col. Robert White will assume command of the squadron after serving approximately a year as the executive officer.  Col. James Grace, commodore Training Air Wing FIVE will serve as the guest speaker for the ceremony.

 During DeBrine’s tour with the “Vigilant Eagles” the squadron flew more than 53,000 mishap free hours and designated more than 500 rotary winged aviators.  The squadron’s successes were recognized with the 2010 Secretary of the Navy Safety Excellence award, Chief of Naval Operations Aviation Safety Award, John H. Towers Flight Safety Award, and the Grampaw Pettibone (Media Category) Award.  Despite the unit’s heavy flight training schedule, HT-18 has continued to pursue volunteer efforts in the local community such as:   numerous Veterans Day activities, the Santa Rosa County Adopt-A-Highway program, the Blackwater River Clean-up, Aircrew Adopt-A-Spot, Habitat for Humanity, American Cancer Society’s Walk for Life, NJROTC, Boy Scouts of America, Big Brothers/Big Sisters Organization and the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program.  Additionally, they have continued a long running partnership with Pea Ridge Elementary school to recognize top students through the Elite Eagles devised by the squadron.

DeBrine completed his primary flight training with Training Squadron TWO and is a Vigilant Eagle alumni, receiving his wings of gold in 1994 through the squadron.  DeBrine has served operational tours in Sicily (twice), California, and aboard the USS Juneau (LPD-10).  He has also earned Masters Degrees from both the Naval Postgraduate School and the Naval War College.  DeBrine served in the Pentagon with the Joint Campaign Analysis Branch of the Navy Assessment Division.  He is a native of Rochester, NY and a 1992 Naval Academy graduate.






White , a 1993 graduate of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, entered the Marine Corps through the Platoon Leaders Class Program and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in May 1993.  After the completion of The Basic School, he reported to Naval Air Station Pensacola, completed training with VT-3 and HT-18 culminating with his designation as a Naval Aviator in April 1996.  He has completed tours with HMT-204 and HMM-263 at MCAS New River, N.C.; Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One in Yuma, Ariz.; HMM-163 in San Diego, Calif.; the Marine Corps Command and Staff College; and in the Headquarters Marine Corps Department of Aviation before assuming duties as HT-18s executive officer in 2011.




New Orleans native Cmdr. Kevin Pickard will step into the executive officer role.  His previous tour of duty was with the U.S. Department of State as Military Affairs Officer in the Office of Counterproliferation Initiatives where he was awarded the Department of State’s Superior Honor Award in 2011.

Posted by on Jul 23 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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