JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- The Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 62 (VR-62) "Nomads" arrived at their new home base, Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS) July 25, along with the first of four C-130T Hercules aircraft, opening a new chapter in the base's history.
The base was established Oct. 15, 1940, and this is the first time a C-130 squadron has been homeported Jacksonville. The move is part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure commission's decision to close NAS Brunswick.
"There are a lot of resources here at NAS Jax, and Florida is a year round playground," said VR-62 commanding officer Cmdr. Christopher Thomson. "Maine was nice for skiing but there were four months of bitter cold that many families didn't enjoy."
Monica Gillespie, wife of Naval Air Crewman (Mechanical) 2nd Class (NAC) Brian Gillespie, said she looks forward to going to the beach and building sand castles with her family.
The Navy Air squadron is comprised of 85 active-duty Sailors and 130 Reservists. "One of the biggest pushes we have right now is recruiting new Reservists," said Thomson. "Many Sailors decided to stay behind and we need to replenish the squadron."
The Nomads earned their title by moving to four different homeports in four years.
"We are scheduled to continue the reallocation process throughout the end of August," said Aviation Electronics Technician 1st Class (AW) Mary Hipkin, the squadron's command career counselor is a Reservist recently mobilized to active duty.
"The transfer has been difficult for many crew members and the closure of NAS Brunswick has left no Navy aviation opportunity in the surrounding communities. This has caused many of our Sailors to join our counterparts like the Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve and Coast Guard in an effort to stay local," said Hipkin.
The squadron is responsible for transporting personnel and cargo all over the world. They will deploy on a three-month detachment to Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy in support of 6th Fleet operations late this summer. VR-62 also supports 5th Fleet operations in Bahrain and 7th Fleet operations in Atsugi, Japan as well as Naval Air Logistics Office flights.
For more news from Naval Air Station Jacksonville, visit www.navy.mil/local/nasjax/.