NAVAL AIR STATION NORTH ISLAND, Calif. (NNS) -- Commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF) held a change of command ceremony, July 1, aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).
Vice Adm. Allen G. Myers relieved Vice Adm. Thomas J. Kilcline as commander.
Kilcline assumed command of CNAF in June 2007. As the Navy's "air boss," he ensured that the Naval Air Force provided ready assets that were immediately employable and continuously forward deployed, and led the Naval Aviation Enterprise, a partnership among all the Navy and Marine Corps organizations involved in providing aviation assets in the defense of America.
Guest speaker, Adm. J.C. Harvey Jr., commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, credited Kilcline with the success of the naval aviation.
"Whatever the mission, wherever the need, Vice Adm. Tom Kilcline has led naval aviation to great success in combat operations," said Harvey.
Kilcline, who retires after a 37-year naval aviation career, thanked the Sailors and Marines he'd served with in his farewell message to the force.
"I am proud to have been a part of this great team of battle-hardened warriors. I can only ask that you continue to strive to be a competent, professional force which has no equal; that you lead Sailors with compassion, that you excel in the air, and that most of all, you make a difference," Kilcline said. "It has been my distinct honor and great privilege to have served with you."
During the ceremony, Kilcline was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his "extraordinary strategic vision, analytical insight and inspirational leadership," which led Naval Air Forces to new levels of operational availability, aviation safety and esprit de corps.
Upon assuming command, Myers spoke of the proud legacy of naval aviation and his focus on four fundamentals.
"We are in the business of delivering credible combat power anywhere in the world when our nation demands it, and that is what we will continue to do through a dedicated focus on four fundamentals: alignment, respect, readiness, and our warfighting ethos," said Myers. "We will continue to build on our rich history, honored legacy and dauntless spirit; to create an even stronger, more cohesive fighting force."
Myers is a 1978 graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a northern Virginia native. He recently completed a Pentagon tour as the director of Warfare Integration (OPNAV N8F) and the director of the Air Warfare Division (OPNAV N88). His command tours include Strike Fighter Squadron (VF) 32, USS Sacramento (AOE 1), USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), and Carrier Strike Group 8, where he led Expeditionary Strike Force 5th Fleet, Combined Task Force 50, Combined Task Force 152 and the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group.
As a naval aviator, Myers has accumulated more than 3,600 flight hours and completed more than 900 successful arrested landings.
CNAF heads a force that includes 11 aircraft carriers, 10 carrier air wings and seven type wing commands, more than 3,600 aircraft, 168 active and Reserve squadrons, and more than 100,000 personnel.
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