USS Harry S. Truman, At Sea (NNS) -- The "Swordsmen" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 32upheld the time-honored naval aviation tradition of an airborne change of command ceremony with a three jet fly-by over USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) July 3.
During the fly-by ceremony, 230 members of VFA-32 bid a formal farewell to Cmdr. Edward L. Heflin, and welcomed the promotion of Cmdr. Timothy M. Hill from executive officer to commanding officer.
"It's bittersweet," Cmdr. Heflin said. "I'd like to be able to stay and continue the mission, but it's time for me to move on. Cmdr. Hill is ready to take the reins, and the squadron has the leadership it needs to continue to support the fight. We have a great team, and they are getting an exceptional leader."
Heflin enlisted in the Navy in 1986. He attended Purdue University on an NROTC scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering in 1991.
Heflin assumed command of VFA 32 in October 2009. His next duty station will be at National Defense University in Washington, D.C.
"The skipper has been a really good friend," said Hill. "We've had a great time together running the squadron. At the same time, I'm excited to get my own crack at the squadron. They are always focused on the task-at-hand, and if they keep their heads in the game like they've been doing, we'll be ready for anything."
The Swordsmen began combat sorties in support of Operation Enduring Freedom June 29.
Since their inception 65 years ago, the Swordsmen have fought with pride, professionalism and purpose around the world, earning four Battle "E" awards for operational excellence, four Safety "S" awards, two Golden Wrench awards for maintenance excellence and two Grand Slam awards for air-to-air combat prowess.
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.