VS-22’s Checkmates Change Command

Story Number: NNS030506-11Release Date: 5/6/2003 8:08:00 AM
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By Journalist 1st Class (SW) Joseph Gunder, USS Harry S. Truman Public Affairs

ABOARD USS HARRY S. TRUMAN, At Sea (NNS) -- The Checkmates of Sea Control Squadron (VS) 22 got a new boss April 30, when Cmdr. Michael V. "Prego" Prosperi relieved Cmdr. Robert B. "Rocket" Rabuse as commanding officer (CO) in a ceremony on the forecastle aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Prosperi was the squadron's executive officer.

Prosperi served with VS-22 before, then deployed aboard USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) during Operation Desert Storm as aircraft division officer, Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization officer and electronic warfare officer. He also deployed with VS-27, the "Sea Wolves." He also served with Commander, U.S. 2nd Fleet as current operations officer and deployed to Haiti for Operation Support Democracy. He later attended the Naval War College in Newport, R.I., where he graduated in March 1999 with a masters of arts degree in Strategic Studies and National Security Affairs.

Before turning over duties as commanding officer, Rabuse, like other VS-22 COs before him at their changes of command, named the recipients of the Memorial Leadership Award, given to two leaders in the unit. This time, the awards went to Aviation Structural Mechanic 2nd Class (AW) Eric Kitchen and Lt. Eric Meier.

Rabuse thanked Capt. Mark Vance, commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 3, for his guidance and support, and he also thanked the squadron personnel for leaving the safety and security of home to serve in the Navy.

"It is a true and noble cause we have volunteered for," Rabuse said, "and I am proud to have had the opportunity to serve side-by-side with each one of you. You stand out as the finest the Navy has, always ready and mission-focused."

Before reading his orders, Rabuse received the Meritorious Service Medal from Vance for his service during the work-up cycle and deployment.

Rabuse will report to the National War College in Washington, D.C.

For related news, visit the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn75.

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