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VFA-86 Changes Command in the Adriatic Sea

04 October 2022

From Carrier Strike Group 10

ADRIATIC SEA - Cmdr. Daniel Krause relieved Cmdr. Nelson “DC” Keyser as commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 86 during an in-flight change of command ceremony in the skies above USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) in the Adriatic Sea, Oct. 1, 2022. Capt. Thomas Bodine, commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, presided.

"DC is a tremendous leader, aviator, and warrior. His vision and direction forged VFA-86 into a more lethal fighting force and I cannot thank him enough for his tremendous dedication to duty," said Bodine. "I have no doubt Cmdr. Krause will build upon that legacy, making the Sidewinders, Team Freedom, and the entire strike group a stronger and more capable combat weapons system.”

Keyser, from Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, assumed command of VFA-86 as its 60th commanding officer in June 2021. He led the ‘Sidewinders’ into their 2022 deployment with CVW-7 aboard the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier George H. W. Bush.

“Over the course of two operational tours in VFA-86 the Sidewinder’s have come to occupy a special place in my heart,” said Keyser. “Serving as the Sidewinder’s 60th commanding officer has been the highlight of my naval career, and it was an honor and privilege to be a part of this spectacular team.”

During his command, Keyser led the squadron through a vigorous Optimized Fleet Response Plan (OFRP) in preparation for the 2022 deployment. Through Keyser’s leadership, VFA-86 accumulated 3,692 total flight hours, 880 carrier landings, 2,584 sorties, 109,991 pounds of ordnance expended, as well as 25+ years and 100,000+ Class-A mishap free flight hours.

Krause, from Snohomish, Washington, and graduate of Western Washington University, lauded Keyser’s leadership and addressed the squadron about the future of the Sidewinders.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure serving as the executive officer of the “Sidewinders” under the sage leadership of skipper “DC” Keyser,” said Krause. “I am honored and privileged to take command of such a fine organization and synchronized team. We look forward to executing our operational deployment in the U.S. Sixth Fleet area of operations while participating with our NATO allies and strengthening partnerships.”

George H.W. Bush is the flagship of CSG-10, GHWBCSG. CSG-10 is comprised of George H.W. Bush, CVW-7, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26, the Information Warfare Commander, and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55).

The ships of DESRON 26 within CSG-10 are the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Nitze (DDG 94), USS Farragut (DDG 99), USS Truxtun (DDG 103), and USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119).

The squadrons of CVW-7 embarked aboard George H.W. Bush are the “Sidewinders” of VFA-86, the “Jolly Rogers” of VFA-103, the “Nighthawks” of VFA-136, the “Pukin Dogs” of VFA-143, the “Bluetails” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121, the “Patriots” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140, the “Nightdippers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5, and the “Grandmasters” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 46.

CSG- 10, GHWBCSG, is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied and partner interests.

 

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