Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Holds Change of Command Ceremony

Story Number: NNS190822-10Release Date: 8/22/2019 3:34:00 PM
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From Mass Communication Specialist 3RD Class Nikita Custer, Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic Public Affairs

PAXTUENT RIVER, MARYLAND (NNS) -- Capt. Hugh Winkel relieved Capt. Gregory Sleppy, as commanding officer of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) during a change of command ceremony at Naval Air Station (NAS) , Patuxent River, Maryland, Aug. 15.

The mission of VX-1 is to test and evaluate airborne anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-air warfare (AAW), anti-surface warfare (SUW) weapons systems, airborne strategic weapons systems, as well as support systems, equipment, and materials in an operational environment.

Sleppy received a Legion of Merit award honoring outstanding service as the commanding officer of VX-1 from July 2016 to August 2019.  During his tour, Sleppy leveraged his multi-faceted expertise in order to advance testing for the P-8A Poseidon, E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, MH-60R/S Seahawk, E-6B Mercury, KC-130J Hercules, MQ-4C Triton, and MQ-8B/C Fire Scout, as well as laid the foundation for the first operational testing of the CVM-22 Osprey and MQ-25A Stingray.

His key leadership and insight cemented VX-1’s standing as the leading test and evaluation squadron in the Department of Defense.  “It has been a true pleasure to lead the men and woman whose persevering efforts have contributed to advancements and evolution in naval aviation,” said Sleppy, who will retire from the U.S. Navy after serving more than 25 years of service. “The squadron’s success is a direct reflection of the command’s steadfastness and commitment to excellence.”

Winkel praised Sleppy for his leadership of VX-1 adding that he will continue to spearhead the forefront of technology and tactical development in ASW and SUW.
“It is an honor to become the commanding officer of VX-1,” said Winkel. “Thank you to Capt. Sleppy for his outstanding leadership. I am excited for the opportunity to continue the unwavering quality of excellence that has been so starkly demonstrated by the achievements made under his command.”

VX-1 provides trained people, test ready aircraft, and access to state of the art facilities necessary for the development of innovative technology to support the war fighting needs of the operating forces.

The squadron has numerous projects assigned, from complete airframe upgrades to weapon system evaluation of electronic, acoustic and optical methods of submarine, aircraft, and ship detection, classification and attack.  They are an enduring technological force based at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland.

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