NORFOLK, Va (NNS) -- Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 103 held a change of command ceremony at the squadron’s hangar aboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana, June 26.
Cmdr. Brian Broadwater relieved Cmdr. Patrice Fernandes during a brief ceremony. In January, VFA-103 returned from a ten-month deployment as part of Carrier Air Wing Seven (CVW-7) assigned aboard the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72).
“It was an honor and privilege to serve as commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron 103; thank you to every Victory Sailor for their professionalism and dedication to service,” said Fernandez, who congratulated Broadwater on assuming command of the Jolly Rogers.
Fernandez, a native of Dakar, Senegal, who grew up in Brockton, Mass., began his career as in August 1988 Officer Candidate School under the "Seaman to Admiral" program. Fernandez took command in 2018. Fernandez has accumulated more than 4,000 hours in various aircraft and more than 1,300 arrested landings.
Broadwater, a native of Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, received his commission through the United States Naval Academy and reported to VFA-103 as the executive officer in April 2019. Broadwater has accumulated more than 2,700 hours in various aircraft and more than 650 arrested landings.
“It is an honor and privilege to succeed Cmdr. Fernandes as the commanding officer of VFA-103,” said Broadwater. “The Jolly Rogers have long standing reputation as an excellent squadron, which is direct reflection of the outstanding Officers and Sailors within the command.”
Broadwater added that his responsibility is to provide his Sailors an environment necessary for personal and professional growth while meeting their operational, maintenance, and administrative requirements.
“This will be a challenge based on the current environment, but we will succeed based on the actions of 251 officers and Sailors working together,” said Broadwater. “My task is to keep this team together, and one that I look forward to undertaking.”