CORONADO, Calif. (NNS) -- Commander, Naval Air Force Reserve (CNAFR) held a change of command ceremony at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, California, Nov. 10.
At the ceremony, Rear Adm. Mark L. Leavitt was relieved of duties as CNAFR by Rear Adm. W. Michael Crane.
Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, commander, Naval Air Forces, was the guest speaker.
Leavitt, a native of South Windsor, Connecticut, is a 1984 graduate of Florida State University (FSU) with a bachelor's degree in criminology. As CNAFR, he led more than 8,000 personnel and was responsible for more than 150 aircraft. Highlights during his command include successfully establishing the Maritime Support Wing, which provides oversight and advocacy for 16 rotary and fixed-wing squadrons; overseeing Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 60's successful transition to the MH-60R; growing the Navy Reserve's role in the MQ-8 Fire Scout program; and providing 100 percent of the Navy's medium-lift air logistics capability.
Crane, a native of Virginia Beach, Virginia, is a 1984 graduate of Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering. After working as a civil engineer for two years, he was commissioned as an ensign in December 1986 through Aviation Officer Candidate School and designated a Naval Aviator in October 1988. His career as a naval aviator includes assignments at Fighter Squadron (VF) 101, VF-143, VF-43, Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VRC) 56, and culminated in command of Fighter Squadron Composite (VFC) 12. Subsequent command tours include Navy Reserve (NR) Commander Strike Force Training Atlantic, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command's Expeditionary Training Group and NR U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFFC) Joint Task Force Detachment 100.
Crane's non-command tours include NR commander 2nd Fleet (C2F), Joint Forces Air Component Commander, Reserve Component (RC) director for the merger of USFFC and C2F, RC USFFC and C2F chief staff officer and NR Chief of Naval Operations, Operations and Plans chief staff officer. He served on active duty as director of operations for the Air Launched Weapons Team under Commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF) and also served as facilitator for CNAF's Character and Integrity Initiative.
Crane's education includes Joint Professional Military Education and a Master of Arts in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Navy War College. He has accumulated over 3,500 flight hours in multiple U.S. Navy aircraft and logged 312 carrier landings. His awards include the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal and various campaign and service awards.
CNAFR, headquartered in San Diego, is responsible for three air wings, the Naval Air Logistics Office, one naval air facility, 24 fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft squadrons, 30 squadron augmentation units/tactical support units, six reserve fleet readiness centers/aviation supply detachments and two executive transport detachments. Additionally CNAFR oversees 10 reserve marine corps squadrons and marine aviation logistics squadrons.
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