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Commander Naval Air Forces Visits NAS Whidbey Island

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS080331-17
Release Date: 3/31/2008 3:04:00 PM

By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tucker M. Yates, Fleet Public Affairs Center, Det. Northwest

OAK HARBOR, Wash. (NNS) -- Commander, Naval Air Forces visited Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island for a familiarization tour, March 24-25.

Vice Adm. Tom Kilcline and Force Master Chief (AW/SW) James Abeyta, met with officers and senior enlisted from Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing (CPRW) 10, Commander Electronic Attack Wing Pacific (CVWP) and NAS Whidbey Island to discuss their concerns and share some experiences. Kilcline also wanted to praise the Sailors of these commands for the capabilities they provide as part of naval aviation.

"Naval aviation is out there and gets it done; it's the pointy end of the spear," said Kilcline. "We are the best air force in the world with unique capabilities that complement our surface, subsurface and Marine Force. You should be proud that you're key to the success of our Navy-Marine team."

During his visit, Kilcline also discussed the importance of safety, the value of diversity and equality in our force, and standards of conduct.

"He was spot on and very honest [in his presentation]. He's exceptionally motivated, really loves his job and wants us to know that he's there for us and concerned about our well-being," said CVWP Command Master Chief (SW/AW) Richard Rose. "He's a very passionate and confident man, a good man to have as our boss."

Those in attendance were afforded the opportunity to get Kilcline's input on "Big Navy" concerns that affect them directly, including upcoming transitions to the P-8A Poseidon and EA-18G Growler, and associated advances in their capabilities.

"I absolutely enjoyed the conversation that he had with the VAQ (Electronic Attack Squadron) community," said Cmdr. John Thompson, VAQ-130 commanding officer. "He addressed a lot of key issues, mainly our support in the coming years of the [expeditionary force]; I'm glad to hear that this is part of his concern. Also, I was very interested in his commitment to the next generation jammer [for the EA-18G]."

Kilcline's interest in the commands' present and future assets was valued by those involved, and his understanding of their contributions let them know their work is important to the war effort.

"From the admiral's perspective, he clearly understands the capabilities we bring forward to support Department of Defense, our fleet commanders, and our combatant commanders," said Capt. Kenneth Seliga, commodore of CPRW-10. "We bring this diverse piece of having VQ [Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron] assets up here and he wanted to get a look at those capabilities and what they provide. [The VQ community members] appreciate the level of engagement when you have a three-star take time out of his schedule to come up and get a better understanding and show his appreciation for what they are doing in dynamic places around the world."

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