New Commander Tapped

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Naval Air Station Meridian's Training Squadron 7, or VT-7, has a new commander as of Friday. John Fristachi was relieved by former executive officer, Robert Trafton.

"The advice I would leave behind to him (Trafton) is enjoy it every day," said Fristachi. "Keep your eye on safety and the rest will take care of itself. Lead by example."

Fristachi will be heading to Norfolk, Va. to serve as an Air Boss on an aircraft carrier, the U.S.S. George Washington. But before he left, the VT-7 squadron was presented with an award for outstanding safety. It's a tradition that Commander Trafton says he will strive to uphold.

"They have got to think safety every day. It's like when you go to drive your car, you are thinking about certain safety things. They have to think about it and we try to do it in every little thing we do. Not 'hey, today is safety day,’" said Trafton.

Trafton has served as the executive officer of VT-7 since October 2001. He said he's confident that he is prepared to do the job of commanding officer.

"I know all the people, the maintainers. I have seen it for so long that hopefully it will help me out," said Trafton. "And I can use that experience to go on to leading and getting these students in line."