How important is NAS Meridian to the Navy? Just ask the outgoing commander.
"This is not the front lines," said Cmdr. Michael Sherlock. "But it is, if we fail at our mission to produce pilots. Then the Navy's overall operation will be hurt."
There had been concern the Navy would move some of Meridian's T-2 aircraft and the accompanying civilian jobs, to a base at Kingsville, Texas.
This week, the chief of naval air training said that was no longer being considered.
"Meridian has meant so much for my family and the people are so nice," said Sherlock, as he prepares for his next duty station on board the USS Kitty Hawk.
VT-7's new commander is also no stranger to the area.
"I went to flight school in Meridian," said Cmdr. Mark Kinnane. "The past commander has done a great job and I'm just going to try to maintain it."