VT-9 Change of Command

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Training Squadron Nine at NAS Meridian welcomed a new commander in a ceremony Friday.

Commander Garrett Krause is the outgoing commander for the VT-9 Tigers. Under his leadership, it safely flew more than 19,000 sorties and over 20,000 hours.

Krause is relieved Commander Charles Paquin, who formerly served as Krause's executive officer.

Krause says that leaving Meridian will be difficult, as he and his family will be leaving behind a great community.

"It's going to be bittersweet because the community of Meridian has been so great, not only to me and my family, but to the base," said Krause. "What a proud supporter of their military here in Meridian. I'm going to miss that. I love being in a rural place, not the big city, with the trees and elevation and no traffic jams as far as I know. I'm really going to miss that."

Even though there has been a personnel change, Paquin says the mission remains the same, to produce top notch naval aviators.

"The mission of the squadron doesn't change all that much," Paquin said. "It's to produce aviators for the fleet. Se we'll be flying the same types of flights, doing the same things, and it's just a matter of different personnel coming in now and doing that mission."

Paquin's wife says he is passionate about what he does, and he will make a great commander.

"I think he's going to be a great squadron commander. He loves the Navy; he loves naval aviation," said Bonnie Paquin. "And he cares so much about his people. I think he'll make an awesome squadron commander."

VT 9 is one of the Navy's four strike jet training squadrons and one of the two squadrons located at NAS Meridian. The other two are located at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Tex.