NAS MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - It was a big day at NAS Meridian Friday as there was an official change in leadership. A new Commanding Officer officially took charge of VT7 Squadron, part of the pilot training wing.
Commander Michael Poe relieved Commander Steven Vitrella, who has served as the squadron's leader for the past 18 months. During his career so far, Commander Poe has had a variety of aviation roles and was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
Commander Poe already knows the squadron well, as he's been serving as the Executive Officer there. Poe says he hopes to continue Commander Vitrella's good work.
"For me, this is a career pinnacle event, to take over a squadron. For the squadron, really there's no big change. We're going to continue to put the best pilots we can out to the fleet for the United States Navy and our French counterpart," says Poe.
Commander Vitrella is moving to San Diego, where he will be the air boss on board the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
"I think right now it's going to hit me pretty good because it's been full throttle until right now and all of a sudden, complete responsibility has gone and transferred to Commander Poe. And so finally, I get to relax and just breathe, " says Vitrella.