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Cmdr. Bryan Mills relieves Cmdr. Troy Nichols as Commanding Officer, TACRON-11

Release Date: 6/16/2009 9:00:00AM

By Intelligence Specialist 2nd Class (SW/AW) Tammy Alexander, TACRON 11 Public Affairs Officer

CORONADO, CA--- Tactical Air Control Squadron (TACRON) 11 held a two part change of command ceremony on June 1 when Cmdr. Bryan Mills relieved Cmdr. Troy M. Nichols as Commanding Officer.

During the first part of the ceremony, Cmdr. Nichols addressed the squadron. Like many Sailors who arrive at TACRON-11, Cmdr. Nichols was not familiar with the squadron mission. As Executive Officer, he quickly learned and completed one deployment on board USS Tarawa in 2007. During the address, he admitted “This has been one of my most challenging tours because when I came in here I didn’t know anything about TACRON.” He went on to say how important it was to seek the advice of more knowledgeable people, no matter what their rank or title.

Cmdr. Nichols also stressed the four steps of good leadership. The first step, he says, is to step up and accept it. Once you do that, you’re 70 percent ahead of everyone else. Secondly, is to build credibility by demonstrating knowledge, aptitude, and willingness to learn. Thirdly is to know your crew so tasks can be assigned appropriately. Last, but not least, is to know yourself. Know what you can and can not do, and ask for help when you need it.

For the second part of the ceremony, Cmdr. Nichols was scheduled to turn over the command via video-teleconference in the same way it was turned over to him thirteen months ago. Commodore Tactical Air Control Group 1 Capt. CJ Kalb said “This is a little bit unorthodox. Skipper Nichols is going to go down in history as the first guy, and maybe the only guy, doing his change of command, by VTC both incoming and outgoing.” Technical difficulties, however, required the turnover to be conducted via telephone instead.

Cmdr. Mills sent a word of thanks to Cmdr. Nichols prior to the change of command. He said “I would like to thank Cmdr. Nichols for his leadership, inspiration and friendship that he has provided to each of us during his tour as Commanding Officer.” He went on to tell the squadron “It is with great pride that I have the opportunity to assume command and continue to work alongside the great men and women of TACRON-11. It is an exciting time for the TACRON community and the deploying ARG/MEU teams. The employment of new platforms, such as the V-22 Osprey and the San Antonio Class LPDs, as well as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and the Joint Strike Fighter on the horizon, provide enhanced war fighting capabilities to the ARG/MEU Commanders. TACRON-11 will continue to lean forward to meet these new capabilities, ensuring our Sailors and Marines are properly trained and equipped to provide air expertise to the ARG Commander and safe and effective air control to the aircrew.”

TACRON 11 detachments deploy throughout the Pacific Fleet, providing centralized planning, control, and integration of all air operations in support of amphibious operations, training exercises and transits. One detachment is currently deployed on board USS Boxer in the 5th Fleet area of operations.

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