Changes of command happen all over the military all the time and usually one isn't really all that different from another.When Captain Tom "Trim" Downing took over command of Carrier Airwing 11, based on board USS Nimitz on August 1, though, the "on board" became "airborne" as the change of command with outgoing CAG Captain David Woods occurred in two F/A-18 Hornets passing overhead the ship.Airborne changes of command are not that rare in the Navy. It provides a nice alternative to the staid, formal and at times stuffy standing in ranks. I don't know if there is an Army equivalent (a couple of main battle tanks in formation?) to naval aviation's airborne change of command, but again it is a nice alternative to have in this time-honored passing of the leadership torch. The fact that we're at war, as well, kind of calls for a no-nonsense approach to this ceremony. Nimitz is currently deployed to the western Pacific and the Arabian Gulf, as well, so being on the pointy-tip of the spear calls for pointy-tip actions.PACIFIC OCEAN (JULY 31, 2007) - Capt. Michael Manazir, commanding officer of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68), Capt. David Woods, former Commander, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, and Capt. Thomas Downing, commander CVW-11, fly by the Nimitz in a F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornets during an airborne change of command ceremony for CVW-11. The Nimitz Strike Group and embarked Carrier Air Wing 11 are deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet. U.S. Navy photo by Lt. Cmdr. Brian Knoll (RELEASED)Trim was a squadron mate of mine back in our VF-14 Tophatter days. I've only seen him a couple of times in the years since we left that first Tomcat duty, but he's gone on to commanded VFA-136, led strikes into Afghanistan and has been Deputy Commander of CAG 11 since July of 2006.The Navy News article on the CoC is here. More pics over at the Instapinch.Congrats, Trim!--Pinch Paisley
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