VAQ-133 Conducts Airborne Change of Command
The Wizards of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 133 executed an airborne change of command two hundred feet above the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) Aug. 9 as Cmdr. Darren B. Wilkins was relieved by Cmdr. Blake J. Tornga as commanding officer.
Revitalizing a time-honored naval tradition, the light division of three EA-18G Growlers performed two fly-bys while a flight deck full of Wizard Sailors and other spectators watched.
Wilkins’s next assignment will be as USS Harry S. Truman’s (CVN-75) air boss.
It is fitting that Stennis’ Air Boss, Cmdr. Jeffery Glaser played a role in the airborne change of command, authorizing the fly-by that turned over the reins to Tornga, the new Wizard One.
Tornga, a 25-year veteran enlisted in the Navy in 1990 as an aviation electronics technician and enlisted aircrewman, before earning a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship to attend the University of Nebraska. He was commissioned an ensign in 1996 and earned Naval Flight Officer Wings in 1998. He completed training as electronic counter measures officer in the Prowler in 1999 at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington.
Tornga’s assignments include a junior officer tour with the VAQ-136 Gauntlets, instructor tour at Electronic Weapons School, training officer of the VAQ-134 Garudas, College of Naval Command and Staff at the U.S. Navy War College, maintenance officer of the VAQ-135 Black Ravens, and staff officer at United States European Command in Stuttgart, Germany.
Image: US Navy