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Sun, Feb 26, 2017

VFA-213 'Fighting Blacklions' Holds Airborne Change Of Command

Ceremony Conducted Aboard The USS George H.W. Bush

The "Fighting Blacklions" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 213 held an airborne change of command ceremony while stationed aboard aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), Feb. 22.

Cmdr. Kevin E. Robb relieved Cmdr. Douglas M. Langenberg as the commanding officer of VFA-213 during the ceremony.

Langenberg joined VFA-213 as executive officer August 2014, and served as commanding officer November 2015-February 2016.

Under Langenberg's leadership, the Blacklions completed over 3,750 sorties totaling more than 4,500 flight hours and employed an excess of 25 tons of ordnance.

Langenberg guided the squadron through a demanding, operationalized Optimized Fleet Response Plan work-up cycle and the first month of a combat deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR).

The Blacklions boasted a 98 percent sortie completion rate during his tenure, during which he was selected as a U.S. Fleet Forces Command finalist for the 2016 James Bond Stockdale Leadership Award.

Langenberg amassed over 2,400 flight hours and over 400 carrier-arrested landings in the F-14 Tomcat and the F/A-18F Super Hornet. His decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, as well as various unit, campaign, and service awards.

Robb, the new commanding officer, is a native from Syracuse, New York, and 1998 graduate of the United States Naval Academy.

Prior to joining VFA-213, Robb attended the Naval War College and was then assigned to the Joint Staff, J-7, Joint Training Directorate.

Robb also served with VF-101 flying the F-14 Tomcat, VF-211, VFA-122 where he transitioned to the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 as carrier air group landing safety officer, and VFA-31. These tours included multiple deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn.

Robb reported to the Blacklions as executive officer November 2015. He has accumulated over 2,800 flight hours and over 500 carrier-arrested landings.

Cmdr. Patrick T. Baker has assumed the duties of executive officer of VFA-213.

VFA-213 is responsible for maintaining a combat-ready squadron of 12 F/A-18F Super Hornets and over 250 aircrew and maintainers.

The Blacklions are currently conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. Navy's 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation as part of the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (GHWBCSG).

GHWBCSG is comprised of the staff of CSG-2; George H.W. Bush; the nine squadrons and staff of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 8; Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 22 staff, guided-missile destroyers USS Laboon (DDG 58) and USS Truxtun (DDG 103), and Danish guided-missile frigate HDMS Peter Willemoes (F 362); and Mayport-based guided-missile cruisers USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) and USS Hue City (CG 66).

(Image provided with U.S. Navy news release)

FMI: www.navy.mil

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