McFarland takes command at VX-31

U.S. Navy photo by Dan O’Connor

McFarland takes command at VX-31Cmdr. Andrew “Face” McFarland (right) relieves Col. Andre “Merk” Mercier as commanding officer of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron VX-31 at China Lake. “Face, you have some big shoes to fill,” said guest speaker Rear Adm. Paul Sohl, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division commander. “I have no doubt that VX-31 is transitioning into very capable hands; you are ready to take command.” Speaking to the squadron, McFarland, a native of Aurora, Ill., said, “I know that the test and evaluation and search and rescue missions that we do cannot be done without first taking care of each and every member of VX-31. Your well-being is absolutely critical and the most important thing on my list of responsibilities as your skipper. I will continue to enable and empower you all to do your jobs well so we can remain on the path that Merk has set us on.” Mercier will remain at NAWS China Lake temporarily while awaiting orders.

Story First Published: 2013-02-06