The changing of the guard

NAWS holds change of command, city and state swear in new elected officials

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

The changing of the guardUncannily synchronized timing saw many high-level changes in leadership this week for those living in the Indian Wells Valley.

On Wednesday afternoon, Rear Adm. Yancy Lindsey, commander of Navy Region Southwest, was on hand for the change of command at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, where Capt. Rich “Coyote” Wiley passed the mantle to Capt. Paul Dale.

Dale, hailing from Minneapolis, Minn., comes to China Lake after completing a three-year assignment as the N6/Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapons School Department Head at the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center in Fallon, Nev.

He noted that his glimpse into the workings at NAWS has led him to the conclusion that “China Lake is an anvil forging capabilities that enable kill chains to empower trained warfighters to deter, or if need be, go into harm’s way with an advantage.”

Dale acknowledged the many facets that collaborate to support the mission. “Further and fortunately, the anvil’s surroundings consist of a historic as well as continued phenomenal and supportive community,” he said.

“Why do I say all this? Well, to express why I’m so honored and excited to receive the torch from an icon such as Capt. Wiley, and have the opportunity to lead the team that generates a safe and secure environment for the exceptionally dedicated and talented expertise that lives and works on the base.”

That evening, City Clerk Ricca Charlon administered the office to newly elected members of the Ridgecrest City Council, Lindsey Stephens and Wallace Martin. Taking the oath alongside them was Peggy Breeden, who will continue to serve another term as Ridgecrest Mayor.

In Sacramento, Vince Fong was sworn in as the new Assemblymember for the 34th District of California (see related story: State Sen. Jean Fuller was also sworn in, having won another term in the upper house of state legislature.

Pictured: At left, Capt. Paul Dale reads his orders during the change of command ceremony for Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. Also on hand were departing commanding officer Capt. Rich Wiley (left) and Navy Region Southwest Commander Rear Adm. Yancy Lindsey. -- Photos by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2016-12-09