Naval Air Weapons Station holds virtual change of command

Naval Air Weapons Station holds virtual change of commandCHINA LAKE – Capt. Jeremy “JV” Vaughan assumed command of Naval Air Weapons Station from Capt. Paul “Pud” Dale July 22 during a virtual change of command ceremony.

Navy Region Southwest Commander Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar presided over the ceremony via video teleconference due to the global pandemic and current social distancing requirements, in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention health and safety protocols.

“This is certainly a strange way to conduct a change of command but I would say, and I think you guys would agree, that these times have made us more flexible, more innovative and have tested our resilience,” said Bolivar. “So despite this distance between us right now I am certainly honored to preside over this change of command … one of the Navy’s most time honored traditions.”

During the ceremony Dale was recognized for his leadership and for the many accomplishments he led team China Lake in. He was commended for his response to the 6.4 M and 7.1 M earthquakes that rocked NAWS China Lake and the City of Ridgecrest in July 2019 and praised for his work in overseeing numerous airfield and installation safety and security infrastructure improvements.

“Pud, your accomplishments have truly reflected our mission to enable warfighter readiness. Everything that you have done has been directed at living up to and supporting that mission,” said Bolivar. “You have certainly led team China Lake through many challenges and successes!”

When asked about leaving NAWS China Lake, Dale, whose command began in December 2016, said he would miss the people most.

“It is time to bid adieu, and say farewell after my family’s presence at China Lake these past four years. We cherish the many friendships made along the way and are grateful for the opportunities to learn and mature over the past four years,” said Dale. “We thank you for the many positive memories and for being with us as we worked through life’s ups-and-downs. We are confident in a bright future for all those that call China Lake home.”

Vaughan comes to China Lake from Washington D.C., where he most recently served in the new Warfighting Development directorate on the Chief of Naval Operations staff. As the NAWS commanding officer, he will be responsible for installation operations, as well as supporting over 20 tenant commands and their missions.

“My family and I are excited to be a part of the greater China Lake team in support of the warfighter and defense of our nation,” said Vaughan.

The NAWS China Lake mission is to support the Navy’s research, testing and evaluation missions providing cutting-edge weapons systems to the warfighter.


The preceding was sent out this week at our request, with an accompanying note from NAWS public affairs that local media were inadvertently excluded from the announcement because of “what appears to be a technical glitch” in the installation’s email system. — Ed.

Pictured: NAWS China Lake’s new commanding officer Capt. Jeremy “JV” Vaughan

Story First Published: 2020-08-07