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2013 In Review: Change Of Command At NAS Pensacola

Ben Twingley

Naval Air Station Pensacola named its 56th commanding officer in 2013. The changeover came at a traditional Navy ceremony in March at the Museum of Naval Aviation.

Captain Keith Hoskins is the first African-American and first former Blue Angel to command the base known as “The Cradle of Naval Aviation.” He succeeded Captain Christopher Plummer, who had been NAS Pensacola since April, 2010.

As the CO, Plummer oversaw a number of significant events -- including the BP oil spill, Hurricane Isaac, and Naval Aviation’s centennial. After the ceremony, he said leaving Pensacola was bittersweet.

“You know, you work so hard for so long and with so much energy and emotional investment in something, it’s almost like your kids,” said Plummer. “But, it’s part of Navy tradition, it’s an outstanding tradition, to revitalize and keep things moving forward.

One of the traditions attached to a change of command is the striking of bells during the arrival of the official party. Those were the four bells each for Capt. Plummer and Capt. Hoskins; six bells were sounded for the guest speaker -- Rear Admiral John Scorby, Navy Region Southeast Commander.

In his remarks, Scorby referred to Plummer and Hoskins by their aviator call signs -- “Plum-Bob” and “Judge,” respectively. With Plummer’s tenure at an end, Scorby said he had the utmost confidence in the new commanding officer.

“You don’t get this job by seniority, but by a proven record of excellence,” said Scorby. “And if you read Judge’s bio, it is clear that he has been given some of the toughest assignments and performed brilliantly in all of them.”

As for Capt. Chris Plummer, he was re-assigned as Chief of Staff at Commander Navy Region South West in San Diego, CA.