Story by PO2 Juan Sua on 06/27/2019OAK HARBOR, Wash. Cmdr. Wayne Lewis relieved Cmdr. Christopher Purcell as commanding officer of Patrol Squadron (VP) 4 during a change of command ceremony at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI), June 20.
Purcell served as the VP-4 commander since May 2018, providing exemplary leadership for the first West Coast P-8 deployment to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operation where VP-4 earned the distinguished Battle Excellence award for their efforts.
This accomplishment, among various others were expressed with gratitude during the reading of the Meritorious Service Medal citation presented by Capt. Kevin Long, commander of Patrol and Reconnaissance (CPRW) 10.
After the presentation, Purcell approached the podium and gave his final remarks as the commanding officer of VP-4.
"It has been my goal to create a culture where every Sailor is a leader, who leads in whatever they do, so that when necessary, VP-4 is ready to lead the fight. "
Purcell then acknowledged the support of his family and went on to congratulate Lewis as the incoming commanding officer of VP-4.
"It has been an honor to work with you this past year. You truly care about the success of each and every Skinny Dragon; I can't wait to see what this squadron achieves under your leadership."
Purcell then turned his attention to the entire squadron and acknowledged all of their hard work.
"Skinny Dragons, you have inspired me. You have made me proud and given me plenty of things to brag about. You have accomplished more than I thought was ever possible and continue to shape the future of this squadron."
The ceremony advanced to the reading of orders where Lewis officially relieved Purcell as the commanding officer of VP-4. Following the reading of official orders, Lewis' wife, Marcella Lewis, pinned the Command at Sea insignia on his uniform.
Lewis then approached the podium and spoke as the new commanding officer of VP-4.
"To the men and women of VP-4, in the months to come, we'll have to opportunity to deploy to EUCOM together, to stand the watch once more. I will expect your preparedness and effort on station reflect pride and attention to detail. Lean forward, lean boldly and continue to hold fast to our ideals of family, leadership and integrity."