Story by LT Michelle Tucker on 07/26/2019Rear Adm. Gregory "Hyfi" Harris relinquished command as Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA) to Rear Adm. Daniel "Dozer" Dwyer during a ceremony aboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Corpus Christi, July 26.
The aerial change of command took place with both Dwyer and Harris flying in T-45C Goshawk jet aircraft from Training Air Wing 2 in Kingsville, Texas.
Harris and Dwyer read their orders and Dwyer's aircraft moved ahead of Harris' to take lead of the formation, signifying his assumption of command. Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Vice Adm. John Alexander, who flew with Harris, welcomed Dwyer aboard while colleagues, friends, and family listened to the exchange from the ground. Alexander also served as guest speaker during the ground ceremony afterward.
Harris is a native of Yarmouth, Maine, and has been in command as CNATRA since July 2018. He is an F/A-18 pilot with more than 4,200 flight hours, 1,045 arrested landings, and has flown more than 100 combat missions in support of Operations Desert Shield, Desert Storm, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom. Harris will move on to his next position in Washington, D.C. as director, Air Warfare, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (OPNAV N98).
"It has been an honor and privilege to work with the professionals here at CNATRA," Harris said. "I never cease to be amazed by your dedication and perseverance, despite the obstacles we've had to overcome. I remain grateful for your efforts to produce the finest Naval Aviators, Naval Flight Officers, and Naval Aircrewmen the world has ever seen. I wish you all the best in your pursuit of this important mission."
Dwyer, a native of Alameda, California, takes over as CNATRA following his command of Carrier Strike Group 9, which consists of more than 7,000 Sailors across nine ships including USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), six guided-missile destroyers of Destroyer Squadron 23, and 80 aircraft of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11.
"I am very honored to serve as our Navy's Chief of Naval Air Training," Dwyer said. "I look forward to the challenges ahead, working with the nearly 7,000 dedicated professionals that make up CNATRA. We are Naval Aviation."
CNATRA, headquartered in Corpus Christi, trains the world's finest combat quality aviation professionals, delivering them at the right time, in the right numbers, and at the right cost to a naval force that is where it matters, when it matters.