Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point --
Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 3, also known as the Moondogs, is deploying in the near future, but will do so under new management.
Lt. Col. Dominic Roberts, former commanding officer of VMAQ-3, relinquished his duties to Lt. Col. Kirk Nothelfer, at a change of command ceremony at VMAQ-3 hangar, June 10.
The guest speaker for the change of command ceremony was Col. Russell A. Sanborn, commanding officer for Marine Aircraft Group 14.
“As a commanding officer, Lt. Col. Nothelfer will have to assess his new unit,” said Maj. Gen. James F. Flock, commanding general for 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. “He will have to review the unit’s readiness and prepare for what his unit has coming in the next few months.”
According to Roberts’ biography, while acting as the commanding officer for VMAQ-3, he led the squadron to Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., in support of Weapons and Tactics Instructor course, and then to Al-Asad Air Base, Iraq to support Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Maj. David Anderson, former executive officer for VMAQ-3, said the professional respect and friendship between Roberts and Sgt. Maj. Eugene N. Lawson, sergeant major for VMAQ-3, is the best relationship between a sergeant major and a commanding officer he has ever seen.
“Roberts’ number one support and supervisor was Lawson,” said Anderson. “If he had an idea and wanted someone’s opinion, he went to the sergeant major.”
With VMAQ-3 under the command of 2nd MAW, Flock has high expectations, as he does with all his squadrons.
“I expect Lt. Col. Nothelfer to lead his unit to success,” said Flock. “If there are no differences between the needs of his unit for the future deployments and the unit’s readiness, then I expect him to maintain readiness and to keep morale high.”
According to Anderson, Nothelfer will make a great commanding officer for the Moondogs.
“Lt. Col. Nothelfer is one of the smartest, most capable men I’ve ever served with in my career,” said Anderson. “The biggest challenge I foresee for him will be getting his unit ready for the upcoming deployment.”