MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Lt. Col. Bartt G. Greene assumed command of Marine Attack Training Squadron 203 from Lt. Col. Craig C. Wirth during a ceremony at the squadron’s hangar aboard the air station March 28.
Wirth will move on to attend the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy, formerly the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
The outgoing commanding officer said he values the time he spent with his Marines and during his time with the squadron, he was touched by their constant dedication to duty.
“These Marines are a group of professionals dedicated to common goals greater than self,” Wirth said. “Seeing that commitment and professionalism is what has stayed with me the most.”
The squadron’s mission is to produce fully trained and qualified AV-8B Harrier pilots. That is a significant contribution to 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing that often goes unsung, said Wirth.
Wirth said he handed over the squadron reigns with complete confidence in Greene’s abilities.
“He doesn’t need any advice on how to fill this role,” Wirth said. “He is the perfect guy for this because his career path has prepared him for this job.”
Prior to joining the “Hawks,” Greene was the Marine Aircraft Group 13 executive officer. Greene began working with VMAT-203 in fall and says he has learned a lot since joining the team.
“During my time here, I’ve been going through the instructor syllabus getting a feel for how the squadron operates because I’ve gone through here as a student but never as an instructor,” he said. “Because this is a training squadron, it runs differently versus other attack squadrons. I was fortunate to have the rare opportunity to learn as much as I can from the instructor perspective before assuming command,” he said.
The squadron houses 16 TAV-8B Harriers, 14 AV-8B Harriers and is home to 23 instructors who train approximately 30 replacement pilots every year.
“The instructor pilots, the replacement pilots, and the maintainers here really put out a lot,” said Greene. “They handle the hectic flight schedules which is almost double the amount other squadrons fly on a daily basis. The things they do are impressive.”
Greene said the looks forward to commanding the Hawks.
“This is an exciting opportunity,” he said. “I’m both honored and humbled to be the new commanding officer.”
In the future, the squadron plans to implement a longer syllabus, providing an opportunity to impart more tactical knowledge.
“I hope to continue the success the prior CO’s have established,” said Greene.