MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Marine Attack Squadron 223 underwent a change of command as Lt. Col. John K. Adams relinquished command of the squadron to Lt. Col. Thomas D. Gore during a ceremony at the squadron’s hangar Wednesday.
Adams departed to assume duties as the senior watch officer for 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) as it prepares to push out to Afghanistan. He said during his tenure as commanding officer of VMA-223, he learned the importance of humility and collaboration.
“Primarily, I’m humbled by the talent and intelligence of our Marines these days,” Adams said. “Second is synergy and how to put together a team. We have a lot of disparate parts to our squadron. I’ve learned how VMA-223 fits into the greater picture of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.”
Gore appeared ready to step into the role of commanding officer with his predecessor’s priorities in mind.
“As commanding officer, I’m being placed in a position of stewardship, not ownership,” Gore said. “My ultimate responsibility is to the missions in the U.S. and Afghanistan.”
Gore said he has four distinct goals for the squadron he now leads; lose no Marine or aircraft to any preventable or negligent tragedy, help measurably improve the II Marine Expeditionary Force’s ability to be successful in its counterinsurgency fight in Afghanistan, ensure Marines are fully trained and ready to execute the mission and take care of the Marines and their families.
Gore explained the foundation has been laid for VMA-223 to be able to focus and train the way it needs to accomplish and achieve his goals.
“We have an active and energetic plan of attack to position us to reach those four goals,” Gore said. “We fully intend to capitalize on the ground work laid here by Lieutenant Colonel Adams these last few years.”
Gore said that as the Marines in his squadron prepare for the fight in Afghanistan, they are mindful of the role aviation will assume in the fight.
“There is one paved road in the entire country of Afghanistan, and the enemy has advanced improvised explosive device capabilities,” Gore said. “Between the lack of mobility and the IED threat, the need for close air support is tremendously great.”
Adams said Gore was inheriting command of the best squadron in the 2nd MAW.
“We are one of the most storied squadrons in the Marine Corps,” Adams said. “We were born in WWII and fought in the Battle of Guadalcanal. No one here forgets that we have a legacy to live up to.”