Bahlau to turn command of NAS Whiting Field over to Bowdich

Published on December 14, 2017 with No Comments

Naval Air Station Whiting Field will observe a time-honored Navy tradition Monday, Dec. 18 at the Clyde E. Lassen Auditorium at 2 p.m. when command of the air station will pass from one officer to another.

Capt. Paul Bowdich

Capt. Paul Bowdich will accept command of NAS Whiting Field from Capt. Todd Bahlau following Bahlau’s three year tour at the helm. The change of command ceremony is a Navy tradition that enables the two officers to formally exchange duties in front of the assembled military and civilian staff. It is also a time to recognize the accomplishments of the outgoing “Skipper” in front of his family and friends.

Bahlau’s leadership of the installation has had a large impact to support the aviation training mission of Training Air Wing FIVE. Under his guidance, NAS Whiting Field provided air traffic control, emergency fire and rescue services, and runway and grounds maintenance to more than 13,000 acres of property and 4,500 nautical square miles of airspace, supporting the safe execution of 415,239 aircraft flight hours, and four million flight evolutions, as well as classroom and simulator training/support for 3,945 student naval aviators. Productivity at the fourteen airfields under Bahlau’s direct control supported Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and allied forces operations, equating to 65 percent of the entire Chief of Naval Aviation Training (CNATRA) annual flight curriculum and accounted for 11 percent of the Department of Defense’s annual flight hours. Under his leadership, NAS Whiting Field was honored with 50 higher headquarter awards, to include CNIC and Association of Defense Communities Installation Excellence Awards, CNO Retention and Environmental awards, and the USS Brainbridge (CGN 25) Navy Community Service Overall Excellence Award.

Capt. Todd Bahlau

NAS Whiting Field will be one of the last duty stations in Bahlau’s career as he will move on to his last assignment with Miami University ROTC Unit in Oxford, Ohio. Previous commands include: the “Grandmasters” of Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light 46 (HSL-46), the “Airwolves” of HSL-40, Cruiser-Destroyer Group 12 (CCDG-12), Chief of Naval Personnel in Washington, D.C., USCENTCOM, the “Dragons” of the 33rd Flying Training Squadron at Vance AFB, Headquarters International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) Kabul, Afghanistan, and United States Strategic Command at Offutt AFB, Nebraska.
Bowdich will become the installation’s 42nd commanding officer, and brings a wealth of experience as an aviator. A native of Berkley, Michigan, he is a 1994 graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point, New York and designated a Naval aviator in April 1997.

Bowdich’s first operational assignment was with the Fleet Angels of HC-2 with two deployments to Manama, Bahrain, following this assignment he completed detachments with Commander Second Fleet onboard the USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) and the USS Enterprise (CVN 65). Other assignments include; Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC-2) with detachments to the USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) for Operation Strong Resolve where he flew with NAS Oceana SAR, NAS Pensacola SAR and NAS Key West SAR, USS Ogden (LPD 5) San Diego, California, Air Boss during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, the Merlins of HSC-3 and a deployment to Barking Sands, Hawaii. Bowdich reported to the Naval War College to earn a Masters of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies. He reported to the Coalition Coordination Center (J5-CCC) U.S. Central command, following this assignment he reported to Training Air Wing FIVE as executive officer of Helicopter Training Squadron EIGHT to become commanding officer from December 2011 until April 2013. Bowdich then reported to the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVJN 71) with a deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. His last assignment prior to taking over command with NAS Whiting Field was to Naval Education and Training Command, Pensacola Fla.
Commander Navy Region Southeast Rear Adm. Bette Bolivar will serve as the guest speaker for the change of command.

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