JONES, Okla. - A Navy sailor from a small Oklahoma town is now in charge of a helicopter combat wing.
Captain Ben Reynolds, from Jones, Oklahoma, took over as commander of the Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Pacific on March 3, the U.S. Navy reports.
Reynolds will now be responsible for overseeing the operation of 10 helicopter sea combat (HSC) squadrons, a fleet replacement squadron, an HSC wing weapons and tactics school, and a vertical takeoff and land tactical unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) detachment.
The commander of the Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Pacific manages the administrative, operational, and training requirements of more than 3,700 military personnel, and maintenance requirements for more than 150 aircraft, to provide operational commanders with combat-ready HSC forces.
Capt. Reynolds previously served as the Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Pacific deputy commodore.
He was commissioned at the U.S. Naval Academy in 1992.
The U.S. Navy says Capt. Reynolds designated a naval aviator in 1994.
His previous operational assignments include Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 6, deploying twice in support of Balkans and African operations; HSC-26 where he participated in Haiti relief operations; and HSC-25 where he was a commanding officer, deploying twice to Iraq.
Capt. Reynolds relieved Capt. Larry Vincent as commander of the Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Pacific on March 3.
According to the U.S. Navy, Capt. Vincent commanded the HSC Wing Pacific since August 2014.
Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, commander, Naval Air Forces welcomed Capt. Reynolds by saying, "You are a proven leader, and I have complete trust and confidence in your abilities. Your remarkable vision, credible warrior ethos, and selfless commitment to excellence and teamwork, make you the perfect choice to build upon Vincent's legacy, and put your personal touch on this community's future."
Capt. Reynolds thanked Capt. Vincent for his visionary leadership and expressed his intention to continue the former commander's vision.
"To my friend and mentor, you have been truly transformational, and I have big shoes to fill," Capt. Reynolds said. "We must continue to demonstrate predictable, tactical excellence in what we do... every time, without fail,"