News: VMR-1 welcomes new commander
Story by Lance Cpl. Cory D. Polom
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. -- Marines with Marine Transport Squadron 1 said goodbye to Lt. Col. Wayne M. Bunker as he passed on the command to Lt. Col. Edward T. Lang in a change of command ceremony held in the Roadrunners’ hangar, Feb. 18.
“It is bittersweet,” said Bunker. “This might be the last time I fly an aircraft. Although I am proud to go back to school to better myself, it is going to be tough to get back into the books.”
Bunker will be leaving VMR-1 and head to the Army War College in Pennsylvania.
“I will miss the true professionals that make up VMR-1,” said Bunker. “Everyone from the pilots to the guys in our shops, they are the heart and soul of the Roadrunners and it is because of them that we have been so successful.”
Lang will be looking for the professionalism to continue as he assumes control of VMR-1.
“My biggest expectation for the Marines and sailors of VMR-1 is to continue being as professional as they have been,” said Lang. “They have earned many awards over the years and it will continue to happen.”
Lang said he expects for the search and rescue team to continue providing professional service to the air station and the surrounding communities.
“What Pedro does is one of the most amazing things and it saves lives,” said Bunker. “When I first took over as the CO for this command, I wanted to see firsthand how this part of the unit functioned. I went out about two miles off of the coast and then had someone call the squadron to release the SAR team. They were there on time and knew what they were doing the moment they were on scene.”
Bunker said Pedro not only saved more than 100 lives since he took over VMR-1 in 2009, but the HH-46 teams have generated a lot of community support and demonstrated their skills over and over again.
“VMR-1 has a long and healthy history of supporting not only 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing but Headquarters Marine Corps itself,” said Lang. “The C-9B and the UC-35D are always flying around escorting people with a range of jobs to all locations around the world.”
Lang said he looks forward to the challenges that come with being a commanding officer.
“I look forward to having the opportunity to lead Marines,” said Lang. “Marines are one our nation’s greatest treasures and it is truly humbling to be here taking over such a wonderful squadron. I look forward to the few years leading the Marines of VMR-1 to great things just as the previous CO has done. The Marines with this squadron are true professionals day in and day out and I expect nothing less.”