News: Werewolves welcome new CO
Story by Sgt. Marcy Sanchez
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. - Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 122, also known as The Werewolves, held a change of command ceremony where Lt. Col. Wade Wiegel relinquished command of the squadron to Lt. Col. Douglas DeWolfe aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, July 25.
Wiegel took command of the squadron June 2011 and has led the squadron in 13 training exercises including Weapons and Tactics Instructor training and Mojave Viper as well as a full squadron deployment to the Pacific in support of the Unit Deployment Program.
The change of command came only a week after Wiegel returned from the six-month deployment in support of UDP and will allow Wiegel to advance in his career by attending the Naval War College at Newport, R.I.
“He’s been a great commander to work with, he’s drove the squadron hard to be at the readiness level that it’s at,” said Sgt. Maj. James Hagle, VMFA-122’s squadron sergeant major. “He’s very diligent and holds Marines accountable for their action and inactions.”
Weigel, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, entered the Marine Corps in 1997 and has served with multiple MCAS Beaufort squadrons in a variety of billets. Weigel also served as the Joint Strike Fighter transition plans officer at the Pentagon assisting in preparing the transition from the F/A-18 Hornet to the F-35 Lightning II.
During the ceremony, Col. William Lieblein, the commanding officer of Marine Aircraft Group 31, commended Weigel for his command of the squadron citing Weigel’s performance when he first took command and was faced with an aircraft shortage right before a deployment but still maintaining the focus and drive of the Werewolves.
“The credit falls on the shoulders of the Marines, sailors and civilians of [VMFA-122],” said Weigel, addressing the Marines of VMFA-122. “I know you have more than filled the shoes of those that have gone before you, I’m incredibly proud of every single one of you.”
DeWolfe, a native of Defiance, Ohio, is taking command of The Werewolves after acting as the MAG-31 operations officer since July 2012.
“You’re getting a squadron that has the habit of being excellent,” said Weigel, as he addressed DeWolfe. “You got the best bash of professionals I have ever had the luck to serve with and command.”