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    VP-46 Change of Command Article

    VP-46 Change of Command

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Austin Ingram | During the ceremony, Cmdr. Clay Waddill relieves Cmdr. James Samman as commanding...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    Patrol Squadron 46

    By: Lt j.g. Aaron Godeaux, Patrol Squadron (VP) 46 Public Affairs

    OAK HARBOR, Wash. -- Cmdr. Clay Waddill became the 85th commanding officer of Patrol
    Squadron (VP) 46 when he relieved Cmdr. James Samman during a change of command
    ceremony on Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island June 5.
    The ceremony marked the end of a tremendously successful tour for Samman, who led the
    “Grey Knights” through a seamless transition from the P-3C Orion to the P-8A Poseidon aircraft
    in preparation for the squadron’s first P-8A deployment this fall. As part of this transition,
    Samman oversaw the squadron’s relocation to NAS Jacksonville for two months as the “Grey
    Knights” received intensive training from Patrol Squadron (VP) 30, the Navy’s Maritime Patrol
    Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS).
    Samman enlisted in the U.S. Navy as an Electrician’s Mate in 1995 prior to being selected for
    the Enlisted Commissioning Program. He graduated from North Carolina State University in
    2002 and was designated a Naval Aviator in October 2004.
    Samman began his operational flying career with the “Tridents” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 26.
    Subsequent tours include a FRS Instructor Pilot tour at the “Pro’s Nest” of VP-30, department
    head tour with the “Golden Swordsmen” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 47 and multiple staff tours.
    In his parting words as commanding officer, Samman praised the Grey Knights for their
    professionalism during his tenure.
    “It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve as your CO for the past year,” Samman said. “Last
    June, as I stood [at the podium], I spoke of transformation, a transformation the squadron would
    undergo as it transitioned from the venerable P-3 Orion and began to operate in the new P-8
    Poseidon…In true Grey Knight fashion, you rose to the occasion and excelled.”
    Samman will report to the National War College in Washington, D.C., and he leaves VP-46 with
    over 2600 career flight hours.
    Waddill, a native of Vero Beach, Florida, is a 1997 graduate of Florida State University. He was
    commissioned through the Officer Candidate School Program at NAS Pensacola in March 2002,
    and earned his Naval Flight Officer Wings in August 2003.
    After earning his wings of gold, Waddill reported to the “Scouts” of Sea Control Squadron (VS)
    24 in 2004, flying the S-3B Viking. Following an Individual Augmentation tour with Joint Crew
    Composite Squadron ONE (JCCS-1), Waddill transitioned to the P-3C and was assigned to the
    “Pelicans” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 45. Like Samman, Waddill then served tours as an instructor

    at VP-30, department head at VP-47 and on the Joint Staff, J3 Directorate. He has accumulated
    over 2700 flight hours.
    “I’m excited for the opportunity to lead ‘The Oldest and Best’ on their first P-8 deployment” an
    enthusiastic Waddill said. “It’s a great honor, and I feel blessed to lead the greatest Maritime
    Patrol and Reconnaissance squadron in the United States Navy.”
    Cmdr. Joseph Snyder will be joining VP-46 as the squadron Executive Officer.
    The “Grey Knights”, the oldest Maritime Patrol squadron in the U.S. Navy, are currently
    preparing for a deployment to the 6th Fleet Area of Responsibility.



    Date Taken: 06.09.2020
    Date Posted: 06.09.2020 12:47
    Story ID: 371751
    Location: OAK HARBOR, WA, US 

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