Bittersweet day here in Maine. Commander, Patrol Wing Five hauled down his flag for the last time. This ends the era of US Navy Aviation in Maine, which stretched from WWII until today. At one time, the Command was in charge of the Naval Air Station, 6 squadrons of P-3 Orions, an ASW Operations Center, Flight simulators, mission simulators, and many support units.
Captain Hoke’s remarks follow:
Date: Tue, 30 Mar 2010 17:41:29 EDT
Today I have the honor of hauling down the CPRW-5 pennant for the final time as the 20th and last Commodore. I would be remiss of me if I did not highlight some of the command’s history and how it has touched nearly every maritime patrol aviator in our great Navy. From Wing FIVE’s origin in 1937 onboard the flagships USS Owl and seaplane-tenders USS Gannet and USS Goldsborough, through transitions ashore to Norfolk, Boca Chica, Patuxent River, and finally Brunswick, Wing FIVE has had one goal: to prepare squadrons to support and defend our national interests both abroad and off our own shores.
Wing Five squadron tail flashes have proudly adorned aircraft nicknamed Catalina, Marlin, Neptune, Orion and most recently, Global Hawk. Wing Five based aircrews have always strived to answer the call of duty, whether it be: Atlantic neutrality patrols; coastal ASW patrols after Pearl Harbor; Gulf Coast Frontier patrols; 38th parallel patrols; Cold War patrols from Keflavic to Rota/Lajes to Bermuda to the Caribbean; Cuban Missile Crisis surveillance patrols; Mercury and Gemini support; Vietnam patrols; Mediterranean patrols; Desert Shield and Storm; Yugoslavia/Kosovo; and finally, Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. Our squadron mates have operated from the North Pole to the most southern tip of South America.and on any given day, any latitude and longitude between the International Date Line and Greenwich Meridian.
Many of you have fond memories of cutting your teeth on anti-submarine patrols in the local warning areas and flying home marveling at the beautiful Maine coast. There was no better feeling than when driving by Fat Boy’s on Old Bath Road, seeing your squadron’s tail flash pass overhead on final approach.
On behalf of the last Sailors at CPRW-5, we salute all our squadron mates from units present and past (VP-8, VP-10, VP-11, VP-14, VP-15, VP-21, VP-23, VP-26, VP-44, VP-92, VPU-1, TSC Brunswick, FMP MOCC ALFA, FSU-5, NAVCOMTELDET, NCTAMSLANTDET, ASD and AIMD). The bonds of Sailors serving at Wing Five and in Brunswick, Maine have strongly influenced our maritime community and we hope it will remain an enduring legacy of excellence for many operations and missions to come.
Best wishes to all in the future as we haul down our pennant for the final time. It has been an honor to serve in this capacity and with so many phenomenal people. Fly safe and Godspeed. Wing Five….out.
Captain Jim Hoke
Commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing FIVE
Fair Winds & Following Seas, Shipmates!