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NEWS | June 14, 2023

Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 55 Changes Command

By Ensign Drew Verbis, Naval Base Ventura County Public Affairs

Cmdr. Carlos Evans relieved Cmdr. Paul Parsoneault as the commanding officer of the "Minutemen" of Navy Reserve Squadron, Fleet Logistics Support Squadron (VR) 55, during a change of command ceremony held at the Seabee Museum aboard Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC), Port Hueneme, May 11, 2023.

VR-55, known as the “Minutemen” for their capability of being war-fighting ready in a minute’s notice, is the Navy’s only K/C-130 squadron on the Westcoast, based at Naval Air Station Point Mugu, NBVC. The unit was established on April 1, 1976, and consists of 246 active duty and Reserve Sailors.

Capt. Dan Pugh, commodore of Fleet Logistics Support Wing, was the presiding official and delivered remarks.

“The C-130 aircraft that VR-55 operates is uniquely designed to the support the Navy,” said Pugh. “From resupplying Seabee communities, to Christmas Day missions, to transport underwater repair equipment, to forward deployed guided missile destroyers, to delivering vital humanitarian supplies to Turkey post earthquake during humanitarian relief operations; there is not a part of the Navy that is not supported by the Minutemen.”

Parsoneault, a native of Middletown, Maryland, was presented with the Meritorious Service Medal, gold star in lieu of second award, for his exemplary service as commanding officer of VR-55 from March 2022 to May 2023.

“The squadron taught me many lessons: the importance of personal and organizational values, learning how to lead with my heart, and never backing down from an opportunity," said Parsoneault.

Parsoneault said leading from the heart requires vulnerability.

“Vulnerability is uncomfortable, but one of the most impactful ways to build trust,” said Parsoneault. “It’s humbling admitting when I was wrong, asking for critical feedback, and sharing stories of my own mistakes.”

Prior to command of VR-55, Parsoneault attended the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy at the National Defense University, Fort McNair, Washington D.C.

“Cmdr. Parsoneault and I routinely discussed how to build, grow, sustain, and spread a peoples first culture at VR-55,” said Evans. “We didn’t take the posture of reviving the glory days of old, or the mantra of 'if it ain’t broke - don’t fix it.' Rather, we set out to design a culture that is generative in nature and focused on building; that’s how we will continue our legacy.”

The change of command ceremony is a time-honored naval tradition which draws its origins from ancient customs and laws of the sea begun by early seafaring men and women. By custom, this ceremony must be formal and impressive as to strengthen the respect for authority and guarantee that “all hands” personally witness the official passing of command between officers who are duly authorized to assume control.

“I’m inspired by this team,” said Pugh. “I hope they inspire each of you here today to find your purpose, to be intentional, to make a meaningful impact and a lasting contribution to your respective community and our great country; Go Westcoast 'Hercs!'”

VR-55’s mission is to serve the warfighter and those they support by operating Navy Unique Fleet Essential Airlift aircraft providing responsive, flexible, and rapidly-deployable air logistics support required to sustain combat operations at sea.

NBVC is home to Point Mugu, Port Hueneme, San Nicolas Island, Laguna Peak, the Pacific Coast Seabees, the West Coast Hawkeyes, three warfare centers, and 80 tenants. It is the largest employer in Ventura County and actively protects California’s largest coastal wetlands through its award-winning environmental programs.