Costello takes charge of Navy Wing

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE -- Capt. Brian Costello relieved Capt. Dan Seesholtz as Task Force 124 and Strategic Communications Wing ONE wing commander July 13 in a change of command ceremony in the Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron FOUR Hangar.
   As the new wing commander, Capt. Costello will preside over the overall operations of VQ's 3, 4 and 7, along with the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training within the Take Charge and Move Out facilities on Tinker Air Force Base.
   For Capt. Costello, the day was a day to celebrate with modesty, he said.
   "Let me just say that the view from up here is spectacular," Capt. Costello said in his comments after taking command. "I stand here today with a great deal of pride, and with even greater humility."
   The ceremony was especially important to the new commodore as he looked back over his 24 years of Naval service.
   "I really can't believe that I'm standing here today taking over as commodore," he said. "In fact, it doesn't seem like too long ago when I was trying to avoid getting anywhere near the commodore... Well, things have certainly changed."
   Capt. Costello, the 10th SCW-1 wing commander, took over command of the TACAMO community after spending more than a year and a half as the deputy wing commander under Capt. Seesholtz.
   From SCW-1, Capt. Seesholtz, who has passed through the TACAMO community four times in his career, decided to retire from Naval service after 26 years. During his remarks, the former commodore made sure everyone knew his Navy career did not go quite as he initially thought while he thanked everyone for their service during his time in command.
   "It's been a good ride," he said. "But it lasted about 20 years longer than I originally planned. I guess we never know what the good lord has in store for us. I thank everyone here for the opportunity to serve."
   And in his 26 years, Capt. Seesholtz dedicated many of them to serving the TACAMO community. And it is that community that will be his greatest Navy memory, he said.
   "This community will always hold a special place in my heart," he said. "Your professionalism and dedication to mission and country are awesome, and it has been an honor to serve with you."
   Capt. Seesholtz's many accomplishments, and the accomplishments of the TACAMO community in general, were the focal points of the comments from the guest speaker at the event, Rear Adm. David Philman. Adm. Philman is the deputy commander, Joint Functional Component Command for Global Strike and Integration for U.S. Strategic Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
   "Dan is a leader who puts his Sailors first," Adm. Philman said, "as can be seen by the two consecutive Pacific Fleet Sailors of the Year (then-Petty Officers 1st Class Matthew Waxenfelter and Dennis Simpson) won by this community in the past couple of years. I think we all have a better chance of winning the lottery than something like that happening again."
   Adm. Philman said that achievement, along with the many others of firsts the TACAMO community has seen in the last 19 months, were a result of Capt. Seesholtz' leadership.
   "Dan, your leadership has been instrumental in keeping Task Force 124 the powerful organization it is today," he said. "It is clear the forward-thinking leadership you employed has kept the team on the mark, resulting in continued success for the U.S. Navy, our military and this nation."
   Now that task falls to Capt. Costello, who believes that his approximately 1,500 Sailors and civilian personnel are up to the task of continuing excellence.
   "(The TACAMO Sailors') consistently superlative performance is awe-inspiring," he said. "Whether it's flying our amazing jets, maintaining them to ensure our readiness, or supporting missions from numerous other roles, they always get the job done. I will continue to ask much of you, and I know that you will continue to answer."
   With Capt. Costello now in charge of the wing, Capt. Dwight Shepherd stepped up into the role of deputy wing commander.