By Lt. Erik D Arstein and Lt. Ryan E Miller – Commander Task Force 67
Commander, Task Force (CTF) 67 held a change of command ceremony onboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Sigonella, July 28, 2020.
Capt. Tim Thompson relieved Capt. William Pennington Jr. as commander of CTF 67 and commander, Fleet Air Sigonella during a ceremony presided by Vice Adm. Gene Black, commander, U.S. 6th Fleet (C6F).
Black recognized Pennington’s accomplishments and presented him with a Legion of Merit.
"Commodore Pennington’s depth and breadth of knowledge are unsurpassed,” said Black. “He is an invaluable leader in the maritime patrol community and our Navy.”
Along with thanking Pennington for his hard work while in Sigonella, Black also expressed his excitement of having Thompson in the C6F area of operations.
"And to your relief, Capt. Tim Thompson, it is great to have you on the team,” said Black. “I know you will apply your vast experience and training as you command CTF 67."
Pennington’s outgoing speech highlighted the team’s accomplishments during his tenure. He also spoke about CTF 67’s continued high quality work and expectations for the future.
"The most impressive thing is how the team goes about their business," said Pennington. “This culture of excellence doesn’t just happen; it takes work.”
After Thompson assumed command, he thanked Pennington for his contributions to naval aviation and U.S. forces in Europe and Africa.
“I’m committed to continuing the momentum created by Commodore Pennington and setting the conditions for our deployed squadrons and aircrew to excel on station in support of Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and U.S. 6th Fleet,” said Thompson.
During his time in Sigonella, Pennington worked toward strengthening the C6F operational and partnership goals in Europe and Africa. Under his command, CTF 67 executed numerous operational missions including the first P-8A Poseidon aircraft detachments in Bulgaria, Finland, and Georgia. Along with supporting the U.S. European Command, CTF 67 also operated under U.S. Africa Command in countries such as Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Morocco, and Tunisia.
Additionally, P-8A aircraft took part in over 53 multi-national exercises, executed armed flight operations, and conducted aerial re-fueling throughout the region in support of allies and partners.
Pennington’s next assignment will be to the Pentagon, where he will work on the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations’ staff.
CTF 67 is responsible for command and tactical control of deployed maritime patrol and reconnaissance squadrons throughout the European and African areas of responsibility.
For more news from Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, visit www.c6f.navy.mil.