Capt. Mark Murray has turned over command of Training Air Wing FIVE to Col. David Morris, USMC. Morris assumes command of the Navy’s largest training wing and has earned the title of commodore.
This tour culminates Murray’s 26 years of service.
Murray graduated from University at Buffalo in 1990. He was designated a Naval Aviator in September 1992. He reported to HSL-40 Airwolves at Naval Station Mayport, Fla. for initial training in the SH-60B Seahawk. His first operational assignment was with the HSL-44 Swamp Foxes at Naval Station Mayport, where he deployed to the Mediterranean Sea and Arabian Gulf in May 1994 as Detachment NINE’s Operations/Training Officer embarked in USS Thomas S. Gates (CG 51).
He deployed to the Arabian Gulf a second time in May 1996 as Detachment NINE’s Maintenance Officer embarked in USS Doyle (FFG 39). He concluded his tour with HSL-44 by serving as the squadron NATOPS officer. After returning to HSL-40 as an SH-60B Fleet Replacement Squadron instructor pilot he served as an aircraft division officer, quality assurance officer and squadron NATOPS officer.
In May of 2000 Murray was selected to be the flag lieutenant to the commander, Carrier Group SIX embarked in the USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67). His next assignments included; Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay and Training Air Wing FIVE, NAS Whiting Field.
The off-going commodore’s exemplary leadership of three T-6B Primary Flight Training squadrons, three TH-57B/C Advanced Rotary-Wing Training squadrons and two Instructor Training Units culminated in the execution of more than 129,800 sorties and 215,500 flight hours, delivering 1,160 graduates to advanced training and designating 861 Naval Aviators for the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and allied nations.
The Commander of the Chief of Naval Air Training’s largest Air Wing, he directed and coordinated the efforts of more than 2,000 officers, enlisted, civilian, and contract personnel, consistently and safely executing the primary mission of training future military leaders and combat aviators.
As the lead for CNATRA’s Primary and Rotary Task Groups, Murray was responsible for the production of more than 1,900 Primary Student Naval Aviators across five primary training squadrons and the winging 861 aviators through three Advanced Rotary-Wing training squadrons.
Morris completed four years of enlisted, active service in the United States Marine Corps in December 1989 and is a graduate of Fairmont State University (December 1992).
He was then commissioned through the Platoon Leadership Class (PLC) program in Marine Officer Candidate School and designated as a Naval Aviator in March 1996. He reported to VMGR-253, MCAS Cherry Point NC for initial KC-130 training. His first operational flying tour was to VMGR-252, MCAS Cherry Point, NC and after holding many positions, was reassigned to 2d MAW as the air transportation coordination officer.
In August of 2000, Morris reported to the Naval Flight Demonstration Squadron (The Blue Angels) to fly their C-130 aircraft known as Fat Albert. Other duty assignments after the Blue Angels include Camp Lejeune, NC, MCAS Cherry Pont once again, Marine Corps War College in Quantico and the Pentagon before heading to Training Air Wing FIVE.
Morris will now be responsible for an estimated 43 percent of the Chief of Naval Air Training Command's total flight time and over 14 percent of Navy and Marine Corps' flight time world-wide. Over 1,200 personnel each year complete their essential flight training through TRAWING-5.
Capt. Douglas Rosa will become the new deputy commodore of Training Air Wing FIVE at NAS Whiting Field.