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PHILIPPINE SEA - Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5 conducted a change of command aboard the Navy’s forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Aug. 2.
Capt. Michael Rovenolt relieved Capt. Forrest Young during an in-flight ceremony over the Nimitz-class carrier.
Young expressed his confidence in Rovenolt’s qualities as the air wing’s head going forward.
“A CAG should fundamentally be an aviator who understands what it takes to send a variety of different aircraft down range to deliver effects for our nation’s bidding,” said Young. “You need leaders who have life experiences, those that grew up in a carrier environment and understand how to employ all the assets that an airwing brings — from the helicopters, to E-2s, to Growlers and F-18s. The beauty of the process is [Rovenolt] has been out here with me the last 18 months. He knows the air wing’s strengths and weaknesses just as well as — if not better — than I do. He’ll have his own style and his own priorities but I look forward to watching where CAG 5 goes next.”
Young took command March 1, 2018 and led the air wing — commonly called Team Badman — through three Western Pacific deployments and numerous exercises including Malabar, Valiant Shield, Talisman Sabre and Keen Sword.
Rovenolt reported to CVW-5 as the deputy commander in February 2018. Prior command tours were as the commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 31 and the commanding officer of the Navy Fighter Weapons School. He has amassed 5,800 military flight hours and more than 1,000 carrier arrested landings.
“This is the best air wing that the United States Navy has and fields,” said Rovenolt. “We are very well manned and equipped. With all those assets and support come great expectations. I see us in the future being more responsive and more flexible with whatever our guidance is. The path that we’re on is the vision we will continue – lethality.”
Team Badman also welcomed a new deputy commander, Capt. Adrian Calder. He reported to CVW-5 in July 2019. His previous tours include: commanding officer of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 27 and as the senior military evaluator of operational test and evaluation at the office of Secretary of Defense.
“My favorite part of being CAG was being able to work with eight phenomenal squadron COs,” said Young. “Being able to watch them come into their own as leaders of each of their individual units and allow them to run their squadrons to the best of their ability, knowing that each of those units has different personalities and different strengths. My job was to give them overarching guidance on where the collective needed to go then get out of their way and let them accomplish it.”
“My secret to success, what’s gotten me through 25 years in the Navy, has been my wife and my family,” Young said of his wife who has kept him grounded throughout his career.
Young also credits much of his success to being able to lead high caliber Sailors.
“When you’re in a position like this, your job is to provide guidance and direction and let them go and do. It’s a lesson, we as leaders, need to remind ourselves of all the time whether as a civilian or in the Navy.”
CVW-5 is forward deployed to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan. The air wing embarks aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) in support of security and stability throughout the Indo-Pacific region.