Black takes command

Capt. Stephen P. Black took official command of Whidbey Island Naval Air Station Friday, in a formal change of command ceremony held on base.

Black relieved Capt. Larry G. Salter, who served as commanding officer of the naval air station for the final three years of his 28-year Navy career.

Rear Adm. Vinson E. Smith, Commander, Navy Region Northwest, and Commander, Naval Surface Group Pacific Northwest, officiated the change of command before retiring Salter. Whidbey Island Naval Air Station’s commanding officer reports to Smith.

“We’ve asked a lot,” said Smith, “and Larry Salter and his team have certainly delivered. Thank you for a job well done.”

Salter, in his remarks to the audience of about 500 military and civilian dignitaries and invited guests, admitted that the life-changing event touched him deeply.

“Giving up a job I love so much without showing some emotion is unlikely,” Salter said.

While Salter is now embarking on life as a civilian, beginning a job as marketing director for Envisioneering in Silverdale, Black is at a high point in his naval career.

During the previous 20 years as a Naval officer, Black has held increasingly responsible positions and has earned two master’s degrees, in preparation for a base commanding officer assignment.

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