Cmdr. David Van Kampen has assumed command of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 1 “World Watchers.” Cmdr. Nicholas J. Lunsford, Commanding Officer, Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron One, turned over the squadron on April 22.
A change of command ceremony for VQ-1 was held at the squadron hangar with the famous “511” EP-3E conducting an inaugural flight.
Before becoming the World Watchers commander, Van Kampen was chosen for squadron command in March 2018 and reported to VQ-1 as executive officer in April 2020. He has logged more than 2,400 flight hours in the P-3 Orion and received numerous awards, including the Meritorious Service Medal, Strike/Flight Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, and Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
Under Lunsford, VQ-1 earned the Battle E twice, Safety S and Blue M unit awards. The squadron also had to prepare for deployment during the COVID-19 pandemic while he was commander and was able to safely maintain their deployment readiness state.
Lunsford, who has logged over 1,800 hours in the EP-3E, has won the Air Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal during his career.
The squadron also welcomed Cmdr. Nicholas Bullard from San Diego, Calif. as its new Executive Officer. He is a previous department head in VQ-1.