Story by Kimberly Brown on 06/17/2019Cmdr. Paul "Oscar" Meyer relieved Cmdr. Christopher "Dot" Dotson as commanding officer of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 30 during a change of command ceremony at Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu, California, on June 13.
"I am always astonished," Meyer said upon taking command, "at how many times I get asked the question: What does VX-30 do anyway?"
He went on to note that VX-30's subdued patch includes a Latin inscription that, loosely translated, reads: If I told you, I'd have to kill you.
"I promise that's not a threat of corporal punishment after the ceremony,"
Meyer said before taking some time to give the audience an idea of the many types of critical missions VX-30 supports on a daily basis. They operate uniquely modified aircraft supporting military missions on the 36,000 square mile Point Mugu Sea Range and around the world. They operate manned and unmanned systems, test software and electronic warfare systems, and offer logistics support for test and evaluation operations, just to name a few.
"Although I've described such a complex and diverse team, we are united by our mission," he said. "So if I told you [more], our potential adversaries might gain what the Navy is trying our hardest to defend."
Meyer, a native of Zion, Illinois, joined the "Bloodhounds" of VX-30 in November 2017, when he reported as chief test pilot for the squadron. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering. He has since earned graduate degrees in systems engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School and National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College.
Meyer began his naval aviation career as an E-2 pilot; his first operational assignment brought him to Point Mugu, California, as a "Sun King" with Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 116. He graduated U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in 2009, and led the initial E-2D sea trials aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), where he completed the first arrested landing and catapult launch of the new aircraft.
The ceremony also marked Dotson's retirement after 21 years in the U.S. Navy.
Guest speaker Capt. Jason Rider, chief of staff for the Program Executive Office Air Anti-Submarine Warfare, Assault, and Special Mission Programs, praised Dotson's flexibility and ability to get things done.
"I think of him as plug-and-play," Rider said. "It's a hell of a thing to look at someone and know that no matter what assignment, what job you give him, he'll handle it."
Dotson praised Rider as a mentor and a friend.
"Thank you for teaching me that when it comes to leadership, there's nothing more important than a strong command climate, and nothing more important than taking care of your people," Dotson said.
Dotson, a native of New Castle, Pennsylvania, graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and was commissioned in the U.S. Navy through the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps in 1998. He graduated U.S. Navy Test Pilot School in 2005, and served as the MQ-4C Triton government flight test director of the System Development and Demonstration Integrated Test Team. He subsequently led engineering development and airworthiness certification efforts for the Triton ACAT-ID Program. He reported to VX-30 as chief test pilot in 2016 and took over as commanding officer in 2017.
VX-30 enables expeditious delivery of effective and sustainable integrated warfare capabilities to our Navy, Marine Corps, and joint warfighters. VX-30 also provides worldwide support of test range surveillance, clearance, air intercept control, telemetry, logistics, aerial refueling, airborne threat systems, and photometric data collection.
The VX-30 team is comprised of talented active duty, civil service, and contractor personnel operating a diverse inventory of manned aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems including the P-3C Orion, KC-130T Hercules and RQ-23A Tigershark.