In passing over the hangar, the commander of Training Air Wing One has now passed on his duties. “We’re very engaged, we’re very much a part of the local fabric of life, and the community really goes out its way to make it clear that that’s what we are, and they show us that in a lot of different ways. It’s felt like home since I’ve first arrived here, and that’s been the case the whole time. We just know that we are a part of the fabric of life here, and that feels really good,” said Capt. Nicholas Mungas, who has now retired.
He’s leaving behind Training Air Wing One to Capt. T.J. Gendreau, who received his wings here at NAS Meridian in 1999. “I’m looking forward to doing what our job is to get America’s best and brightest trained up to fly fighter jets and do what we need to do out there in the fleet to protect us and our freedoms,” said Capt. Gendreau.
Capt. Mungas said that with transitioning into retirement, he’s most excited to be back with his family in North Carolina. “I haven’t been home on a weekday, other than over the holidays. So, I haven’t seen a Wednesday of a school week in over a year, so just learning what their routine is and what they do every single day and how I fit into that again is going to be a lot of fun.” Both men agree, their careers of over two decades come down to two things: family and freedom. “You don’t get this far in this career without tremendous support from your family and friends. While we are at sea, we’re focused on keeping the country free, and they’re counting the days until we come home,” said Capt. Gendreau.