Interim Commanding Officer
Fleet Air Control Facility Jacksonville

29 October 1982 through 18 June 1983

Last Updated March 24nd, 2024

I relieved Captain Don Hull-Ryde, who happened to be my father-in-law, on October 29th, 1982 as the Commanding Officer of FACSFACJAX. It was an unusual change of command in that Captain Hull-Ryde expected to return as the Commanding Officer as soon as he recovered from open
heart surgery. During his speech, he made it clear to the officers and enlisted personnel that my tenure as CO was only temporary and that he planned to keep up to speed during his recovery to ensure that I didn't make any major changes to his  policies. He spoke in jest but I knew that he was serious!

Don and I cutting the cake!

Cathy and I listening to her father's speech

Cathy, Jessica, and I continued to live on Mustin Road which was very convenient as the FACSFACJAX facility was located on NAS Jacksonville.

Also, my O'Day sailboat was moored at the NAS JAX Marina and the pace of the workload at FACSFACJAX was such that I actually got to sail it!

They just had to change the sign at our quarters from CO- VA-174 to Commander FACSFACJAX

I intended to just keep the ship on course at FACSFACJAX while Don was away.  But, unfortunately his recovery did not go as planned and he was forced to retire. I didn't intend to make any big changes anyway because everything was squared away and all the key personnel were very competent. I learned a lot about airspace management and air traffic control while I was waiting for my relief. I think that one of the greatest accomplishments we made while I was there was the IFR transfer from the VFR aircraft in the warning area from a FACSFAC air controller directly with a FAA approach controller. We used this procedure rain or shine and it made the return to Cecil much safer in bad weather conditions at the field.

Unfortunately, I don't recall the name of my relief but he arrived in time to go over things before our change of command on June 18th, 1983.

I was anxious to get on with my training for my next tour as the Executive Officer of the USS Saratoga CV-60 which was home ported in Mayport.

During my training prior to checking in to the USS Saratoga, Cathy, Jessica and I moved from NAS Jacksonville and bought a house on Tilefish Court in Pablo Point off of San Pablo Road. The house was located close to Saratoga at Mayport. I knew that the working hours as XO would be long and it would enable me to have more time at home if we were living close by.

Training Accomplished Prior to  Reporting as Executive Officer USS Saratoga CV-60

SWOSCOLCOM (Surface Warfare Officer School Command), Newport, Rhode Island (Basic Course)

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Executive Officer USS Saratoga CV-60

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