Diamondbacks of VFA 102 Hold Change of Command

By Lt. Andrew Homce, “Diamondbacks” of Strike Fighter Squadron Public Affairs

161011-N-AC117-214 EAST CHINA SEA (Oct. 10, 2016) Cmdr. Gregory Malandrino, commanding officer of the “Diamondbacks” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102, cuts a cake with Cmdr. Barrett Smith, executive officer of VFA-102, aboard the Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) following the VFA-102 change-of-command ceremony. During the ceremony, Malandrino relieved Cmdr. Rafe Wysham as commanding officer. Ronald Reagan, the Carrier Strike Group Five (CSG 5) flagship, is on patrol supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman MacAdam Kane Weissman/Released)

161011-N-AC117-214 EAST CHINA SEA (Oct. 10, 2016) Cmdr. Gregory Malandrino, commanding officer of the “Diamondbacks” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102, cuts a cake with Cmdr. Barrett Smith, executive officer of VFA-102, aboard the Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) following the VFA-102 change-of-command ceremony. During the ceremony, Malandrino relieved Cmdr. Rafe Wysham as commanding officer. Ronald Reagan, the Carrier Strike Group Five (CSG 5) flagship, is on patrol supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman MacAdam Kane Weissman/Released)

WATERS SURROUNDING THE KOREAN PENINSULA (Oct. 11, 2016) – The “Diamondbacks” of Strike Fighter Squadron One Zero Two (VFA-102) held an airborne change of command ceremony while embarked on board the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), Oct. 11.

During the ceremony Cmdr. Gregory Malandrino relieved Cmdr. Rafe Wysham as commanding officer.

Wysham, a native of Madras, Oregon, took charge of the Diamondbacks in 2015. “It has been a true pleasure serving with the fantastic men and women of the Diamondback team,” said Wysham.

Malandrino, a native of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, received his commission from the United States Naval Academy in 1998. He joined the “Diamondbacks” in 2015 as the squadron’s executive officer.

“It is an incredible honor to lead the Diamondbacks and serve our Sailors,” said Malandrino. “I wish fair winds and following seas to Cmdr. Wysham and his family.”

The “Diamondbacks” of VFA-102 are the Navy’s only forward-deployed FA-18F Super Hornet squadron. The squadron is attached to Carrier Air Wing Five (CVW-5) based out of Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan.

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