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Our worthy sister squadrons:

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The Tomcats




Nightmare Scrapbook For June, 2002


The Final Week Of Command

A Turning of the Page

The Change of Command Ceremony

Top Demarco retires
...and Top Demarco's 5 June Retirement

Farewell Top
Top and Tamara leave us to teach Junior ROTC in Washington State

Three new Corporals
3 June: the CO's last promotion ceremony...
Three new Corporals!

Saluting the MAG-13 CO

Farewell Speech

   General Bolden, General Robling, Colonel Post, Colonel Savarese, Distinguished Guests, Family, Friends and fellow Marines. Mindful of the heat and our Marines in formation, I have taken the liberty of concluding nearly all thank-you visits in advance. I would like to reiterate my heartfelt appreciation to Colonel Condra and my fellow CO’s, with special thanks to my Executive Officers, Lieutenant Colonel Hile and Lieutenant Colonel Dixon—both now commanders. With that kind of back up, one can’t go wrong. I could never adequately thank the greatest Sergeant Major in the Marine Corps—mine. It has been a privilege to serve with Sergeant Major Daniel L. Jackson! The Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band always gives me shivers of pride...thank you, ladies and gentlemen for each and every one.

   Last month, as I flew back from the CG’s Conference in Miramar, I found myself anticipating today’s ambient air temperature. I somewhat wistfully envisioned a small ceremony in my air-conditioned office where Lieutenant Colonel Dixon and I could pass the colors and keys--concluding with a high five. But these ceremonies are not for the squadron's commander, they are really for the Marines and sailors. They should be viewed as a benchmark, an opportunity for our Marines and sailors to pause, look back at their accomplishments and steel themselves for the challenges to come.

   Allow me to briefly tell you about six things these Marines have done in the 18 months of my observation:

-- When I reported in, the squadron only had six engines--due to a series of groundings. Some squadron pilots were on a no-fly list and the organization was not "Core Competent" in any mission skill set. Today, the Nightmares are "Core Competent" in all mission skill sets.

-- In 18 months, these Nightmares have trained four WTI candidates; matching the production of all Harrier squadrons in the Marine Corps--combined.

-- For three months last year, these Marines operationally employed all three variants of the AV-8B--simultaneously...the only squadron to ever do so.

-- These Marines have trained a highly-qualified, fully day-night NVG and special operations capable Marine Expeditionary Unit Detachment to deploy shortly after this ceremony.

-- This squadron has achieved the finest aviation safety record in the history of V/STOL aviation and, without note or fanfare, passed 45,000 mishap-free flight hours last March.

-- This squadron simultaneously recorded the lowest Ground Mishap Rate on record, contributing to Marine Aircraft Group 13's low record, which leads the Wing.

    Before assuming command of Marine Attack Squadron 513, I told the MAG-13 CO that everything Sergeant Major Jackson and I did to return us to combat readiness would be done with an eye to simultaneously building and maintaining high morale. Morale is like a well-charged battery, it powers combat organizations through challenge and adversity. More commonly, it keeps Marines focused during unplanned or extended work hours. Few dispute the axiom that morale is to numbers as three is to one. Ladies and gentlemen, Lieutenant Colonel Dixon, it is with great pride that I give you the Nightmares of Attack Squadron 513--with batteries fully charged! Thank you very much.

The National Anthem plays

Award presentation

The Third Marine Aircraft Wing Band

Pass in review

Zak & Katie
Thank you Zak, for the many images you have donated to this site!

The front row

Stern being supervised

My pilots with the new Tomcat CO
You can't have 'em, Zieg...

The Rogue's Gallery
The best pilots in the Aircraft Group

Screech and Lurch ready to sail
Ready to sail--thanks Screech!

Boat Bird
The temporary paint scheme

Wild Bill...with supervision

Dad with Steroid and Marinara

Miss O

The CO's Farewell Mural--Finished Just in Time!

In the west ladderwell...


Colonel John Boyd: "To Be or To Do"

"One day you will come to a fork in the road. And you're going to have to make a decision about what direction you want to go. If you go one way you can be somebody. You will have to make compromises and you will have to turn your back on your friends. But you will be a member of the club and you will get promoted and you will get good assignments. Or, you can go that other way and you can do something — something for your country and for your Air Force and for yourself. If you decide to do something, you may not get promoted and you may not get the good assignments and you certainly will not be a favorite of your superiors. But you won't have to compromise yourself. You will be true to your friends and to yourself. And your work might make a difference. To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That's when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do? Which way will you go?"

Pass in review

Into the Sunset
Following the change of command, the Flying Nightmares deployed, with six aircraft departing for the Persian Gulf aboard the USS Belleau Wood, and the balance of the squadron relocating to Bagram, Afghanistan for combat operations.

The image below was sent to the Cow at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in February, 2003 by the new Commanding Offier of VMA-513, LtCol Jim "Grouper" Dixon. He reported that the Nightmares had achieved great success in Afghanistan, ensuring local air superiority for nation-building operations subsequent to the liberation of the country from Muslim extremists. Click on the image to get the full-size. Thanks Grouper! Great job, Nightmares--I'm very proud of you.

Click on image to see the larger version