There was a change of command ceremony on March 4th, aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt- CVN 71, passing the torch of leadership from one commander to the next. Commander Richard J. Zins was relieved in a change of Command ceremony by Commander Richard G. McGrath, who assumed the leadership of the Golden Warriors, VFA-87.
Commander Zins has led the Golden Warriors during the transition from the F/A-18C fighter Jet to the F/A 18A Hornet. The former F/A 18C was some of the oldest but most reliable fighter Jets in the Navy Arsenal, and the successful transition to the newer version was one of the things Commander Zins was most proud of.
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The F/A 18A is actually older than the F/A 18C, but despite this the Golden Warriors were led by Commander Zins to the Department of the Navy excellence Award for 2007. September 2008 marked the return of the resurrected F/A 18A to combat, and Commander Zins led his squadrons for more than 1,000 sorties and more than 3,000 aerial combat hours.
The Command of VFA-87 was passed to Commander McGrath, who will have big shoes to fill after the strong leadership of Commander Zins.
William Howard says
I was with the squadron from 1976 to 1979. I was just checking out what was up with the Group.
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Mike (Mac) McC says
I had the honor of serving in 87 twice, once as VA-87 flying A-7E Corsair 2’s and then again 3 years later when VFA-87 came into existence flying the fantastic F/A-18A. CMDR. T.J. Keating was my XO in VA-87 and my CO in VFA-87. I was lucky to have a great bunch of shipmates and even after being retired now for 19 years, I miss all of it. Go Navy and God Bless America !!!
Tom Rotkowski says
I was at the commissioning of VA-87 On February 1, 1968 and have followed the Golden Warriors over the years. I’m proud to see the Golden Warriors continue to set the pace F/A 18As. We were one of the 1st A7B Corsair squdrons to deploy to Vietnam with first combat mission on March 1, 1969. The USS Ticonderoga CVA-14 was; as they said our Bird Farm. While times have changed; the need has not for top squadrons. Keep them flying and congradulations to Commanders Zins and McGrath for jobs well done and future accomplishments. “Naval Air”