Lt. Col. Jonathan Curtis relinquished command of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115 to Lt. Col. Edmund B. Hipp aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Jan. 11.
The commanding general of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Brig. Gen. Karsten Heckl as well as the commanding officers of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and Marine Aircraft Group-31 Col. Timothy Miller and Col. Matthew Phares attended the ceremony.
“The success of this squadron is a testimony of all of their hard work and dedication to the mission,” Phares said. “Over the past 22 months they took the oldest F-18’s in the Marine Corps downrange and lived up to the legacy of the aviators that came before them.”
Curtis assumed command of VMFA- 115 in February of 2017, and led the squadron on a seven-month deployment to the Central Command are of responsibility in support of Operation Inherent Resolve from April to October of 2018. During the ceremony, Curtis was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in leading the squadron.
Curtis’ personal decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, AirMedal with 8 Strike Flight Awards, the Navy Commendation Medal with two gold stars, and the Navy Achievement Medal with combat distinguishing device. “I’ve never been more proud to serve with any group of Marines that I had with this squadron,” Curtis said. “The Silver Eagles have consistently performed above and beyond in their
mission. The Marines have maintained these jets impeccably and I can honestly say that they are the safest ones I’ve ever flown. It has been an honor and a privilege serve with each and every one of the Marines here and I just want to thank you for giving my most memorable time in the Marine Corps.”
Hipp was commissioned a 2nd Lt. from the United States Naval Academy in May of 1998 and commissioned upon graduation. Upon graduation of the Infantry Officers Course, he completed flight school training in Pensacola and earned his wings in April of 2001.
Hipp’s personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device, Air Medal, Combat Action Ribbon and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
“I had the opportunity to observe these Marines conduct combat operations last year,” Hipp said. “What I saw was truly awe-inspiring; the Silver Eagles absolutely executed their mission with the utmost proficiency. To take command of such a well-rounded and outstanding squadron feels like I just won the lottery. I couldn’t be more excited or proud to become a part of the Silver Eagle legacy. Thank you and Semper Fidelis.”