Naval Air Station North Island makes history - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Naval Air Station North Island makes history

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CORONADO (CNS) - Vice Adm. Nora Tyson Friday became the first female commander of the U.S. Third Fleet, succeeding Vice Adm. Kenny Floyd at a ceremony aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan.

Most recently, Tyson was deputy commander of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command.

Previously, the Memphis native commanded the USS George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group on its maiden deployment and was the skipper of the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan while it participated in relief operations along the Gulf Coast, following Hurricane Katrina.

A graduate of Vanderbilt University, she earned her wings in 1983 and served three tours at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, and Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, including one as commanding officer.

Tyson also served as assistant operations officer aboard the training aircraft carrier USS Lexington and as navigator aboard aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, as well as in numerous shore posts.

Floyd -- who is retiring after 35 years of service -- assumed command of Third Fleet in May 2013.

The Third Fleet commands naval activities in the eastern Pacific, including the U.S. west coast and Hawaii.

The change of leadership was just one of several to take place in the San Diego area in recent days.

Rear Adm. Richard "Rick" Williams succeeded Rear Adm. Joseph Kuzmick as the head of Carrier Strike Group 15 Thursday at Naval Air Station North Island. CSG 15 is in charge of training and certifying Pacific Fleet carrier strike groups, amphibious ready groups, and independently deploying surface ships.

Kuzmick also retired.

In another change, Capt. Sil Perrella relieved Capt. Shawn Malone as commander, Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing Pacific.

Perrella oversees the operational readiness, training and employment of a dozen subordinate commands, 120 MH-60R Sea Hawk multi-mission helicopters, two MQ-8B Fire Scout drone choppers, and more than 3,300 military and civilian personnel.

One week ago, Rear Adm. James Loeblein took over as commander of the strike group led by the San Diego-based strike group led by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, succeeding Rear Adm. Christopher Grady.

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