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franklin county times

Jet training unit lands new leader

By Staff
COMMAND CHANGE Rhonda Trafton pins her husband, Cmdr. Robert T. Trafton, Jr., with his Commander Pin during the VT-7 "Eagles" Change of Command Ceremony as their sons Zachary, left, and Benjamin, look on inside Hanger One at Naval Air Station Meridian. Trafton took over command of the
VT-7s on Friday. Photo by Kyle Carter / The Meridian Star
By Fredie Carmichael / staff writer
Oct. 30, 2004
The new commander of the Navy's largest jet squadron couldn't stop smiling on Friday, minutes after an hour-long change of command ceremony at Naval Air Station Meridian.
Cmdr. Robert T. Trafton Jr., known by some on base as a guy who loves a good laugh, grinned as he described his goals as commander of NAS Meridian's VT-7, a jet pilot training squadron.
Trafton has been stationed at NAS Meridian since October 2001, serving most recently as VT-7's executive officer. On Friday, in an official change of command ceremony inside Hanger One, Trafton replaced outgoing Cmdr. John C.P. Fristachi.
Fristachi has served as commander of the unit since October of last year. He will leave Meridian to command aboard the USS George Washington, an aircraft carrier in Norfolk, Va.
Fristachi, also known as "Stash," said he and his family will miss Meridian, their seventh home in nine years.
Trafton agreed. He said he and his wife have made a lot of friends since moving here in 2001.
Trafton said he's excited about the opportunity to command a squadron he has been a part of for so many years.

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