By Lt. Charles Lovelace
Wing 11 Public Affairs
Capt. Anthony Corapi is being relieved by Capt. James Robinson Jr. as commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing (CPRW) 11 in a traditional change of command ceremony Feb. 3. The ceremony will be held in Hangar 117 at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville. The guest speaker is Capt. George Vassilakis, executive officer, United States Central Command. Also in attendance will be Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad, commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group.
Robinson is from Modesto, California. He enlisted in the Navy in 1983. Following completion of the Nuclear Power Program, he served on submarines USS Florida (SSGN 728 Gold) and research submersible, NR-1, while earning his Bachelor of Science degrees in Sociology and Nuclear Technology. In 1991, Robinson was promoted to chief petty officer and accepted to Aviation Officer Candidate School. He was commissioned in March 1992, and designated a naval flight officer (NFO) in April 1993.
His first operational squadron tour was with Patrol Squadron (VP) -40. He served with distinction, proceeding to VP-30, where he became a fleet instructor under training instructor and NFO instructor and eventually the lead NFO Fleet NATOPS evaluator. As the subject matter expert for the Stand-Off Attack Missile (SLAM), he participated in SLAM Strikes during the air campaign in Kosovo.
He returned to VP-40, where he was the first Maritime Patrol Aviation "Super JO," serving as the tactics department head and flying more than 400 hours overland Afghanistan in the opening months of Operation Enduring Freedom. His operational department head tour was with VP-46. He served as the executive officer and 73rd commanding officer of VP-10, leading the squadron to win both the Golden Wrench for maintenance and the COMNAVAIRLANT Battle "E."
Asked of his plans following the change of command, Robinson said, "From the opening day of taking command, I'm just going to build upon the great work that he [Capt. Corapi] has accomplished . . . . We have transformed Wing 11 from P-3C to a P-8A platform, and we're at a unique place in the community right now to take it to the next level of tactical excellence."
Corapi a native of Brooklyn, New York and is a 1992 graduate of The Citadel. He earned his NFO wings in December 1994. His first operational tour was with the VP-10 "Red Lancers" in Brunswick, Maine. His subsequent flying tours include an instructor tour at the Fleet Replacement Squadron, VP-30, and department head to the VP-1 "Screaming Eagles." He went on to serve as commanding officer to the VP-16 "War Eagles." He also was assigned to USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, DC, Navy Personnel Command in Millington Tennessee, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Corapi was most recently assigned to CPRW-11 as commodore.
Asked of his tenure as commodore of Wing-11, Corapi highlighted the completion of the transition from P-3C "Orion" to P-8A "Poseidon" as his team's greatest achievement.
"The future of Wing -11 is now being able to take the family of systems and advance it further. While we finished the transformation to the P-8[A], we now have three major family of systems areas that we need to focus on: Quick Reaction Capability, Advanced Airborne Sensor, and Triton [MQ-4C]. It will be in Commodore Robinson's tenure that he will advance the ball quite a bit in those areas."
Corapi is the 55th commander of Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing -11 and has commanded since July 16, 2015. CPRW-11 is based at NAS Jacksonville. CPRW-11's squadrons include VP-5, VP-8, VP-10, VP-16, VP-26, VP-45, VP-62, along with Unmanned Patrol Squadron (VUP-19). During his tenure, Wing -11 completed the successful Fleet P-8A "Poseidon" for the first six MPRF squadrons and TacMobile units. Wing-11 simultaneously supported worldwide combatant commander objectives, including combat support to operations Enduring Freedom and Inherent Resolve.
VUP-19 was also established during his tenure, providing the conditions for the successful fleet integration of the high altitude, high endurance MQ-4C "Triton" Unmanned Aerial System.
Corapi recounts of the P-8A transition that, "It has been pretty smooth. Any transformation to a new platform has some little bumps and hiccups. But we transitioned a whole wing in two and a half years with virtually no issues and now we're on the West Coast doing the same thing. So the thing that I'm most proud of is that watching my squadron commanders succeed as well as they succeeded with the P-8A. This has been the highlight of my career."
After relinquishing command of CPRW-11, Corapi will serve as the commanding officer of the NROTC Unit at University of Illinois.