The “Sentinels” of the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Weapons School (MPRWS) held their change of command ceremony aboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville April 20.

Cmdr. Jonathan Floyd relieved Cmdr. Kent Smith and became the fourth commanding officer of the MPRWS.

Rear Adm. William Wheeler III, commander, Patrol and Reconnaissance Group, the presiding officer and guest speaker at the ceremony, commended Smith for his outstanding performance.

“The Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Weapons School is our one-stop-shop for all graduate level tactics and weapons training. These are the community Jedi Knights, our tactical Ninjas. To lead this group of superstars, you must be at the top of your game, a tactical expert, and a great team builder. That personifies Skipper Smith - he has been a great coach for our Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance All-Star Team,” said Wheeler.

Wheeler presented Smith with the Meritorious Service Medal for his excellent performance as MPRWS commanding officer from December 2016 to April 2018.

Upon his departure, Smith shared his great honor for the opportunity to serve with the Sailors and families of the command.

“I can truly say that I have never served with a more dedicated and professional group of Sailors than the fighting men and women of the Weapons School. It has been an absolute honor to be able to call myself their commanding officer. I wish Skipper Floyd and the Sentinels continued success, and I am sure that under his command the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Weapons School will reach even greater heights,” said Smith.

After assuming command, Floyd stated, “I am humbled to serve with the finest Sailors of the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force. The Sailors assembled here today truly are the tactical experts critical to our community’s global success. This is an incredible time for the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force as we sundown the P-3C Orion and EP-3 Aries and shift to the future of our force. We are focused on completing the P-8A Poseidon transition, integrating the MQ-4C Triton, and developing future capabilities such as the advanced airborne sensor and multi-static active coherent sonar.”

Floyd, native of Amityville, New York, graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering. He winged as a naval flight officer in 2000 and has completed two operational tours with Patrol Squadron 40 at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington.

The Weapons School mission is to provide standardized instruction to the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance community. The command is committed to operational practices that demonstrate full adherence to both the letter and spirit of the law. They foster an environment of dignity, diversity and respect within the command and value every Sailor, civilian and allied service member.