Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

AFTER SEVERAL RELOCATIONS, SQUADRON HOPES TO STAY AWHILE; Navy 'Nomads' Make Their Latest Home in Jacksonville

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

AFTER SEVERAL RELOCATIONS, SQUADRON HOPES TO STAY AWHILE; Navy 'Nomads' Make Their Latest Home in Jacksonville

Article excerpt

Byline: ADAM AASEN

Naval squadron VR-62 - which arrived in Jacksonville this summer - has gone through a lot of homes and a lot of nicknames.

When they were first stationed in Detroit in 1985, they called themselves "The Motowners."

That base closed and in 1994 they moved to South Weymouth, Mass., where they were nicknamed "Mass Transit."

After another base closure, they moved to Brunswick, Maine, where they were dubbed "The Nor'easters."

Now, the Brunswick base is scheduled to close in 2011 and the 85 active-duty sailors and their families are settling into sunny Northeast Florida.

Lt. Cmdr. James Lawson said this time they came up with a nickname that works no matter where they go.

"We thought, 'Hey, we should be The Nomads,' " he said. "Everywhere we go, the base closes. But we're pretty confident that NAS Jacksonville isn't going anywhere anytime soon."

Jacksonville Naval Air Station officials are excited because it means the base is getting its first-ever C-130T Hercules aircraft, a massive transport plane that can carry up to 175,000 pounds, including fuel.

The C-130 can fit a lot inside. It can carry 78 ground troops with cargo. It can carry six vehicles. It can carry armored Humvees, bulldozers or even a small tank.

The first C-130 landed at Jacksonville NAS on Saturday, and three more should be arriving in the coming months.

The plane that arrived Saturday left the same day for a logistics mission in South America. The squadron will also deploy on a three-month detachment to Sigonella Naval Air Station in Italy later this summer.

There are C-130 squadrons stationed at five bases in the United States, but before the move to Jacksonville, the only one in the Southeast was in New Orleans.

About 65 of the squadron's 85 sailors have already moved to Jacksonville with the rest moving shortly. Most of the Naval reservists didn't make the move, so Cmdr. Chris Thomson said they are looking for about 80 reserve officers to join The Nomads. …

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