Commander Rodney A. Harris.
Woodinville resident Commander Rodney A. Harris turned over his command of the "Fightin' Totems," Patrol Squadron 69, to Cmdr. Michael McGee in a recent ceremony at the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. Rodney "Rocket" Harris had led VP-69 for 18 months.
At the ceremony, the Fightin' Totems were praised while under Cmdr. Harris' leadership. During the period he was in command, VP-69 earned the 1995 Battle Efficiency Award and the 1995 Chief of Naval Operations Safety Award. These awards were a result of VP-69's record of efficiency and safety while conducting operations at home and throughout the world.
Commander Harris accepted both awards for the squadron, in addition to the Navy Meritorious Service Medal in recognition of his leadership.
For the first time in 15 years, Cmdr. Harris will be moving to a non-flying Navy job, reporting to the Volunteer Training Unit of NAS Whidbey Island. In his civilian occupation, Harris is a flight crew member with Delta Airlines.
Among his accomplishments with VP-69, Commander Harris was one of the people responsible for saving 17 people in a fishing boat adrift in the Pacific Ocean. While conducting active duty training in Japan, VP-69 found the boat that had remained lost and adrift for five days. VP-69 then coordinated the rescue by vectoring in other ships to assist the stranded crew.