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CNATTU Oceana welcomes new leadership

07 July 2023

From Sgt. Egor Cherishov

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. -- Commander Uries S. Anderson relieved Cmdr. Patrick A. Batiste as commanding officer for Center of Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit (CNATTU) Oceana during a change of command ceremony June 30.
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA. -- Commander Uries S. Anderson relieved Cmdr. Patrick A. Batiste as commanding officer for Center of Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit (CNATTU) Oceana during a change of command ceremony June 30.
Staff and honored guests gathered on a warm, Virginia Beach summer day in the beautiful ceremonial hangar bay of CNATTU Oceana to honor the changing of command and to welcome the next leader of the schoolhouse. The ceremony marked the end of a very successful 12-month command tour for Batiste.  He led CNATTU Oceana through an arduous instructional period during a highly stressful time, while recovering from the impacts of COVID-19 mitigations.
Batiste was responsible for more than 197 personnel daily, encompassing 66 courses of instruction, while serving a student population of more than 300.  Under his standards of leadership, CNATTU Oceana qualified 38 master training specialists, 55 instructors and graduated 3,358 students with an overall class average of 98 percent.  During his tenure, CNATTU Oceana was awarded with two retention awards, achieved a 75 percent master training specialist qualification rate, and was awarded the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Meritorious Unit Commendation, FY22 Chief of Naval Operations Shore Safety Award, and two CNATT Center of Excellence awards.
“CNATTU Oceana is the house of gain,” Batiste stated.
As commanding officer, Batiste said he stressed the importance of educational, career and personal growth and provided every single instructor and student the ability and opportunity in order to accomplish these goals.  His leadership ensured that CNATTU Oceana “is the best in the domain,” he said. He thanked Anderson for his leadership and involvement as the command’s executive officer (XO).
“I am extremely confident in Cmdr. Anderson, and I know he will continue the sustainment of the command,” Batiste said, who will be retiring July 28.
Anderson, who has been CNATTU Oceana’s executive officer since June 2022, thanked Batiste for his leadership and mentorship. During his XO tenure, Anderson implemented a program known as, “Coffee with the XO.” He met with E6 and below staff weekly and discussed any issues in their personal and professional lives and how CNATTU Oceana can improve as a training command.
 “I give my all to look out after my instructors and students. I cannot do this by myself,” Anderson said. “I need all my instructors and staff to support me. If I need help, help me. If I am wrong, correct me. If I am right, support me.”
Anderson, a native of Houston, Texas, began his naval career in October 1991.  As an aviation power plants mechanic, he attended “A” school at Naval Air Technical Training Center Millington, Tennessee, and F/A-18 Familiarization school in Cecil Field, Florida. After reporting to the Naval Fleet Forces, Anderson quickly became known as a “superstar.” He completed tours with Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 192, VFA-106, VFA-27, and the Bureau of Naval Personnel, where he was selected to chief petty officer and subsequently selected for the Limited Duty Officer program.
As an officer, his tours of duty include Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 26 as detachment maintenance officer and maintenance material control officer; VFA-106 serving as quality assurance officer and maintenance material control officer; VFA-211 serving as the assistant maintenance officer and the material control officer; Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic (FRCMA) as assistant maintenance officer and the Material Control Office and VFA-125 serving as maintenance officer for the only Joint Strike Fighter fleet replacement squadron for the F-35C.
His personal awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (seven awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (four awards), and various unit and service awards.

CNATTU Oceana staff also welcomed Cmdr. Alexa “Gunqueen” Sandifer as their new executive officer.

CNATTU Oceana will undergo several course curriculum updates to the F/A-18 Super Hornet aviation courses, including new hardware and software updates to the various Super Hornet trainers. This will allow the instructors to equip Sailors and Marines with the necessary skills and abilities to function at the highest technical standards of Naval aviation.
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