NAVAL AIR WARFARE CENTER AIRCRAFT DIVISION, PATUXENT RIVER, Md.– Cmdr. John Walsh took command of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 from Capt. Jared “J-Rod” Goul during a change of command ceremony at NAS Patuxent River today.

Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division Commander, Rear Adm. John Lemmon, was the guest speaker.

Cmdr. John Walsh salutes Col. Richard Marigliano, commodore of Naval Test Wing Atlantic, as Walsh takes command of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 20 from Capt. Jared Goul during a change of command ceremony at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Nov. 4, 2021. (U.S. Navy photo)

“J-Rod, I salute you for the steady hand and clear vision that you used to guide the men and women of your command through the tumult of the past year and a half,” said Lemmon.

Under Goul’s leadership, VX-20 completed the first-ever unmanned aerial refueling with the MQ-25 Stingray and the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye. It conducted the first flight of the MQ-4C Triton UAV with an upgraded configuration. The P-8 Poseidon received a new wideband satellite communications system, and that same aircraft completed aerial refueling testing with the Air Force’s newest tanker, the KC-46. The VX-20 team participated in compatibility testing aboard the Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). The squadron also made mission systems modifications to the E-6B Sentry, giving the aircraft beyond-line-of-sight and digital voice capabilities. 

“The men and women of VX-20 are the epitomai of professional,” said Goul. “They are laser-focused on delivering lethal, effective, capable, and supportable capability to the fleet, and that is their guidepost.”

Walsh is taking the helm at a time when the operational tempo for the squadron is increasing, and COVID-19 concerns and restrictions continue to require flexibility and adaptation.

“To the VX-20 team, I’ve been continually impressed by your ability to overcome the challenges placed in front of you,” said Walsh. “It’s an honor and a privilege to serve as your commanding officer.”

Col. Richard E. Marigliano, the commodore of Naval Test Wing Atlantic, presided over the change of command ceremony. 

During the ceremony, Goul received the Meritorious Service Medal, gold star in lieu of the third award, for his outstanding achievement and service to the United States during his time as the commanding officer of VX-20.

Goul’s next orders are to the Airborne Electronic Attack Systems Program Office (PMA-234) as the Next Generation Jammer – Mid Band Integrated Product Team Lead.  

VX-20 is responsible for active flight test and evaluation in all phases of the weapons system life cycle, including aircraft carrier suitability testing, navigation, aerial refueling, strategic airborne communications, airborne surveillance, and intelligence collection, airborne early warning systems, carrier onboard delivery and advanced training aircraft missions.

VX-20 is a component of Naval Test Wing Atlantic, under Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division. With facilities in Patuxent River, Maryland; Lakehurst, New Jersey; and Orlando, Florida NAWCAD advances capability and operational readiness for naval aviation.

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