The Fighting Marlins of Patrol Squadron FORTY (VP-40) held its change of command ceremony May 6, when Chesterfield native Commander Brett Mietus relieved Commander John Maxwell. The ceremony marked VP-40’s 55th change of command since its commissioning on January 20, 1951.
Son of Pam Shultz and Gary Mietus, Commander Mietus graduated from Lloyd C. Bird High School in 1988 after earning All-State Football Honors and leading the Skyhawks to a perfect 10-0 regular season. He subsequently attended the United States Naval Academy, where he graduated with a degree in Economics in 1992 and served as a graduate assistant football coach.
After receiving his commission, Commander Mietus became a Naval Flight Officer, and spent two flying tours in Hawaii with VP-4 and VP-9, deploying three times to the Arabian Gulf region. Following the 9/11 attacks, he deployed in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM as the Flag Secretary for the Commander of Carrier Group Seven on board USS John C Stennis. During his shore tours, Commander Mietus earned designation as one of the Navy’s first Maritime Patrol Weapons and Tactics Instructors and earned a Masters of Arts with Highest Distinction from the Naval War College. Prior to joining VP-40, he served two tours in the Pentagon as an executive assistant to the Navy’s Director of Air Warfare and as the head of Russian and Baltic policy for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
“I feel extremely fortunate to have my roots in Chesterfield County,” said Commander Mietus.
Within days of assuming command, VP-40 will deploy to Kadena, Okinawa for six months in support of the US Pacific Fleet. Commander Mietus will lead his 340 Sailors and eight aircraft during Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Operations throughout the region.
“The Fighting Marlins are ready for the challenges that lie ahead,” remarked Commander Mietus. “I am honored to lead such a talented group of sailors and have no doubt that their performance will exceed even the highest of expectations.”