Commander Brian C. Erickson relieved Commander Bill R. Ellis as Commander Patrol Squadron FOUR SEVEN during a change of command ceremony, May 2, on Marine Corps Air Station, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Patrol Squadron FOUR SEVEN is a P-3C Orion squadron which specializes in Anti-Submarine Warfare and Maritime surveillance. The P-3C’s long range and robust offensive and defensive capabilities have proven it as an invaluable asset in support of deployed US and allied war fighters around the globe.
Cmdr. Ellis took command in April 2012 and led the squadron while deployed to the European and African theaters. After returning to their homeport in Hawaii, the squadron began training for their next deployment. Under Cmdr. Ellis’s command, VP-47 established a reputation of excellence and professional performance, winning the Naval Air Forces Arnold J. Isbell ASW Trophy and the Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing Two Battle “E” and CNO Safety award nominations.
A native of Devils Lake, North Dakota, Cmdr. Erickson graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1995, completing primary flight training at Naval Air Station Pensacola and was designated a Naval Flight Officer in October of 1996. He has served in three operational Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance squadrons, flying operational missions throughout the North Atlantic, Mediterranean, Caribbean and Pacific Ocean. Commander Erickson has also served on board the aircraft carrier, USS NIMITZ, attended Naval Command and Staff College in Newport, RI, receiving a Masters of the Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies and completed a staff assignment on the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Operations Directorate (J3) at the Pentagon.
Cmdr. Erickson most recently served as the Executive Officer of Patrol Squadron FOUR SEVEN, one of four operational Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance squadrons serving Command, Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing TWO. Under his leadership, Patrol Squadron FOUR SEVEN is scheduled to deploy to Europe, Africa, and South America in May of this year. The aviators and support personnel will provide real-time intelligence and maritime support to Combatant Commanders in multiple areas of operation. Working in direct cooperation with international partners, the Golden Swordsmen will be a vital component in the Global War on Terror and a multitude of regional operations.
After the ceremony Cmdr. Erickson contemplated the charge of command that accompanied his new position, “What a great day, I am honored and humbled by this opportunity to lead the Golden Swordsmen. Today the Sailors and Officers of Patrol Squadron FOUR SEVEN stand ready to deploy and answer our Nation’s call to service. I am proud to serve with this outstanding group of dedicated Americans.”
Commander Ellis has commanded VP-47 since May 2012. His next assignment will be serving on the Pacific Fleet staff.
Page 2 of 2 - Cmdr. Erickson is the son of Chuck and Betty Jo Erickson and the grandson of Izzy and Gwenn LaFleur, both from Devils Lake, ND.