The Change of Command at VMX-22: General “Dog” Davis Highlights The Unit’s Key Role in Innovation


06/27/2014 On June 27, 2014, the VMX-22 or Marine Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron Twenty-Two had its change of command at New River Marine Corps Air Station.

The squadron began with the introduction of the Osprey into Iraq.

It has migrated under Col. Orr to build upon the success and maturity of the Osprey, to work on a variety of innovations, notably upon exercises with the ground forces in shaping new force insertion approaches.

This process will continue with the new CO of VMX-22, Col. Robert L. Rauenhorst.

Indeed, his first major effort will be working with the new navy ship the USS America in integrating aviation assets aboard that ship.

In the video, the Deputy Commandant of Aviation, General Jon Davis discusses the accomplishments of VMX-22 under Col. Orr’s leadership and he looks forward to the way ahead for the squadron as it plays a key role in USMC aviation and MAGTF innovation.

Col. Orr and Col. Rauenhorst preparing for the change of command. Credit Photo: Second Line of Defense
Col. Orr and Col. Rauenhorst preparing for the change of command. Credit Photo: Second Line of Defense

The squadron is moving to Yuma to more closely be able to work with MAWTS-1 and the prospect of these two innovative squadrons working together to shape a way ahead is a key element enabling 21st century USMC innovation.

The video is not perfect for was shot by using a hand held video rather than by using a tripod-stabilized camera.

But this was due to the nature of the ceremony and the activity on the hangar floor in holding the ceremony, which was not being held outside because of the weather experienced in the afternoon.

But the video does highlight the perspective of the new DCA, who himself was a former Commanding General for the 2nd Marine Air Wing where VMX-22 currently resides.

General “Dog” Davis highlighted the centrality of working digital interoperability for the ground combat element and the air combat element.

He emphasized that Col. Orr and the squadron has started to bring the tiltrotar enabled assault force into a digital interoperable age.

“It is those devil dogs coming off of the back of those Ospreys which are a key strike element which the USMC brings to the fight.”

“We need to get them the information they need at the pointy end of the spear.”

General Davis highlighted the key role of Col. Orr’s leadership in assembling a team of doers and providing realistic guidance and tough feedback to senior USMC leaders.

And the Second Line of Defense team can attest from visits to VMX-22 this time and in the past, that the General was not overstating either the leadership role of Col. Orr or the commitment of the team to take on tough tasks and to push the envelope of innovation.

We have an interview upcoming with now ex-CO and the new CO of VMX-22 which we will publish in the near future.

For earlier pieces on VMX-22 see the following:

For earlier videos of discussions with General Davis see the following: