MCAS BEAUFORT --
Lt. Col. Simon Doran, a husband, father, aviator, Marine and former commanding officer, relinquished command of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251, May 3.
Doran was relieved by Lt. Col. Joshua Riggs and will attend the Air War College in Alabama for further professional military education.
Doran became the commanding officer in July 2011. Since then, the squadron has been deployed aboard aircraft carrier USS Enterprise twice.
"In the 22 months I have been in command, we have flown more than 7,000 hours and 2,600 hours of that has been in support of combat operations in Afghanistan," said Doran, a native of Liverpool, England. "That was possible because of the combat readiness provided by the Marines in this squadron."
Doran’s histor y with the Thunderbolts began May 1998 as the squadron’s powerline division officer in charge and pilot training officer.
In October 2001, Operation Enduring Freedom began and at the time, Capt. Doran, was aboard aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) with VMFA-251. During this time, he was one of the first pilots to drop ordnance into Afghanistan.
"I am humbled to have the honor and privilege to lead the Thunderbolts and for that, thank you," said Doran.