Jan. 15, 2004 – On a bright-sunshine day in the Florida Keys, Lt. Cmdr. Oscar Roy Kelsick retired from his beloved Naval Aviation after 24 years of distinguished military service. On Nov. 25, 2003, Kelsick turned over his command as the officer-in-charge of Fighter Squadron 101, Detachment Key West, where he had served since September of 2000.
Kelsick, a native of St. Thomas, is the son of Tryphina Petersen of Contant. He is a graduate of Charlotte Amalie High School class of 1979 and received his initial pilot license under the tutelage of Cleo Hodge at St. Thomas Flight Center.
At the Key West Navy fighter unit, he directed 160 personnel and supported 30 F-14 (Tomcat) and F/A-18 (Hornet) jet fighter aircrafts. He was responsible for aircraft safety, maintenance, and supported the training of all new flight officers and pilots in the expertise of air-combat tactics.
Before taking charge in Key West, he was assigned to Strike Fighter Squadrons VFA-83, VFA-82, VFA-105, and numerous other attack and submarine squadrons. Among his personal decorations are a Presidential Citation (MSN); three Navy Commendation Medals; two Navy Achievement Medal; and 18 other awards. He completed eight extended deployments aboard five aircraft carriers to the
Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf, North Atlantic, and Southwest Asia.
He told Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer Alvin Dalmida Jr., also a Virgin Islander, the high point of his career was "watching CNN during the recent conflict with Iraq and seeing students who had recently completed air-combat tactics training launching off the carrier and heading to the "tip of the spear." In his words: "mission accomplished, train like you fight and fight like you train."
His immediate plans, he said, are to relax, get rid of his cell phone and alarm clock, and visit his daughters in college. He also intends to continue a career in aviation as a consultant for military aircraft manufacture when he gets tired of fishing and traveling.
Editor's note:Coast Guard Chief Warrant Office Alvin Dalmida Jr. writes about Virgin Islanders' activities in the U.S. Coast Guard.
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