High-flying BHS grad appointed
On July 1, Blaine high school graduate Commander Brian M. Kocher, took command of Fighter Squadron 123 in a ceremony at NAS Oceana, Virginia. VF-213 is a Squadron of F-14D Tomcats, based at NAS Oceana. Commander Kocher will take charge of the squadron’s 12 aircraft and about 300 personnel and will deploy aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
Kocher graduated from Blaine high school in 1981, attended the University of Washington and received his Bachelor degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering. After graduation, he was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy and reported to flight training at NAS Pensacola, Florida.
Kocher completed flight training in 1987 and has been flying F-14 Tomcats since then. He has logged over 2,700 hours in 24 different types of aircraft. He has completed five aircraft carrier deployments and has flown combat missions in Operations Desert Storm, Southern Watch and recently in Iraqi Freedom.
Other assignments include training at the U.S. Navy’s Test Pilot School, U.S. Space Command and an assignment at the Pentagon working on the Navy staff. Commander Kocher is the son of Bruce and Marie Hassebrock of Bellingham to whom he attributes his success to the love and support they’ve provided throughout his life.