Captain Clayton “Clay” Conley is a native of Lexington, OK and graduate of Oklahoma State University. He received his commission in September 1988 through the Aviation Officer Candidate School Program and was designated a Naval Aviator in October 1989.
Upon completion of SH-2F fleet replacement pilot training with the HSL-31 “Arch Angels”, he reported to the HSL-33 “Sea Snakes”, NAS North Island, CA, where he served from August 1990 until January 1994. He deployed with USS COPELAND (FFG 25) in the Western Pacific and USS REID (FFG 30) in the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf. He also deployed as Detachment Officer in Charge aboard USS LEWIS B. PULLER (FFG 23) in the Eastern Pacific. He served as the squadron ASW Officer, Quality Assurance Officer, and NATOPS Officer, completing his first operational tour with over 1,000 flight hours in the SH-2F.
Following a short assignment at Helicopter Anti-Submarine Light Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Captain Conley transitioned to fly the SH-60B. He subsequently served as an SH-60B instructor pilot with the HSL-41 “Seahawks” from April 1995 until October 1997 serving as Schedules Officer, Pilot Training Officer, and COMNAVAIRPAC SH-60B NATOPS Evaluator.
Captain Conley reported for duty aboard USS ESSEX (LHD 2) in November 1997 where he served as the Flight Deck Officer and Assistant Air Officer. In April 2000, he joined the HSL 45 “Wolfpack” where he served as the squadron’s Operations Officer and Detachment THREE Officer in Charge aboard USS OLDENDORF (DD 972), conducting counter-narcotic operations in the Eastern Pacific.
Captain Conley was then assigned to the Joint C4ISR Battle Center at U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) in Norfolk, Virginia, where he was responsible for assessments of advanced C4ISR technologies. He also graduated from the Joint Forces Staff College while assigned to USJFCOM.
In April 2005, Captain Conley reported as the Executive Officer of the HSL-49 "Scorpions" and assumed duties as Commanding Officer from June 2006 to August 2007. Following his command tour, he served as Air Operations Officer for Commander, Task Force SEVEN ZERO / Carrier Strike Group FIVE in Yokosuka, Japan.
Captain Conley completed a second command tour from April 2010 until May 2012 with the HSM-40 “Airwolves”, the Navy’s East Coast MH-60R and single site SH-60B Fleet Replacement Squadron. He currently is serving as Commander, Helicopter Maritime Strike Wing, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.
Captain Conley is married to Darnel Birck of Coronado, CA and they have two sons, Ian and Jackson.
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