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Commander, Naval Air Forces > HELANTISUBRON ELEVEN > Command Biographies
Commander Robert G. Smallwood III, a native of Bel Air, MD graduated from the University of Maryland in 1996. After college, he was selected to attend Officer Candidate School, earning his commission as an Ensign in May 1997. He was designated as a Naval Aviator in November 1998 and was assigned to HS-10 in San Diego, CA for fleet replacement training in the SH-60F/HH-60H Seahawk helicopter.

Upon completion of his training, Smallwood reported to the HS-5 Nightdippers, completing deployments on board USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH, and USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67) in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

In November 2003, Smallwood was assigned to the VX-1 Pioneers in Patuxent River, MD. While there, he conducted operational tests for the MH-60S and MH-60R helicopters and attended the Seahawk Weapons and Tactics Instructor (SWTI) course.

Smallwood’s next assignment was as the Helicopter Element Coordinator and Flag Tactical Action Officer for Carrier Strike Group EIGHT (CSG 8) , deploying in USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN 69) in support of Operation ENDURING FREEDOM and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.

In August 2008, he reported as a Department Head to the Tridents of HS-3, deploying on board USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71). Upon returning from deployment, he conducted a homeport change from Jacksonville, FL to Norfolk, VA and transitioned to the MH-60S helicopter. Shortly after the transition to HSC-9, he led a detachment in support of Operation UNIFIED RESPONSE (Haiti) embarked on the USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70) and USS BATAAN (LHD 5).

His next duty assignment was at Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) and upon JFCOM’s disestablishment, transitioned to the Joint Staff J31, Global Force Coordinator where he served as a Joint Working Group (JWG) lead and U.S. Africa Command Global Force Management liaison.

Commander Smallwood’s personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (Strike/Flight), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various unit and campaign awards.

Commanding Officer  |  Executive Officer  Command Master Chief