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 COMMANDING OFFICER

COMMANDER RICHARD WHITFIELD

Commander Whitfield, a native of Birmingham, AL, graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ocean Engineering.  He completed flight school in 1998 while assigned to HT-18, NAS Whiting Field, after which he reported to the HSL-41 “Seahawks” for training as an SH-60B Fleet Replacement Pilot in San Diego, CA. 

Commander Whitfield’s first sea tour was with the HSL-47 “Saberhawks”, where he made two deployments to the Arabian Gulf as a detachment Operations Officer on board USS DAVID R. RAY (DD 971) and as a detachment Maintenance Officer onboard USS CONSTELLATION (CV 64).

He returned to HSL 41 in 2002 for instructor duty where he served as Schedules Officer, Naval Aviation Production Process Officer, and Quality Assurance Officer. 

In 2005, Commander Whitfield reported to HSM Pacific Weapons School, where he coordinated advanced helicopter training for fleet squadrons and conducted manning and support analysis for the Navy’s VTUAV program with Commander, Naval Air Forces Fleet Introduction Team.

He reported to CARRIER STRIKE GROUP TWELVE in 2006 as the Strike Group Commander’s Flag Lieutenant, where he completed another deployment to the Arabian Gulf onboard USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65).  In 2006, Commander Whitfield returned to HSM 41 to receive initial training on the MH-60R and then reported to the HSM-71 “Raptors” for his department head tour.  While at HSM-71, Commander Whitfield was assigned the duties of Squadron Maintenance Officer and Detachment Officer-In-Charge and deployed to the Western Pacific onboard USS ANTIETAM (CG 54) with the JOHN C STENNIS STRIKE GROUP.  In 2009, he reported to UNITED STATES STRATEGIC COMMAND where he was assigned to the Cyberspace Policy and Doctrine branch of the J5 directorate. 

In 2012, Commander Whitfield returned to the now HSM-77 “Saberhawks” as Executive Officer and Commanding Officer.  During his command tenure, HSM-77 completed a deployment to the Arabian Gulf with ABRAHAM LINCOLN STRIKE GROUP while assigned to CARRIER AIRWING TWO, executed a squadron permanent duty station change to Atsugi, Japan and completed the MH-60R’s maiden deployment with GEORGE WASHINGTON STRIKE GROUP while assigned to CARRIER AIRWING FIVE.

In 2014, Commander Whitfield reported to OPNAV N81, Director Assessment Division.  He has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Point Loma Nazarene University.  His wife Laura and he are the proud parents of five children, Lily, Webb, Sara, Rob and John Paul.