COMMANDER RICHARD W. WHITFIELD
UNITED STATES NAVY
COMMANDING OFFICER, HELICOPTER MARITIME STRIKE SQUADRON SEVEN SEVEN
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 onboard 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 instuctor 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 squadron detachments as well as 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 in 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.
He completed another deployment to the Western Pacific in 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 direcorate.
In 2011, Commander Whitfield returned to HSM-41 for refresher training in route to his command tour with his Alma Mater, now HSM-77. He assumed command of the SABERHAWKS on 15 February 2013.
Commander Whitfield has a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Point Loma Nazarene University. His wife Laura and he are the proud parents of four children, Lily, Webb, Sara and Rob.