Commander Dan Hughes
Commanding Officer, Strike Fighter Squadron FIFTEEN
Commander Dan Hughes is a native of Waycross, GA and a 1995 graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He was designated a Naval Aviator in Kingsville, TX in September 1998.
Upon completion of replacement training in the F/A-18 with the GLADIATORS of VFA-106 at Cecil Field, FL, he was assigned to the GOLDEN WARRIORS of VFA-87 in Oceana, CA where he deployed aboard USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) flying combat sorties in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH and ENDURING FREEDOM in 2001. While assigned to VFA-87, Commander Hughes served as PAO, Coffee Mess Officer, Schedules Officer, AV/ARM Division Officer, and Air-to-Air Weapons Training Officer. In December 2002, Commander Hughes completed Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor (SFTI) training at the Navy Fighter Weapons School, TOPGUN at Naval Air Station Fallon, NV. He then reported as an SFTI to the GLADIATORS of VFA-106. Following his tour at VFA-106, Commander Hughes reported to the BLUE BLASTERS of VFA-34 in Oceana, VA as the squadron Training Officer where he deployed in 2006 on a WESTPAC aboard USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72). Next, he reported to the VIGILANTES of VFA-151 in Lemoore, CA where he deployed aboard the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN 72) flying combat sorties in support of Operations IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM in 2008. During his tour, Commander Hughes served as a Department Head for Safety, Tactics, Operations, and Maintenance. Meanwhile, the VIGILANTES earned the Battle E for the best F/A-18C squadron in the Pacific Fleet. In 2008 he reported to the UNITED STATES JOINT FORCES COMMAND in Norfolk, VA where he served in the J3 as a Command Duty Officer and the Joint Deployment Center Branch Chief.
Commander Hughes' personal awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Strike Flight Air Medal (4 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (4 awards with 1 V), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and various other individual and unit awards. He is married to Julie Hughes, and they have six children and one grandchild: Jason, Helen, Luda, Galina, Joshua, Jacob and Isabella.