Commanding Officer l Executive Officer l Command Master Chief
Edward S. Smith Commanding Officer
Commander Edward Smith, a native of Houston, Texas graduated from Texas A&M University, earning a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Distribution. Upon commissioning, he attended flight school in Pensacola, FL, Meridian, MS and Kingsville, TX where he earned his Wings of Gold in 1997.
Upon being selected to fly the F/A-18C, Commander Smith reported to the Gladiators of VFA-106 in Jacksonville, FL where he qualified as a fleet replacement pilot prior to his assignment to the Knighthawks of VFA-136. During his first sea tour, he deployed aboard USS JOHN C. STENNIS (CVN-74) on her madden deployment in 1998 and again aboard USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER (CVN-69) for her 2000 cruise. In June of 2001, Commander Smith was selected to attend the Navy Fighter Weapon School, TOPGUN, where he remained as an instructor upon graduation. While at TOPGUN he served as both an instructor and the Navy’s Subject Matter Expert for Global Positioning System (GPS) Weapons during both Operations ENDURING and IRAQI FREEDOM.
In June of 2004, Commander Smith reported to the “Bulls” of VFA-37 as the Training Officer and deployed aboard USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN-75) for her 2004-2005 combat deployment. Upon completion of this tour, he then reported to the “Valions” of VFA-15 where he served as both the Maintenance and Operations Officer for the squadron as they prepared for their 2008 to 2009 deployment aboard USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN-71). In August of 2008, Commander Smith reported to the Joint Chiefs of Staff to serve in the J-34 Deputy Directorate for Antiterrorism/Homeland Defense. During his tour on the Joint Staff, he was responsible for all aspects of DoD Antiterrorism Training and led the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Level IV Antiterrorism Executive Seminar.
In October of 2009, Commander Smith volunteered as an Individual Augmentee, where he served in Kabul, Afghanistan, from December 2009 to May 2010, as the Liaison for a Joint Special Operations Task Force to the Commander of the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF). While assigned to the Joint Staff, Commander Smith earned his Masters in Business Administration from the Pennsylvania State University and also attended the Joint Forces Staff College for Level II Joint Professional Military Education.
In September of 2010, Commander Smith reported to the "Blue Blasters" of VFA-34 as the Executive Offiver. CDR Smith has been awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, Strike Flight Air Medals (three awards), Navy Commendation Medal (two awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal (two awards), and numerous campaign and unit citations. He has accumulated over 600 arrested landings and over 3200 flight hours. CDR Smith is married to the former Lisa Moritz of Newport News, Virginia and they have two daughters, Taylor Isabella and Payton!