Commander Derek D. Duford
United States Navy
Commander Derek “Doof” Duford is a native of Chichester, New Hampshire. He enlisted in the Navy in 1991 as an Aviation Electronics Technician, attended the Naval Academy Preparatory School and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1999. CDR Duford was designated a Naval Aviator in 2001 and joined the Rough Raiders of VFA 125 in Lemoore, California for F/A-18 training.
In 2002, CDR Duford joined the Warhawks of VFA 97 flying the F/A-18A. He completed deployments with CVW-11 onboard USS NIMITZ (CVN 68) and a UDP deployment with MAG-12 in Iwakuni, Japan. In 2005, following this tour, CDR Duford attended the Navy Fighter Weapons School, TOPGUN, with follow-on orders to Strike Fighter Weapons School Atlantic (SFWSL), NAS Oceana, Virginia. While at SFWSL, CDR Duford was responsible for directing and implementation of the Strike Fighter Advanced Readiness Program (SFARP) to the fleet.
In February 2008, CDR Duford joined the Ragin’ Bulls of VFA 37 on deployment with CVW-3 onboard USS HARRY S. TRUMAN (CVN 75) as Training Officer flying the F/A-18C. Upon completion of this tour, he attended the United States Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island as a member of the Naval Staff College and graduated with a Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies in June of 2010.
In July 2010, CDR Duford reported to the Pukin’ Dogs of VFA 143 as a Department Head flying the F/A-18E Super Hornet. With VFA 143, he was assigned to both the Operations Officer and Maintenance Officer positions. In July 2012, he reported to the NATO staff at Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM), Northwood, United Kingdom. While assigned as Battle Watch Captain, he provided command and control for Counter Piracy Operation OCEAN SHIELD and Counter Terrorism Operation ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR. CDR Duford joined the Blue Blasters of VFA 34 as Executive Officer in September 2014 and assumed Command in November 2015.
Commander Duford has accumulated over 2,500 flight hours and has over 400 arrested landings. His personal decorations include Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Strike Flight Air Medal (2), Navy Commendation Medal (2) and Navy Achievement Medal (3).