CDR Larry D. DeLong
CDR DeLong enlisted in the Navy in 1987 and was an Aviation Structural Mechanic on the SH-2F Sea Sprite helicopter. A young Petty Officer DeLong shifted from active duty to the reserves, earned a B.S. in Aircraft Engineering Technology from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. CDR DeLong re-entered Naval service, earning a commission in 1995, and became a Naval Aviator in 1998 after carrier qualifying in the TA-4J Skyhawk aboard the USS JOHN F. KENNEDY (CV 67).
CDR DeLong’s first fleet assignment was with the VFA-83 “Rampagers” flying the newest F/A-18C Hornets. He conducted deployments aboard the USS GEORGE WASHINGTON (CVN 73) in 2000 and 2002 in support of Operations SOUTHERN WATCH, IRAQI FREEDOM (OIF), and ENDURING FREEDOM (OEF). For supporting troops in close contact with the enemy, LT DeLong earned an individual air medal with Combat V.
CDR DeLong completed US Naval Test Pilot School in 2004 (Class 125) and flew fourteen different aircraft ranging from a glider or seaplane to the F-16. CDR DeLong conducted a follow on test tour with VX-30 in Point Mugu, CA flying every model of the F/A-18 (A-F) as the project officer for the SLAM-ER and HARPOON missile programs. In 2005, CDR DeLong was selected as the VX-30 Test Pilot of the year.
After his test tour, CDR DeLong conducted his department head tour with the VFA-86 Sidewinders at MCAS Beaufort, S.C. where he completed deployments in 2006 and 2007 on the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65) in support of OEF and OIF.
In 2009, CDR DeLong earned a Master of Arts degree in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College as well as a Master of Science degree in Aviation Systems from the University of Tennessee Space Institute. After the Naval War College, CDR DeLong completed a Joint duty assignment with the Joint Interagency Task Force South in support of the SOUTHCOM counter-narcotics effort and was awarded the Joint Service Commendation Medal.
CDR DeLong has more than 2,000 hours in the F/A-18 series aircraft and more than 600 carrier arrestments over fourteen years and four deployments. His notable awards are a Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, and three Air Medals.
CDR “Billy” DeLong and his wife Nicki are from Charleston, S.C. and currently reside in Virginia Beach with their two children, Trey and Anna.