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 has orders to join the Blue Blasters of VFA-34 as Executive Officer in September 2014.
Commander Duford has accumulated over 2,400 flight hours and has over 350 arrested landings. His personal decorations include Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Strike Flight Air Medal (2), Navy Commendation Medal (2) and Navy Achievement Medal (3). CDR Duford is married to the former Katherine Gerhardt of Pembroke, NH, with whom they have three children.