Captain Nelson C. Castro
Captain Nelson C. Castro is a native of Fajardo, Puerto Rico. He earned his commission in August 1987 through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps program at the University of Florida, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering.
Afloat, his first tour at sea from 1988 to 1991 was aboard USS DAHLGREN (DDG 43) as “M” division Officer, Main Propulsion Assistant and CIC Officer. While aboard, he made two deployments to the Arabian Gulf and participated in Operation Earnest Will. Upon completion of Department School, he served as Engineer Officer in USS ELROD (FFG 55) from 1994 to 1996, during which time he made a deployment to the Arabian Gulf and participated in United Nations resolutions enforcement actions against Iraq. His next assignment was as Engineer Officer in USS ROSS (DDG 71) from 1996 to 1998, where he served from precommissioning to the final evaluation period. Upon completion of his tour on USS ROSS, he served as Executive Officer aboard the USS VELLA GULF (CG 72) from 1998 to 2000 completing a Mediterranean deployment that included contingency operations against FRY. From 2006 to 2007, he commanded USS WINSTON S. CHURCHILL (DDG 81) and deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to the CENTCOM AOR. In 2010, he served as Chief of Staff for Carrier Strike Group Ten embarked onboard USS HARRY S. TRUMAN during a combat deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Captain Castro was the Deputy Commander, DESTROYER SQUADRON TWENTY-SIX from 2010-2012, assuming command as Commodore in 2012.
Ashore, he earned a Master of Science degree in Physics at Naval Postgraduate School in 1993. Upon completion of his Executive Officer tour, he was assigned to OPNAV 76 and 71 staff, as Requirements Officer for Force Air Defense and Engagement Systems from 2000 to 2002. He subsequently attended the Marine Corps War College where he earned a Master in Strategic Studies in 2003. From 2003 to 2005, he served as the Assistant Strike Department Head, N5A, at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC). Upon completing his command tour, he served from 2007 to 2009 as the Current Operations Chief, J33, Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS) which is a subordinate standing joint headquarters to U.S. Northern Command located at Fort Monroe, VA.
Among his awards are the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, and several other unit awards.