USS VELLA GULF


Captain Robert D. Katz
Commanding Officer

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Captain Robert D. Katz was commissioned through the NROTC program at the University of South Carolina in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.

At sea, CAPT Katz first assignment was aboard USS SAN JACINTO (CG 56) as Anti-Submarine Warfare Officer and Main Propulsion Assistant from 1990 to 1993, serving in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm with the JOHN F. KENNEDY Battle Group.

His Department Head assignment was aboard USS LABOON (DDG 58) as the Weapons Officer, Operations Officer and Combat Systems Officer from 1996 to 1999, serving in Operation Desert Strike as part of the Middle East Force and in Operation Dynamic Response for Sixth Fleet.

His Executive Officer assignment was aboard USS PRINCETON (CG 59) from 2002 to 2003, serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, as the Air Defense Commander for NIMITZ Strike Group.

He Commanded USS STOUT (DDG 55) from 2007 to 2009. During Command, he returned STOUT from a Fifth Fleet deployment with ENTERPRISE Strike Group, and then led STOUT through a Ballistic Missile Defense installation, in order to redeploy with EISENHOWER Strike Group to execute Sixth Fleet Ballistic Missile Defense Operations.

He was the Operation Officer for Carrier Strike Group TWO from 2011 to 2012, deploying on the maiden deployment of GEORGE H.W. BUSH Carrier Strike Group to Sixth and Fifth Fleet in support of Operations New Dawn and Enduring Freedom.

Ashore, CAPT Katz has served three PENTAGON tours. He was a Budget Analyst for the Director of Surface Warfare Division in OPNAV (N76) from 2000 to 2002. He returned in 2004 as the NATO Defense Planner and Budget Officer for Director of Strategy and Policy Division in OPNAV (N51). In 2005 he was assigned as a Budget Analyst for the Program Budget Analysis Division on the Joint Staff (J-8) until 2007. In 2009 he was assigned the Fleet Command Center Director (N31) and the Current Operations Branch Head (N33) at United States Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia.

CAPT Katz is a graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School with a Master of Science in Financial Management. He is designated a Financial Management sub-specialty 3110Q and a Joint Qualified Officer, JQS Level III. His personal decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, four Meritorious Service Medals, three Navy Commendation Medals, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, two Navy Achievement Medals, and various unit, campaign, and service awards.